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Turkey, 1910-1950

 File — Box: 1, Reel: 64, microdex: 1
Turkey, 1910-1950
Turkey, 1910-1950

Scope and Contents

Documents concerning YWCA service centers in Turkey. They YWCA of the U.S.A. begins an interest in the women of Turkey prior to World War I and begins official work as part of the war relief efforts. The YWCA of the U.S.A. supports the service centers in Turkey financially as well as by sending secretaries to act as leaders and advisors and to report back on YWCA activity to the United States. The aims of the service centers are to provide a place for the mental, physical and intellectual well-being of all women and girls in Turkey. Activities range from recreation and camps to job and skills training and language classes. The YWCA staff in Turkey face challenges due to the seemingly constant political, religious and racial conflicts in the area. Due to these conflicts the YWCA work also includes refugee services, orphanages and advocating for minority groups. Documents concerning the treaty between Turkey and the United States demonstrate some of these racial and political tensions and the YWCA's interest in them. Position statements, letters, pamphlets and official documents describe the treaties and proposal and how various groups may be affected. Included in the groups of concern are the Armenians living in Turkey. In addition to these political and racial tensions, the YWCA centers sometimes encounter difficulties in operating education centers in Turkey due to laws requiring such places be secular in nature. Working in Turkey requires the YWCA centers and the YWCA of the U.S.A. to cooperate with various religious and relief organizations including the YMCA. 

Dates of Materials

  • 1910-1950

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

From the Record Group:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

However, by agreement with the YWCA of the U.S.A., microdexes known to contain financial records or personal health information (usually on job applications) were not digitized and/or not published in our online repository as part of the CLIR Digitizing Hidden Collections grant. These microdexes may still be accessed on the original microfilm, and digital files may be made available to individual researchers upon request.


751 frames (1 partial reel)