Yürüks in the Ottoman Balkans
Language: English


     This book is devoted to some periodically discussed but still insufficiently researched problems of the Ottoman past of the Balkans. Among them are the place of pastoralist communities in the imperial system and “society of societies”, their migrations, their role in the economy and in the processes of demographic, religious and cultural change. The main subject of study are the Yürüks, an initially nomadic and tribal Turkish-speaking Muslim community, whose past is traced in a Braudelian longue duree perspective.
     For centuries on end the Yürüks were a significant group even though they were less numerous than the surrounding sedentary communities in the Ottoman Balkans (Rumelia). It was formed on the basis of various nomadic and tribal groups from Asia Minor that migrated into Southeastern Europe during and after the Ottoman conquest. Among them were part of the ancestors of the present-day Turks who live in the region. As nomadic and sedentary groups, and is auxiliaries, the Yürüks have a variable in time but tangible presence in the history of the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire. Their name means walkingwandering people and they lived up to it, having traversed a long historical path. Once a mainstay of the early Ottoman regime, they eventually became a marginalized and relatively isolated community; earlier, a locally influential factor in the life of the Balkan peoples, today they are a small group living out their time in some twenty villages in the Republic of North Macedonia.


Table of contents



Chapter one. Yürüks, Ottomans and nation-states

Chapter two. Yürük colonization

1. Yürük settlement in the Balkans

1.1. Nomadic and other migrations

1.2. Yürük sancaks

1.3. Anatolian tribal elements in Rumelia

2. Spatial dimensions

2.1. Geographical scope

2.2. Yürüks and Vlachs

3. Demographic dimensions

3.1. Yürüks, Tatars and Gypsies/Roma

3.2. Yürüks and “New Muslims”

3.3. Numbers

Chapter three. Yürüks, military organization and the Ottomans

1. Ottoman regulations and the Yürüks

1.1. Laws and practices

1.2. Commanders and clerics

1.3. Yürüks and Müsellems

1.4. Yürüks nad subjects

2. Social structures of the Balkan Yürüks

Chapter four. Two case studies: Southwestern Bulgaria and the Rhodope Mountains

1. Yürüks in the Upper Struma Region in the 16th-19th centuries

1.1. The sixteenth century

1.2. The seventeenth-nineteenth centuries

2. The Rhodopian case in the context of others

Chapter five. Yürüks in the Balkans in the 17th  early 20th centuries

1. “Descendants of the conquerors”

2. New reforms

3. Balkan “Yürüklüks”

4. Yürüks, Aromanians and Karakachans

5. Nomadic and other ways of life




Publisher The American Research Center in Sofia
Language Englsih
Pages 500
Illustrations b/w figures
Binding paperback
ISBN 978-619-90846-2-5
Creation date 2020
Size 16 х 24 cm

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