Çerkes Ethem

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Çerkes Ethem
شركس ادهم
Born 1886
Bandirma, Hüdavendigâr Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died 1948
Amman, Jordan
Resting place Cemetery of Habjouka in Al-Misdar, Amman, Jordan
Ethnicity Circassian
Education Bakırköy Cavalry Junior Officer School
Known for militia leader gained fame for fighting against the Allied powers invading Anatolia
Religion Sunni Muslim
Parent(s) Pşevu Ali Bey

Çerkes Ethem or Ethem the Circassian (1886–1948) was a Turkish militia leader of Circassian origin who initially gained fame for fighting against the Allied powers invading Anatolia in the aftermath of World War I and afterwards during the Turkish War of Independence.

His family, of the Circassian (Adyghe) people, was originally from Shapsugia region of Caucasus who migrated to Turkey in the 1860s. He was born in Emre village of Bandirma.[1] He is the son of Pşevu Ali Bey. He ran from home when he was 14 years old to join Bakırköy Cavalry Junior Officer School. He fought against Bulgarians in the Balkan War where he was wounded. He joined Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa organized by Eşref Kuşçubaşı and participated in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq during World War I. He was again wounded and retired to his village. For a while he took up banditry in the mountains. He then founded Kuvva-yı Seyyare which was the only organized military force in Anatolia during 1919-1920, period between Armistice of Mudros and Treaty of Sèvres. He coordinated his military operations with Ali Fuat Paşa in Ankara and harassed the invading Greek armies with his fast cavalry. He was instrumental in putting down various rebellions against the authority of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

Eventually he turned against the new central government in Ankara, refusing to join his forces with the regular army established under the command of İsmet Paşa. Newly reconstituted Turkish Army had to put down his rebellion while also fighting the Greeks at First Battle of İnönü.[2] His alleged subsequent surrender to and cooperation (Disputed by historians in Turkey until now) with the Greek army resulted in his citizenship getting revoked on the grounds of treason and his being announced a persona non grata by the TBMM, among many others. From Greece, he went to Jordan and settled there.


  1. ^ Çerkez Ethem, Hatıralarım, Berfin Yayınları
  2. ^ Doğan Avcıoğlu, Milli Kurtuluş Tarihi