The Ottoman State’s complex and diverse ethnic, cultural and religious fabric included many migrants who succeeded in becoming wealthy and powerful.
Most migrants in the Ottoman Empire built only modest new lives away from home. Some, however, became rich and powerful in their adopted country. Many high-ranking officials in the Ottoman hierarchy came from the ethnically and religiously diverse communities of the Balkans, Anatolia, the Caucasus, the Levant and North Africa. Most remained faithful servants of the system that made them, but others – particularly in North Africa – ended up breaking away and ruling practically unchallenged. Known as pashas, deys, beylerbeyi and beys, these personalities, aided by their military and intellectual elite, did much to advance their countries by introducing reform and improving the local infrastructure while consolidating their power by adopting the customs of and intermarrying with the local population.