Hamidian policy in Eastern (1878-1890)

Date
2008
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Özel, Oktay
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

The Treaty of Berlin, signed in July 1878, marks the appearence of new political dynamics for Eastern Anatolian affairs. The stipulation of the reforms for the protection of the Armenians from Kurdish and Circassian attacks, and the supervision of these reforms by the British authorities were to effect the relations of the Eastern Anatolian populations with the state. The thesis examines the roots of conflicts between the Kurdish and Armenian populations, which was problematized by the aforementioned treaty. Moreover, state policies towards the region are discussed in detail. The state had now two equally important concerns regarding its dealings with the Muslim populations. The first was the immediate attainment of a state of security, for insecurity was used as an argument against the legitimacy of the Ottoman state ruling over Christian populations. The second was abstaining from actions which would alienate the Muslim populations from the Ottoman state. The notables were the agents who held practical power in the region, and the state was too new and foreign to the area to break their influence. This made conciliation with notables imperative. The state was hence faced with the formidable task of balancing the need to conciliate with the notables and the need to keep their actions under control. This thesis examines the situation of the tribal structure with a focus on the peculiarities of the socio-political traditions, as well as the state’s perception of this structure and its concerns in dealings with the region in the specified period.

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