Professional skills and knowledge help to consolidate links between people and civilisations.
Many economic migrants within the Ottoman empire were traders, artisans, craftsmen and skilled labourers looking for reliable patronage and a more prosperous future. Although officially the Ottoman government sought to restrict people’s individual movement and often directed it, many succeeded in seeking their fortunes away from their homelands. Beyond the capital Constantinople, many headed for the most dynamic, quasi-independent courts in the 19th century to seek business or work for the ruling elite. Architects, construction workers, wood and stucco workers, potters, jewellers and calligraphers were among those leaving home to find work elsewhere, and much of the architecture and material culture that survives in the region today attests to their presence all over the Arab and Ottoman world.