chapter  7
18 Pages

Migration and the state: On Ottoman regulations concerning migration since the age of Mahmud II


In the past there has been a tendency to view migration as an expression of social crisis or as a functional failure of economic structures. Although it is clear by now that migration constitutes a regular phenomenon in most socio-economic structures throughout history,1 there still seems to be some hesitation in including itinerant groups and itinerancy into the overall picture of migration.2 However, if we adopt the state’s perspective, as is the intention of this chapter, we realise that itinerant groups and homeless people have been the subject of law-making and administrative repression in Europe at least since early modern times. As most of these itinerant people were poor, many of these measures were carried out in the context of the poor law.3