The First ‘Circassian Exodus’ to the Ottoman Empire (1858-1867), and the Ottoman Response, Based on the Accounts of Contemporary British Observers, MA Thesis, Near and Middle Eastern Studies, SOAS, University of London, 2007.
This is a preliminary analysis of the impact of the first Circassian exodus on Ottoman society, assessing the Ottoman response to an unexpected refugee crisis, between 1858 and 1867. It is based primarily on the contemporary accounts of British observers, including consuls, journalists, and the correspondence of other eye-witnesses sent to the Foreign Office or the British Press.
The analysis concentrates on the initial landings of the Circassian refugees in Ottoman Black Sea ports and the effects that their presence had on the localities that received them, and provides details of how local authorities coped. It highlights lesser told stories of this already under-researched topic, such as the individual philanthropic and pragmatic initiatives inspired by the crisis. It widens the scope of the subject to consider earlier migrations that have not so far been accorded much attention. After a brief account of the process of migration, it focuses on the conditions of the refugees, the towns and the encampments that accommodated them rather than on the later resettlement period that historians often confine themselves to. It raises questions about the inconsistencies of existing research, and uses the primary accounts of British observers to suggest a clearer picture of events.
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