Why did they move?

The Pull Factors 3

At this time it was not just the Circassians who were seeking a new life in the Ottoman Empire. Crimean Tatars, the Nogai and Muslims from the Balkans were also migrating westwards. Why did the Empire welcome so many immigrants at this time? 


The Empire had just experienced a series of disastrous wars, nationalist movements were emerging in the Balkans seeking independence from Ottoman rule and the Ottoman economy was badly in debt particularly to the Western powers.


The newly-arrived Circassians were seen as a source of recruitment for the army and as settlers in areas of the Empire where there was unrest or the populations were difficult to control.


[At first] the Circassians were settled in Constance, Varna, Sofia, Pristina, Kosovo, Plevne and surrounding regions.

Marc Pinson, “Ottoman Colonization of the Circassians in Rumili after the Crimean War”, Études Balkaniques 3, Academie Bulgare des Sciences, Sofia, 1972.