Nomads, Migrants and Cotton in the Eastern Mediterranean

The Making of the Adana-Mersin Region, 1850-1908

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This book discusses the transformation of southeast Anatolia during the 19th century. The analysis, which revolves around cotton production in the Adana Plain, enriches our knowledge of how people from different backgrounds came together to build a new social milieu in the late Ottoman period. Through the analysis of the dynamics between the multi-layered processes of sedentarization, Egypt’s experience with cotton cultivation, the extension of the cultivated area via large scale landholding patterns, and the establishment of the brand new port-city of Mersin, this book shows how former nomads and settlers, many of whom had arrived there only recently, created a commercially viable region almost from scratch in an age of changing state-society relations.
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Table of contents

CONTENTS

List of Tables ...................................................................................... ix
List of Maps and Illustrations ......................................................... xi
List of Abbreviations ......................................................................... xiii
Note on Weights, Measure and Currencies .................................. xv
Acknowledgements ............................................................................ xvii

Introduction ........................................................................................ 1
Between Local and Global: A Story of Ottoman Modernization? ........................... 1
Reform in Provincial History: Toward a New Context .......... 7
Ottoman Çukurova: Beyond the Province of Adana or the Cilician Territory .......... 10

PART I
THE LANDSCAPE, THE PEOPLE AND THE STATE
Chapter One Spatial and Temporal Dynamics: Nomads and Settlers .................... 19
The Landscape and the People: An Historical Geography .... 21
From Nomadic Life to Sedentarization: 18th and 19th Centuries ............................. 29
Chapter Two The State: Political and Legal Dynamics from the Egyptians to the Ottoman Reforms ......... 41
Egyptian Penetration and New Beginnings, 1832–1840 ......... 41
Ibrahim Pasha in Çukurova .................................................... 42
Laborers, Irrigation, Crops: New Measures ......................... 46
Administering Balance: Urban and Rural Çukurova ......... 49
Achilles’ Heel: What Egyptians Did Not Do ....................... 51
The Aftermath of Egyptian Rule ............................................ 53
Ottoman Involvement: New Frameworks, 1839–1880 ........... 55
Tanzimat and Provincial Reform in Çukurova ....................... 57
Provincial Networks: The Later Additions ........................... 59
Local Government: Çukurova Configured and Configuring Çukurova ......... 61
Forced Settlement ..................................................................... 65
Settlement of Immigrants in the 1870s ................................. 73

PART II
CONSTRUCTION OF THE REGIONAL ECONOMY
Chapter Three Migration and Family Networks: Enterprising a Port-City .............. 85
Spatial Beginnings: The Port and the Town ............................. 88
Surrounding Mersin: Roads, the Railroad and Caravans ... 94
Migrants and Merchants: The Human Network ..................... 106
Chapter Four A New Region: Landholders and Industrialists .................................. 135
Producing Cotton: Setbacks and Prospects .............................. 138
Extension of Cultivation: Cotton, “everybody’s concern” 138
Registering Land and Importing Machinery: Wealth in Çukurova from the 1870s to the 1890s ......... 160
Mechanization ........................................................................... 168
Estate Formation: The Ceyhan Sub-region .......................... 176
Industrial Production ................................................................... 182
Conclusion .......................................................................................... 189

By Way of an Epilogue: World War I and After ..................... 198
Bibliography ........................................................................................ 205
Index .................................................................................................... 219