A Moveable Empire
Ottoman Nomads, Migrants, and Refugees
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Washington Press
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It is impossible to properly acknowledge the support I received from many people and institutions as I worked on this book, but I must try. The origins of the book go back to leisurely conversations I regularly had with a handful of people, all of whom I first met many years ago when I was a student in Turkey. In particular, I would like to mention...
1. Empire, State, and People
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Several years before I began writing this book, I noticed that the sources I was reading for another project repeatedly mentioned large numbers of nomadic tribes and other unsettled peoples who roamed the vast territories of the Ottoman Empire. According to these sources and the accounts of contemporary travelers and other observers, such groups...
2. A Moveable Empire
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The Ottoman Empire became one of the largest and most powerful political structures in the world between the closing years of the thirteenth century and the turn of the seventeenth. By the latter date, the Black Sea basin, the Anatolian plateau, the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, and North Africa had all become parts of the empire, putting...
3. Toward Settlement
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In 1691 a group of villagers in western Anatolia filed a petition with six judges who had jurisdiction over their region. In it they complained that seven of twenty-two tribes that had been ordered by the central government to settle in parts of western Anatolia had set up their tents not on the properties reserved for them but on communally held pasture...
4. Building Stasis
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On January 15, 2003, the New York Times published a front-page article on a Kurdish tribe called the Hamawand that was engaged in a war of resistance against the armies of Saddam Hussein in northern Iraq and also against Ansar al-Islam, a militant group connected to Al Qaeda, in the east. On these two fronts the Hamawand fighters were...
5. The Immovable State
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In the history covered in the previous chapters, Ottoman state policies toward mobility changed from being supportive and protective of nomads, migrants, and refugees to being restrictive and even antagonistic. The official policy of upholding the empire’s heterogeneous social structure through institutional reform, selective sedentarization, and the...
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Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Studies in Modernity and National Identity
Series Editor Byline: Edited by Sibel Bozdogan and Resat Kasaba