Some Notes on the Settlement of Northern Caucasians in Eastern Anatolia and Their Adaptation Problems (the Second Half of the XIXth Century - the Beginning of the XXth Century), by Georgi Chochiev and Bekir Koç
Journal of Asian History, 40/1 (2006), pp. 80-103.
I-Socio-Political Situation of Eastern Anatolia during the Process of the Settlement of Northern Caucasian Refugees
Although the migration of Northern Caucasian refugees (or Circassians in their common name to Eastern Anatolia was reflective of the settlement policy of the Ottoman Empire, it also had certain particularities stemming from the demographic and socio-economic structure of the eastern provinces. Hence, one of the most significant characteristics of Eastern Anatolia was the high ethno-religious heterogeneity of the population that was around 2,5 million in the second half of the XIXth century. The population of the region in question comprised of Turks, who had significant lead in the northern and western parts of the region; Kurds, who were mostly divided into tribal and local factions; Armenians, who had no pre-eminence with a few exceptions; and Assyrians and Arabs concentrated in the south.
Another characteristic that had marked every aspect of condition of Eastern Anatolia was the lack of control by the central administration. The areas under control were mainly restricted to cities, villages close to these cities, and some contiguous with Russia and Iran areas where regular troops were kept. As for the greater part of Eastern Anatolian Plateau, among the groups taking advantage of the limited state-control there, first and foremost were the nomadic, or semi-nomadic tribes that often tightly competed with each other over influence on the region. Lacking sufficient material and human resources, the state usually allowed disorder and competition, and in many cases sought ways to establish agreements with the most influential tribes of the region.