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The Ottoman Empire was challenged in the nineteenth century to address, organize, and manage the mass influx of peoples from its border lands with Imperial Russia into its southern provinces. The Refugee and Immigrant Code and Commission, together with the General Administration for Refugee Affairs established the first 'modern' systems of resettlement. This chapter examines the context and mechanisms which the Ottoman Sublime Porte implemented to address the humanitarian crises which unfolded along its borders with Czarist Russia between 1850 and the 1900s. Chatty engages with the significance of the Tanzimaat (Reforms) and the manner in which migrants (refugees and immigrants) were instrumentalized to revive the ailing agricultural sector of the Empire, as well dampen down local feuds among host communities. Many of the humanitarian practices established by the Ottomans continued into the Inter-War Era. However, twentieth and twenty-first-century humanitarianism exhibited ruptures with many of these established practices.

Original publication






Edward Elgar

Publication Date



176 - 181


Resettlement; Reform; Refugee; Empire; Humanitarianism; Practices