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Ceren Aygül

Affiliated scholar


Affiliation: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Research project: Turkish Red Crescent and Its Relation with International Red Cross Movement in terms of Humanitarianism (1868–1928)
At IEG: 2014–2016 (Gerda Henkel Stiftung), 2016–2017
Funding: IEG

Personal information

2002-2007: BA at the Middle East Technical University, Department of History (Ankara, Turkey); 2004-2007: minor studies, Middle East Technical University, Department of Public Administration and Political Science, (Ankara, Turkey); 2007-2010: MA at the Middle East Technical University, Department of History (Ankara, Turkey); title of the MA thesis: "Change in the Status of Turkish Women during the Ottoman Modernization and the Self Evaluation of Women in Kadınlar Dünyası of 1913", dealing with the political, social, economic and institutional transformations of the Second Constitutional Era in the Ottoman Empire and their effects on Ottoman Women; 2008-2014: research assistant, Middle East Technical University, Department of History, (Ankara, Turkey); September 2013-July 2014: visiting scholar, University of Cincinnati, Department of History, (Ohio, USA).

Research interests

Ottoman modernization
Ottoman/Turkish Red Crescent, International Red Cross movement, Humanitarianism
Ottoman women’s movement

Current research project

The Red Crescent Association was established shortly after the foundation of Red Cross in 1864 and developed as a distinct independent organization offering medical help, material and field hospitals for soldiers during wars. Its mission which also included serving war prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants was expanded in the following years to cover peace time as well to protect human life and health and alleviate human sufferings such as in cases of natural calamities. Preliminary duties of Red Crescent as popularly known then, were similar with those of the Red Cross: providing medical care, nursing, training volunteers for health services during warfare. Red Crescent which displayed its major activities during the Ottoman- Russian War of 1877–78, Tripolitanian War of 1911, Balkan Wars, the First World War and Turkish Independence War.
It is clear that with this shortly mentioned historical past and some qualifications summarized, the Turkish Red Crescent Association was extremely important for historical researches for a deepen and broaden understanding of humanitarian aspect of contemporary world history. The great variety of historical sources on the Turkish Red Crescent might easily help for developing new analytical tools for understanding the realities especially in Ottoman and neighbor territories. It might also make a good contribution to a better understanding of social structure of 19th and 20th century.


Aygül, Ceren. »Kadın, Siyaset ve Tarih: II. Meşrutiyet Döneminde Kadın Dergilerinde Tarih ve Siyaset« 21. Yüzyılın Eşiğinde Kadınlar Değişim ve Güçlenme, Vol: V, Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Uluslararası Multidisipliner Kadın Kongresi Bildiri Kitabı, İzmir/Turkey, (October 13– 16th 2009), 2010, pp. 15- 21.
Aygül, Ceren. »1940–1950 Yılları Arasında Öteki Ankara: Altındağ« İdeal Kent Dergisi, (January 2014).


Humanitarian Engagement in the Context of Colonialism, Nationalism and Decolonization: The Egyptian Red Crescent (1882-1956)

By focusing on the Egyptian Red Crescent, Esther Möller's project aims to investigate the specific characteristics of humanitarian engagement in a non-European context.

The Ottoman Red Crescent and Its Relation with The International Red Cross Movement (1911–1927)

The project from Ceren Aygül is searching for the similarities and differences between Non-Western and Western societies in order to understand humanitarianism from a global perspective. The great variety of historical sources on the Ottoman Red Crescent will offer new insights not only into important political and social processes within the Ottoman society, but also on early moments of global internationalism.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a humanitarian actor

By analyzing the Red Crescent Societies’ humanitarian engagement in the Middle East and beyond the Research projects opens new perspectives on hitherto neglected figures of humanitarian aid in the 20th Century.