Author(s): Ay?e AKSU, Gül?ah ESER
Mekteb-i Harbiye, which was established in 1834 during the reign of Sultan Mahmud II, and continues to exist today under the name of Turkish Military Academy, has an important place in our educational history and also is a pioneering educational institution. Many people have contributed to the establishment of Harbiye and to its survival until today. One of them is Commander Azmi Bey who was appointed as the head of the S?byan Bölükleri which would constitute the first cadets. Azmi Bey had been involved in many stages of this modern military school from the education system to the internal design, which was then still in its infancy. It was Azmi Bey who applied the Lancaster teaching system to Harbiye. This system was invented in England at that time and implemented in minority schools in Istanbul through American missionaries. Within that period, Azmi Bey was sent to England with the help of Americans and he made various researches in this country. His efforts and works for Mekteb-i Harbiye have contributed to his raising in rank as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (School Command). During this process, both Harbiye and Azmi Bey had attracted the attention of foreigners. British traveler Julia Pardoe who visited Istanbul in 1836, wanted to pay a visit to Harbiye and Azmi Bey opened wide the doors of the school to Perdoe and he turned out to be the cornerstone of the formation of the section of Mekteb-i Harbiye of Pardoe's memory. Despite Azmi Bey's pioneering role in our military and educational history, the studies on his biography and achivements at his time as school command are highly limited. Therefore, the aim of this article is to put forth the pioneering role of Azmi Bey and, more importantly, to evaluate his activities on the basis of foreign resources. To that end, the literature survey model was used, benefiting from the reports of American missionaries, the memory of Julia Pardoe and The Times, one of the leading newspapers in the British press. The findings demonstrate that Azmi Bey had a successful military career, contributed significantly to the establishment and institutionalization of the Mekteb-i Harbiye and, moreover, he played an important role as for the American and British influence felt during this period.