Demographic structure and settlement patterns of North-Eastern Bulgaria : a case study on Niğbolu Sandjak (1479-1483)
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This thesis examines demographic structure and settlement patterns of Niğbolu Sandjak in the the last two decades of the fifteenth century. Seen through the data provided by the Ottoman tax and population censuses (tahrir defterleri), the research shows the demographic movements of native Christians in the sandjak and new settlers coming from the Asia Minor. The thesis examines the presence of Turkic people in the region from 5th century to the end of the 15th century. Based on the two 15th century icmâl defters of Niğbolu Sandjak, this study focuses on recovery of pre-Ottoman settlemets and establishment of new Turkish settlements. Also this study criticizes the catastroph theory of Hristo Gandev who developed one of the leading demographic theories of Marxist Balkan historiography. The information we get from the icmâl defters does not consistant with Gandev’s Catastrophy Theory. Following the conquest of the region, neither a quick Turkification nor a mass-Islamization was happened in the sandjak but the secure and peacefull environment provided the infrastructure of these Islamizationa and Turkification processes for the sixteenth century.