Pastoral Nomadism in Transition: Nomadic tribes, State, and Market in Nineteenth-Century Northeastern Anatolia


Boğaziçi University

April 5, Tuesday, 20:00

This paper analyzes the political, economic, and social transformations that pastoral nomadic tribes of Northeastern Anatolia had experienced due to their direct relations with a centralizing imperial state and their integration into an expanding market during the second half of the nineteenth century. Ottoman history of this period was marked by growing state power both in the central and the frontier regions. A series of unprecedented reforms were put into practice which sought to establish direct relations with imperial subjects in the spheres of administration, taxation, and conscription during this era. The nomadic pastoral communities, who had largely remained beyond the direct access, taxation, and conscription practices of the state officials owing to their mobility, could not remain entirely immune to these new developments. While increasing infrastructural capacity of the state, sedentarization campaigns of the imperial officials, and the making of the borders encapsulated several nomadic tribes, increasing integration of the pastoral economy into a growing imperial market brought irreversible developments for the pastoral nomadic tribes of the empire. This paper will provide some remarks about how these new developments influenced migration patterns, internal structures, subsistence economies as well as the spatial distribution of the pastoral nomadic tribes of Northeastern Anatolia.