Some Aspects of Social Adaptation of the North Caucasian Immigrants in the Ottoman Empire in the Second Half of the XIXth Century (on the Immigrants’ Applications to Authorities) (PDF)

During the second half of the XIXth century the Ottoman Empire had adopted at least one million representatives of the North Caucasian peoples – Adyghes, Daghestanis, Chechens, Ossets, Abkhazians, etc. (or Circassians (Çerkez) in their common name generally used in the Middle East), – who migrated to the Sultan’s domains in the result of the ultimate subjugation of Caucasus by Russia and establishment of military-colonial administration there. In spite of indisputable initial disposition of the major part of the immigrants for turning into loyal subjects of the Ottoman state and invariably benevolent and patronizing attitudes of the Porte, the process of their adaptation to social, political, cultural and other realities of the new country was attended by considerable asperities, elimination of which often required years and even decades. These complexities stemmed, on the one hand, from peculiarities of the traditional feudal-patriarchal social structure of the North Caucasian groups, which differed considerably from the system of the Ottoman society of the modernization epoch, and on the other hand – from faults and mistakes committed by authorities in the process of colonization of the immigrants, which can be explained first of all by general inefficiency of the state’s administrative-bureaucratic machinery. Disastrous material position of the overwhelming majority of the refugees, their grave moralpsychological condition, entailed by ties and hardships, experienced during the lasting war in Caucasus and the followed forced exodus, came to be additional factors, aggravating their settlement and adaptation1.


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