Why did they move?

The Pull Factors 5

The Sublime Porte also appreciated the agricultural skills of many of the newcomers. As Rosser-Owen has observed, they brought with them agricultural skills that were greatly in demand. The geographical size of the Ottoman Empire also enabled many Circassians to settle in places that were very similar to home.


What is striking with the locations of settlements of Circassian diasporic groups is that they preferred to settle down in places, which then resembled those lands left behind in the homeland. Those who left their villages, for instance, by river in the homeland, found a new place by another river in diaspora; or those who used to live in the outskirts of a green mountain found a new home in a similar geography in diaspora. It is not only the selection of the place to settle down, which displays the commitment of the Circassians to construct a diasporic home, or space, away from the homeland, but also the way they reified their culture poses the same tendency.

Ayhan Kaya, Circassian Diaspora in Turkey: Stereotypes, Prejudices and Ethnic Relations in Nedret Kuran-Burcoglu and S. G. Miller (eds.). Representations of the Others in the Meditarrenean World and their Impact on the Region, Istanbul: The ISIS Press, 2005: 217-240


The Circassians showed themselves to be skilled agriculturalists, helping in the introduction of new machinery and cultivation methods, and for the most part developing flourishing settlements out of previously uncultivated land.

S. Rosser-Owen, The First Circassian Exodus to the Ottoman Empire 1858-1867, unpublished MA Thesis, 2007