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165 The Cri­ mean War and the Tatar Ex­ o­ dus Mara Ko­ zel­ sky In the years fol­ low­ ing the Cri­ mean War (1853–56), ­ nearly ­ two-hundred thou­ sand Cri­ mean Ta­ tars fled their na­ tive pe­ nin­ sula en masse to re­ set­ tle in the Ot­ to­ man Em­ pire. They aban­ doned their homes and live­ stock; sold their prop­ erty at dev­ as­ tat­ ingly low ­ prices; gave up their pod­ danstvo, or sub­ ject­ hood in the Rus­ sian Em­ pire; and bid fare­ well to the coun­ try that had been their home for cen­ tu­ ries.1 Be­ gin­ ning in a ­ steady ­ trickle in 1855, the num­ ber of ref­ ugees per year in­ creased after the ­ Treaty of Paris (1856), which guar­ an­ teed Mus­ lims safe pas­ sage to the Ot­ to­ man Em­ pire. By the time the em­ i­ gra­ tion ran its ­ course, about ­ two-thirds of ­ Crimea’s na­ tive pop­ u­ la­ tion had fled their na­ tive lands. The Cri­ mean Tatar de­ par­ ture ­ plunged the pe­ nin­ sula, al­ ready ­ wasted from the war, into the deep­ est cri­ sis of its his­ tory since the Rus­ sian an­ nex­ a­ tion of the re­ gion in 1783. With the most con­ cen­ trated ­ out-migration oc­ cur­ ring in the sum­ mer of 1860, ­ Crimea’s strug­ gling post­ war econ­ omy came to a stand­ still. The new tech­ nol­ o­ gies of the steam­ ship, which could rap­ idly trans­ port the Ta­ tars ­ across the Black Sea to I ˙ stan­ bul, made their de­ par­ ture ­ starkly im­ me­ di­ ate and dra­ matic. Cri­ me­ ans ­ mourned the loss of the land­ scapes of their child­ hoods and wept as their neigh­ bors and ­ friends ­ traveled in 166 Mara Kozelsky con­ voys to ships wait­ ing to carry them to their new lives. Goods ­ waited at the docks for Tatar driv­ ers and ­ horses that never came. Fruit rot­ ted on the vine, and wheat with­ ered on the ­ stalks. Land­ own­ ers, many of whom had pre­ vi­ ously tor­ mented the Tatar pop­ u­ la­ tion, pan­ icked at the ab­ sence of ag­ ri­ cul­ tu­ ral la­ bor­ ers to ­ gather the har­ vest. An ob­ server of the mi­ gra­ tion re­ flected, “Em­ i­ gra­ tion of an en­ tire pop­ u­ la­ tion al­ ways im­ pov­ er­ ishes the coun­ try, and in this case in­ del­ ible ­ traces will re­ main for ­ decades.”2 Mi­ gra­ tion of the Cri­ mean Ta­ tars con­ sti­ tuted one of the larg­ est inter­ nal mass mi­ gra­ tions of ­ nineteenth-century Eu­ rope.3 Re­ cent schol­ ar­ ship on mi­ gra­ tion dur­ ing the nine­ teenth cen­ tury has ­ tended to focus on West­ ern Eu­ ro­ pean labor move­ ments and mass ur­ ban­ iza­ tion and as­ cribe ­ violenceinspired mi­ gra­ tion to the prov­ e­ nance of the twen­ ti­ eth cen­ tury.4 Re­ search­ ers work­ ing on the pop­ u­ la­ tion ex­ changes along the ­ RussianOttoman fron­ tier, how­ ever, have long rec­ og­ nized the role of vi­ o­ lence in mi­ gra­ tion. So­ viet his­ to­ rians E. I. Dru­ zhi­ nina and V. M. Kab­ u­ zan, for ex­ am­ ple, ­ traced the waves of ref­ u­ gees that ­ streamed into New Rus­ sia after the multi­ ple ­ Russian-Ottoman wars ­ between 1774 and 1878. Burning of the Government Buildings at Kertch. (from the personal collection of Mara Kozelsky) The Crimean War and the Tatar Exodus 167­ Greeks, Bul­ gar­ ians, Serbs, and Ar­ me­ ni­ ans who had taken arms ­ against the Ot­ to­ man Em­ pire ­ sought asy­ lum in the em­ pire of the tsars.5­ Odessa, a Greek city from its in­ cep­ tion, ­ served as a bea­ con for thou­ sands of Ot­ to­ man Chris­ tians pre­ vi­ ously en­ gaged in the up­ ris­ ings ­ against the sul­ tan.6 For this rea­ son, ­ Greeks from ref­ u­ gee fam­ i­ lies dom­ i­ nated the first ­ decades of his­ tor­ i­ cal schol­ ar­ ship of New Rus­ sia, and their work nat­ u­ rally em­ pha­ sized the re­ la­ tion­ ship ­ between war, ref­ u­ gees, and re­ gional de­ vel­ op...


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