Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies
Online ISSN : 2433-1872
Print ISSN : 0913-7858
A Study on the Turning Point of the Ottoman Policy toward Nomads: The Settlement Policy for Turkish and Kurdish Nomads in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
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2016 Volume 32 Issue 2 Pages 69-95


The aim of this paper is to evaluate the settlement policy that the Ottomans applied to the Turkish and Kurdish nomads who resided in Anatolia and around Raqqah in northern Syria during the late seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century. To achieve this goal, the paper will primarily draw its information from the registers of imperial edicts and the waqf registers. The Ottomans changed their policies when they came to consider nomadic seasonal migration as a problem for obtaining significant tax revenue from crop farming in the late seventeenth century. As a result, the Ottomans recognized that most of the Turkish and Kurdish nomadic groups who lived in eastern Anatolia paid less tax and considered farmers to be more profitable than nomads for the first time in Ottoman history. However, in rare cases, the Ottomans permitted nomadic pastoralism, and even encouraged the nomadic lifestyle, when the nomadic people in question paid taxes to a waqf foundation, as this allowed them to accrue sufficient tax revenue. When nomads escaped from their settlements, the Ottomans were more inclined to fulfill previous sedentarization orders rather than to change the settlement according to their requests or demands. Because of this, many ex-nomads escaped from their settlements for a life of banditry in other parts of the empire.

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© 2016 Japan Association for Middle East Studies (JAMES)
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