Migrations within the Ottoman Empire
Nomadic tribes
Not all migrations within the Ottoman Empire were for political or economic reasons – the migration patterns of pastoral and nomadic peoples had existed for centuries.
In the Ottoman Empire, Arab, Kurdish and Turkoman nomads lived a life of regular migration. Kurds and Turkomans lived mainly in Anatolia and the villages between Aleppo and the Euphrates; Bedouin Arabs across Iraq, Syria, the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula. Nomadic groups affected the history of the Arab and Ottoman world by supporting, opposing or eluding the objectives of the authorities. Traditionally bound to migratory patterns and lifestyles linked to seasonal pastoralism or agriculture, they also interacted with settled communities as casual labourers, traders or guards protecting land and borders. Cooperation between authorities and tribal leaders benefited both sides well into the 19th century, when changing social, economic and political conditions made the Ottomans move towards settling nomads and curtailing their migratory freedom.
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Migrations within the Ottoman Empire

Traders and craftsmen
Refugee victims of the break-up of the Ottoman Empire
Nomadic tribes
Chiefs of nomadic Arab tribes in Syria visit the Abbot Desmazure, Latin father of the Saint-Sépulcre in the Convent of the Latin Fathers of Jerusalem, built on mount Gihon


National Library of France , Paris, France

Lithographer: Féraud, Matelot (?)

This image gives a glimpse of the interaction between nomadic Arab tribes and local centres of religious and political power. In 1827, the chiefs of Syrian Arab tribes visited Abbé Desmazure, a famous French missionary, at the monastery of the Church Fathers in Jerusalem, where he was trying to find a solution to the religious tensions prevailing in the local Christian community.

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Migrations within the Ottoman Empire
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