1. Human geography
Zincidere is a settlement in Cappadocia, 12 km to the southeast of Kaisareia (Kayseri). It was built on a plateau, at an altitude of 1,400 m and had a lot of water. The climate was healthy but the winters were particularly heavy. The settlement is also known under the name of Flaviana.
The first houses, as it happened in several other settlements of Cappadocia, were sculptured on rock and communicated with each other by means of underground galleries. This architectural style was soon abandoned. Before they were finally detached from the rock, the new houses were built near the former ones, which then operated as storehouses.
According to oral evidence, the place was inhabited by approximately 400 Christian families, whose number started to decrease towards the late 19th and the early 20th century because of emigration, before they finally reached the number of 1001 families at the time of population exchange. According to other sources, the overall number of inhabitants in Zincidere was 1,500.2
The Christians of Zincidere were Turkish-speaking. The activities of American Protestants, who had been in Talas of Cappadocia already from 1845, made about 20-30 Christian families of Zincidere follow Protestantism around 1860.3
2.1 Agricultural Production
The arable land in Zincidere was not suitable for an efficient agricultural production, which would cover the food needs of the inhabitants. It is worth mentioning that before the population exchange only 25-30 families could exclusively live on their agricultural production.4 The crops included a little wheat, legumes –mainly lentils– and some garden produce, mainly water melons. There is also evidence of small-scale apiculture, mainly for domestic needs. In case some apiarists managed to have a surplus of honey, they supplied the local market. The small-scale stock breeding covered domestic needs as well.
2.2 Handicraft Production, Commerce and Emigration
The low potential for the development of an efficient agricultural production, in combination with insecurity in the area, particularly in former times, made a great number of the inhabitants migrate to cities of the Ottoman Empire. It was the economically active men who migrated either to Constantinople or to Adana and other developing cities of Cilicia. At the new places they settled they worked as craftsmen – builders, blacksmiths, stonemasons and carpenters. Some settled in Samsun and were engaged in tobacco trade. The pattern of emigration the inhabitants of Zincidere followed had already been established by other settlements of Cappadocia. After the emigrants first departed (at an early age between 12 and 15) and completed their apprenticeship, usually living with relatives or compatriots in the places of acceptance, they periodically returned to Zincidere in order to visit their families, who still lived there. The high percentages of emigration, particularly after 1890, when the emigrants started to take their families with them, resulted in the dramatic reduction in the population of Zincidere.
The high percentages of emigration played a crucial role in the particularly limited development of handicraft and commerce in Zincidere. Only a few merchants and craftsmen activated there, aiming to cover local needs, which to a certain extent were covered by the emigrants, who sent or brought products there. Finally, according to oral evidence, Zincidere had a carpet industry, which gradually declined.5
3. Regime, Social Stratification
Until 1911 Zincidere was subordinate directly to the of Kayseri. Things changed later and the settlement came under the of Talas, which in its turn belonged to the mutasarrıflık of Kayseri, included in the of Ankara.
Each religious group of Zincidere, that is, the Christian Orthodox, the Muslims and the Protestants seceded from the Orthodox appointed their own , who took command of the community. The muhtar was elected yearly. He was responsible for the imposition and payment of taxes, Registry Office matters as well as public safety and order. He was helped by a council, which, except for the muhtar himself, included a deputy muhtar (muhtar sani) and 4 members.
Apart from the muhtar, who belonged to the Ottoman administrative system, there were the sheer Christian community authorities, belonging to the diocese of Caesarea (Kayseri). The school board, a four-member annual and elective committee, was responsible for educational matters. Participation in this committee was a prestigious activity and much desired by the inhabitants. Intra-community disputes in 1901-1902 aroused public controversy and were overcome only after the metropolitan’s intervention. The church board was responsible to the school board. It was assigned the task of managing the church property and, in general, matters concerning the churches. It consisted of two members, who, although originally were elected by the inhabitants, were later appointed by the school board.
In Zincidere, which ecclesiastically belonged to the diocese of Caesarea, operated 3 Orthodox churches and lots of oratories and country chapels. There was also a Protestant church with a minister. In Zincidere was the famous monastery of St. John. It was founded in 1728 by Neophytos from Patmos, the then metropolitan of Caesarea and became a in 1770. It was restored in 1804and the famous seminary was founded there in the same year and under the same name.6
In 1832 Paisios, the then metropolitan of Caesarea and abbot of the monastery of St John as well, transferred the seat of the diocese to Zincidere. After he died in 1871, Kaisareia (Kayseri) became the new seat of the diocese, where it remained until 1882, when Ioannes Anastasiadis transferred it again to the monastery of St John.7
The earliest information about the way education was organised dates back to 1804, when the seminary was founded under the same name inside the restored monastery of St John. Following a period of decline, it was founded again in 1880 by Ioannis Anastasiadis,8 the then metropolitan of Caesarea. It was originally named Rodokanakeios, after its donor, who gave away an annual amount of 5,000 francs to the monastery, and then –when the donation was suspended– it was simply called Seminary. In 1892 it operated as a complete High School with 11 teachers and 95 students,9 while in 1902 the Greek State recognised it as a complete High School.10 The monastery also housed a six-class girls’ school since 1885, a males’ orphanage since 1891 –with 35 orphans– and a girls’ orphanage, established in 1892 with 25 orphans. Symeonakis Siniosoglou from Talas, a merchant and banker in Constantinople, contributed to the foundation of the above orphanages. The timber merchant Charalambos Kioseoglou from Talas as well, provided financial help for the seminary and the males’ orphanage.
According to information given by the diocese of Caesarea to the Ottoman authorities in 1892, in Zincidere there was also a comprehensive males’ school with 3 teachers and 180 pupils and a comprehensive girls’ school with 1 teacher and 70 pupils. In 1905 both schools were granted a license by the Ottoman State to operate as scholarcheia.11
In 1905 the American Protestant mission of Zincidere founded an Orphanage, whose operation was temporarily suspended in 1914 before it operated again in 1918.
1. Ασβεστή, Μ., Επαγγελματικές ασχολίες των Ελλήνων της Καππαδοκίας, (Athens 1980), pp. 57-58. There are slight differences in the information presented by contemporary writers who visited the area. Χριστόπουλος, Μ., Αι εις τας Μητροπόλεις Καισαρείας και Ικονίου Υπαγόμεναι Ελληνορθόδοξοι Κοινότητες (typewritten manuscript, ΚΜΣ, ΚΑΠΠ 45), (Chania 1939), p. 15, who visited the area between 1896 and 1902, raises the number of the Christian families in 450, while he mentions the existence of 50 Muslim ones. Αντωνόπουλος, Σ., Μικρά Ασία, (Athens 1907), p. 230, who visited the settlement in 1901, mentions 350 Christian families and approximately 50 Muslim ones. Ποιμενίδης, Μ., Ζιντζήντερε (typewritten manuscript, ΚΜΣ, ΚΑΠΠ 22), (Athens 1966), p. 3-4, mentions 300-500 Christian and approximately 50 Muslim ones.
2. Κοντογιάννης, Π., Γεωγραφία της Μικράς Ασίας, (Athens 1921), p. 138.
3. Ποιμενίδης, Μ., Ζιντζήντερε (typewritten manuscript, ΚΜΣ, ΚΑΠΠ 22), (Athens 1966), pp. 3-4· ΑΚΜΣ, dossier 74, Ζιντζίντερε, Λατρεία, Άλλα δόγματα.
4. Ασβεστή, Μ., Επαγγελματικές ασχολίες των Ελλήνων της Καππαδοκίας, (Athens 1980), p. 58.
5. Ασβεστή, Μ., Επαγγελματικές ασχολίες των Ελλήνων της Καππαδοκίας, (Athens 1980), p. 58.
6. Χριστόπουλος, Μ., Αι εις τας Μητροπόλεις Καισαρείας και Ικονίου Υπαγόμεναι Ελληνορθόδοξοι Κοινότητες (typewritten manuscript, ΚΜΣ, ΚΑΠΠ 45), (Chania 1939), pp. 15-17· Κοντογιάννης, Π., Γεωγραφία της Μικράς Ασίας, (Athens 1921), p. 138.
7. ΑΚΜΣ, φάκ. 70, Ζιντζίντερε, Ecclesiastical administration.
8. Χριστόπουλος, Μ., Αι εις τας Μητροπόλεις Καισαρείας και Ικονίου Υπαγόμεναι Ελληνορθόδοξοι Κοινότητες (typewritten manuscript, ΚΜΣ, ΚΑΠΠ 45), (Chania 1939), p. 16. Regarding the year when the school was re-established there is disagreement. Αντωνόπουλος, Σ., Μικρά Ασία, (Athens 1907), p. 233 places it in 1882, while Κοντογιάννης, Π., Γεωγραφία της Μικράς Ασίας, (Athens 1921), p. 138, in 1884.
9. Τσαλίκογλου, Ε., Ελληνικά Εκπαιδευτήρια και Ελληνορθόδοξοι Κοινότητες της Περιφερείας Καισαρείας. Βάσει των εις τα Γενικά Αρχεία του Κράτους Κωδίκων, (Athens 1976), pp. 12-13.
10. Αντωνόπουλος, Σ., Μικρά Ασία, (Athens 1907), pp. 233-234.
11. Τσαλίκογλου, Ε., Ελληνικά Εκπαιδευτήρια και Ελληνορθόδοξοι Κοινότητες της Περιφερείας Καισαρείας. Βάσει των εις τα Γενικά Αρχεία του Κράτους Κωδίκων, (Athens 1976), pp. 13-14.