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THE OTTOMAN QUAGMIRE: MALARIA, SWAMPS, AND SETTLEMENT IN THE LATE OTTOMAN MEDITERRANEAN

  • Chris Gratien (a1)
Abstract

During the late Ottoman period, a large influx of migrants and the expansion of cultivation created opportunities for new settlements in the countryside of Anatolia, Greater Syria, and Iraq. However, settlement often brought misery to newcomers in the form of malaria, especially when it occurred in the lowlands of the Mediterranean. This article traces the contours of the encounter with malaria that arose out of settlement, offering an overview of how Ottoman state and society confronted the conundrum of the swamp and examining the impact of this confrontation on local political economies. It demonstrates that swamps and malaria were a significant concern for late Ottoman state and society, and that policies adopted to address malaria sometimes facilitated the creation of large estates in the countryside of the Mediterranean littoral.

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NOTES

Author's note: Special thanks to Graham Pitts, Robert Greeley, Hande Özkan, and Samuel Liebhaber from the “Working Papers on the Environment and Society in the Middle East” workshop at Middlebury College, as well as Sam Dolbee, Malgorzata Kurjanska, Zachary Howlett, Seçil Yılmaz, and the peer reviewers. This research was funded in part by SSRC-IDRF.

1 Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (BOA), Bâb-I Âli Evrâk Odası (BEO) 995/74567 (17 August 1897).

2 Collins, Ralph, “Köylerde Malarya Epidemiolojisi ve Korunması Hakkında bir Araştırma,” Türk Hıfzıssıha ve Tecrübî Biyoloji Mecmuası 2, no. 2 (1940): 528 . See also Evered, Kyle T., “Draining an Anatolian Desert: Overcoming Water, Wetlands, and Malaria in Early Republican Ankara,” Cultural Geographies 21 (2014): 475–96.

3 Chatty, Dawn, Displacement and Dispossession in the Modern Middle East (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010). See also Blumı, Isa, Ottoman Refugees, 1878–1939: Migration in a Post-Imperial World (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 116 .

4 Recent scholarship on migration and the remaking of the late Ottoman countryside increasingly cites disease and public health as important components. See Ella Fratantuono, “Migration Administration in the Making of the Late Ottoman Empire” (PhD diss., Michigan State University, 2016), 128–66.

5 Kaplan, Eran and Penslar, Derek Jonathan, The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948: A Documentary History (Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), 59 .

6 For select works not cited elsewhere in this article, see Mikhail, Alan, Water on Sand: Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); White, Sam, The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Mikhail, Alan, Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Davis, Diana K., Resurrecting the Granary of Rome: Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2007); Davis, Diana K. and Burke, Edmund, eds., Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2011); Tvedt, Terje, The River Nile in the Age of the British: Political Ecology and the Quest for Economic Power (London: I.B.Tauris, 2004); Onur İnal, “A Port and Its Hinterland: An Environmental History of Izmir in the Late-Ottoman Period” (PhD diss., The University of Arizona, 2015); Michael Christopher Low, “The Mechanics of Mecca: The Technopolitics of the Late Ottoman Hijaz and the Colonial Hajj” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 2015); Zozan Pehlivan, “Beyond ‘the Desert and the Sown’: Peasants, Pastoralists, and Climate Crises in Ottoman Diyarbekir, 1840–1890” (PhD diss., Queens College, 2016); Samuel Dolbee, “The Locust and the Starling: People, Insects, and Disease in the Late Ottoman Jazira and After, 1860–1940” (PhD diss., New York University, 2017); and Husain, Faisal, “In the Bellies of the Marshes: Water and Power in the Countryside of Ottoman Baghdad,” Environmental History 19 (2014): 638–64.

7 Perreault, Thomas Albert, Bridge, Gavin, and McCarthy, James, The Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology (New York: Routledge, 2015), 7 .

8 The term Tanzimat is an umbrella for a series of fundamental reforms carried out by the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and 1876.

9 See Webb, James L. A., Humanity's Burden: A Global History of Malaria (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 1991, 114–26. See also Marks, Robert, Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); Blackbourn, David, The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany (New York: Norton, 2006); and McNeill, John Robert, Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620–1914 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

10 See Watts, Michael, Silent Violence: Food, Famine, & Peasantry in Northern Nigeria (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1983).

11 On Ottoman plague and quarantine scholarship, see Varlık, Nükhet, Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World: The Ottoman Experience, 1347–1600 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016); Ayalon, Yaron, Natural Disasters in the Ottoman Empire: Plague, Famine, and other Misfortunes (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014); Bulmuş, Birsen, Plague, Quarantines and Geopolitics in the Ottoman Empire (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012); Mikhail, Alan, “The Nature of Plague in Late Eighteenth-Century Egypt,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 82 (2008): 249–75; Panzac, Daniel, La peste dans l'Empire Ottoman, 1700–1850 (Leuven: Éditions Peeters, 1985); and Nuran Yıldırım, “Osmanlı Coğrafyasında Karantina Uygulamalarına İsyanlar: ‘Karantina İstemezük!,’” Toplumsal Tarih (2006): 18–27.

12 For discussion of malaria in the Mediterranean during the early modern period, see Tabak, Faruk, The Waning of the Mediterranean, 1550–1870: A Geohistorical Approach (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 189242 .

13 Tuğluoğlu, Fatih, “Türkiye'de Sıtma Mücadelesi (1924–1950),” Türkiye parazitolojii dergisi 32 (2008): 353 .

14 Osborne, Thomas, “On Anti-Medicine and Clinical Reason,” in Reassessing Foucault: Power, Medicine and the Body, ed. Jones, Colin and Porter, Roy (New York: Routledge, 1994), 2847 .

15 Fahmy, Khaled, “Medicine and Power: Towards a Social History of Medicine in Nineteenth-Century Egypt,” Cairo Papers in Social Science 23 (2000): 16 .

16 Mikhail, “The Nature of Plague,” 249.

17 There are two main species of malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum. P. vivax is typically associated with less severe fevers and symptoms and spreads easily to temperate climates. P. falciparum, considered the “tropical” strain, is more severe and fatal but more limited in its climatic range. Tevfik Rüştü mentions that in Anatolia, the more virulent strain of malaria was referred to as “black malaria/fever” (kara sıtma). Tevfik Rüştü, Sıtma'ya Karşı Muharebe (Selanik: Rumeli Matbaası, 1910), 1.

18 Ottoman writers referred to the environmental presence of malaria in various ways, but describing the air as vahim (heavy, severe) or the presence of vahamet-i hava (heaviness of air) are the most common in the Ottoman documentation employed in this article.

19 McNeill, William H., Plagues and Peoples (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1976), 255 . See also Curtin, Philip D., Death by Migration: Europe's Encounter with the Tropical World in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). For views of miasma in the Ottoman context, see Shefer-Mossensohn, Miri, Ottoman Medicine: Healing and Medical Institutions, 1500–1700 (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2009), 170–79.

20 Latour, Bruno, The Pasteurization of France (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988), 144–45; Moulin, Anne Marie, “Tropical without the Tropics: The Turning-Point of Pastorian Medicine in North Africa,” in Warm Climates and Western Medicine: The Emergence of Tropical Medicine, 1500–1900, ed. Arnold, David (Atlanta, Ga.: Rodopi, 1996), 160–80.

21 Ersoy, Nermin, Doktor Feyzullah İzmidi (Kocaeli, Turkey: self-published, 1998), 9 ; İzmidi, Feyzullah, Sıtma: Maraz-ı Merzagi (Istanbul: Tanin, 1911), 23 .

22 İzmidi, Sıtma, 9–11.

23 White, Sam, “Rethinking Disease in Ottoman History,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42 (2010): 554–55.

24 Webb, Humanity's Burden, 14–16.

25 BOA, Meclis-i Vâlâ Riyâseti (MVL) 310/45 (2 June 1857); Barker, William Burckhardt and Ainsworth, William, Cilicia, Its Former History and Present State (London: R. Griffin, 1862), 115 . See also Kilikia: pʻordz ashkharhagrutʻean ardi Kilikioy, Matenadaran Arak‘si (Peterburg: Tparan I. Libermani, 1894), 34; and Edib, Mehmed and Bianchi, Thomas Xavier, Itinéraire de Constantinople à la Mecque (Paris: Everat, 1840), 829 .

26 Langlois, Victor, Voyage dans la Cilicie et dans les montagnes du Taurus: éxécuté pendant les années 1852–1853 (Paris: Duprat, 1861), 2123 .

27 Similar patterns of transhumance shared by Shiʿi “tribes” and Maronite villagers in Mount Lebanon point to the widespread nature of this phenomenon in the Ottoman Empire. Winter, Stefan, The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman rule, 1516–1788 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 61 ; Farshee, Louis, The Way of the Emigrants: Badawi and Catherine Simon in America (Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, 2010), 34 . Nükhet Varlık mentions seasonal migration as a means of evading early modern plague, demonstrating that shared avoidance strategies offered effective prophylaxis for multiple diseases within early modern Ottoman understandings of disease. Varlık, Plague and Empire, 35.

28 Tabak, The Waning of the Mediterranean, 242–97. See also McNeill, John, The Mountains of the Mediterranean World: An Environmental History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

29 See Dronamraju, Krishna R. and Arese, Paolo, Malaria: Genetic and Evolutionary Aspects (Dordrecht: Springer, 2006).

30 Belich, James, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783–1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

31 Richards, John F., The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2003).

32 Kuehn, Thomas, Empire, Islam, and Politics of Difference: Ottoman Rule in Yemen, 1849–1919 (Leiden: Brill, 2011); Minawi, Mostafa, The Ottoman Scramble for Africa: Empire and Diplomacy in the Sahara and the Hijaz (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2016).

33 See Yücel Terzibaşoğlu, “Landlords, Nomads and Refugees: Struggles over Land and Population Movements in North-Western Anatolia (1877–1914)” (PhD diss., University of London, 2003); and Milen V. Petrov, “Tanzimat for the Countryside: Midhat Pasa and the Vilayet of Danube, 1864–1868” (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2006).

34 Tabak, The Waning of the Mediterranean, 293–94. This is a rough estimate. Difficulties in tracking migrant populations, high mortality along the journey and in early years of settlement, and return migration render quantification challenging and subjective. For more, see Karpat, Kemal H., Ottoman Population, 1830–1914: Demographic and Social Characteristics (Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985).

35 On the creation of the Muhacirin Commission, see David Cuthell, “The Muhacirin Komisyonu: An Agent in the Transformation of Ottoman Anatolia, 1860–1866” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 2005). See also Fratantuono, “Migration Administration in the Making of the Late Ottoman Empire”; and Blumı, Ottoman Refugees.

36 For an overview, see Kasaba, Reşat, A Moveable Empire: Ottoman Nomads, Migrants, and Refugees (Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 2009), 84139 . This article does not mean to suggest that in prior centuries, migration and sedentarization were not important themes. For examples, see Orhonlu, Cengiz, Osmanlı imparatorluğunda aşiretlerin iskânı (Istanbul: Eren, 1987); Tabak, The Waning of the Mediterranean; and Özel, Oktay, The Collapse of Rural Order in Ottoman Anatolia: Amasya 1576–1643 (Leiden: Brill, 2016).

37 Petrov, “Tanzimat for the Countryside.”

38 See Ceylan, Ebubekir, The Ottoman Origins of Modern Iraq: Political Reform, Modernization and Development in the Nineteenth-Century Middle East (London: I.B.Tauris, 2011).

39 On Cevdet, see Chambers, Richard L., “The Education of a Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Âlim, Ahmed Cevdet Paşa,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 4 (1973): 440–64; and Neumann, Christoph K., Araç tarih amaç Tanzimat: Tarih-i Cevdet'in siyasi anlami, trans. Meltem Arun (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 2000).

40 Eroğlu, Cengiz, Babuçoğlu, Murat, and Köçer, Mehmet, Osmanlı vilayet salnamelerinde Halep (Ankara: Global Strateji Enstitüsü, 2007), 3740 .

41 Petrov, “Tanzimat for the Countryside,” 346–71.

42 See Andrew Gordon Gould, “Pashas and Brigands: Ottoman Provincial Reform and Its Impact on the Nomadic Tribes of Southern Anatolia, 1840–1885” (PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1973); and Toksöz, Meltem, Nomads, Migrants and Cotton in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Making of the Adana–Mersin Region, 1850–1908 (Leiden: Brill, 2010).

43 Norman Lewis describes this settlement process as relatively haphazard but Ottoman documentation is fairly detailed to the point of including a large map. See BOA, İ-DH 546/38018; Lewis, Norman N., Nomads and Settlers in Syria and Jordan, 1800–1980 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); and Chatty, Displacement and Dispossession, 108–9.

44 BOA, İrade-Dahiliye (İ-DH) 1294/101717, no. 3 (15 August 1869).

45 See Kasaba, A Moveable Empire, 5–8.

46 BOA, İ-DH 1294/101717, no. 4 (4 August 1869).

47 See Cevdet, Ahmet, Tezakir, vol. 3 (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1986); and Cevdet, Ahmet and Halaçoğlu, Yusuf, Maruzat (Istanbul: Çağrı Yayınları, 1980).

48 Cevdet, Ahmed, Tarih-i Cevdet, vols. 1–2 (Istanbul: Matbaa-yı Osmaniye, 1891), 15 . See also Meriç, Ümit, Cevdet Paşanın cemiyet ve devlet görüsü (Istanbul: Ötüken Yayinevi, 1975).

49 Cevdet refers directly to this understanding of the relationship between malaria and settlement as formulated in the writings of Ibn Khaldun. Cevdet and Halaçoğlu, Maruzat, 182. See Khaldun, Ibn, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, trans. Franz Rosenthal (New York: Pantheon Books, 1958).

50 İzmidi, Sıtma, 17.

51 Ibid., 14.

52 On the post–Crimean War migrants in Adana and their mortality, see BOA, Sadaret-Mektubi Kalemi-Mühimme (A}-MKT-MHM) 223/3 (23 June 1861); and The National Archives (TNA), Foreign Office (FO) 222/7/1, 1880 No. 12, Bennet to Goschen, Adana (15 December 1880). On the Russo-Ottoman War migrants, see BOA, İrade-Şûra-yı Devlet (İ-ŞD) 40/2123, no. 2 (28 August 1878); and Favre, Camille and Mandrot, B., Voyage en Cilicie (Paris: C. Delagrave, 1878), 40 . The only Ottoman document that I could locate directly referring to the mortality of sedentarized pastoralists in Çukurova refers to “the loss of a great many lives in terms of population and livestock”; BOA, ŞD 2117/55, No. 4 (19 May 1876). A British official in the empire stated that roughly half of those settlers had died after just a few summers on the plain; TNA, FO 424/132, p. 110, Bennet to Dufferin (22 March 1882). Gould has argued for evidence of high mortality based on official population figures, though the weakness of the data eludes precise quantification. Gould, Andrew G., “The Burning of the Tents,” in Humanist and Scholar: Essays in Honor of Andreas Tietze, ed. Lowry, Heath and Quataert, Donald (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1993).

53 See TNA, FO 195/800; and BOA, A}-MKT-MHM 357/81 (7 June 1866).

54 BOA, DH-Muhacirin Komisyonu (MHC) 1/40, no. 2 (17 February 1870).

55 BOA, DH-Mektubi Kalemi (MKT) 1953/84 (26 May 1892); DH-Şifre (ŞFR) 346/36 (3 June 1905).

56 A-MKT-Umum Vilayat (UM) 500/3 (3 August 1861). For discussion of mortality, see Petrov, “Tanzimat for the Countryside,” 351–52.

57 See BOA, DH-Muhaberât-ı Umumiye (MUİ) 99/82, No. 1-3; DH-Hukuk Müşavirliği (HMŞ) 27/68 (10 March 1916). Public health officials established formal health precautions for the foundation of new villages, singling out swamps as the primary source of health issues such as malaria. Yeni Tesis Olunacak Köylerde Nazar-ı Dikkate Alınacak Esasat-ı Sıhhiye ve Mevcut Köylerin Bu Cihetleden Mümkün Olduğu Kadar Islahı (Istanbul: Ahmed İhsan ve Şürekası, 1914), 4–5.

58 BOA, İ-MVL 586/26367 No. 11 (23 August 1860).

59 BOA, ŞD 2117/55, No. 4 (19 May 1876); İ- Meclis-i Mahsus (MMS) 60/2843, No. 3 (23 October 1878).

60 Nora Elizabeth Barakat, “An Empty Land? Nomads and Property Administration in Hamidian Syria” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2015), 50–51.

61 Terzibaşoğlu, “Landlords, Nomads and Refugees”; Köksal, Yonca, “Coercion and Mediation: Centralization and Sedentarization of Tribes in the Ottoman Empire,” Middle Eastern Studies 42 (2006): 469–91; Avcı, Yasemin, “The Application of Tanzimat in the Desert: The Bedouins and the Creation of a New Town in Southern Palestine (1860–1914),” Middle Eastern Studies 45 (2009): 969–83; Suat Dede, “From Nomadism to Sedentary Life in Central Anatolia: The Case of Rışvan Tribe (1830–1932)” (PhD diss., Bilkent University, 2011); Deringil, Selim, “‘They Live in a State of Nomadism and Savagery’: The Late Ottoman Empire and the Post-Colonial Debate,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 45 (2003): 311–42.

62 See Klein, Janet, The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2011).

63 By the post-1908 constitutional period, the Ottoman health ministry claimed successes in reducing malaria rates through the dissemination of quinine medicines. Sıhhiye Mecmuası, vol. 11 (1911), 1095–100. For more on quinine in the Ottoman Empire, see Günergun, Feza and Etker, Şeref, “From Quinaquina to ‘Quinine Law’: A Bitter Chapter in the Westernization of Turkish Medicine,” Osmanlı Bilim Araştırmaları 14 (2013): 4168 . The Ministry of Public Works also promoted the cultivation of eucalyptus, sometimes referred to as “the malaria tree,” which was touted by European scientists as healthful and later understood to aid in the desiccation of swampy land. Abdüllatif, Orman ve Maden ve Ziraat Mecmuası, vol. 9 (Istanbul: Estepan Matbaası, 1894). See also BOA, DH-İdare (İD) 44-2/1. For global comparisons, see Farmer, Jared, Trees in Paradise: A California History (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013); and Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome, 102–8.

64 See Davis, Diana K., The Arid Lands: History, Power, Knowledge (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2016); and Di Palma, Vittoria, Wasteland: A History (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2014).

65 BOA, BEO 4048/303549 (5 June 1912). The Ministry of Public Works produced a map showing the locations of wetlands that were to be drained, with intense concentrations in modern-day Iraq and along the Mediterranean coast; BOA, Haritalar (HRT-h) 372 (c1914). For many examples of proposed swamp drainage, see the records of the Ministry of Public Works at the Ottoman archives, especially boxes under the heading T-NF-VRK.

66 On Ottoman economy and debt, see Birdal, Murat, The Political Economy of Ottoman Public Debt: Insolvency and European Financial Control in the Late Nineteenth Century (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

67 Teonge, Henry, The Diary of Henry Teonge (London: Routledge, 2005), 112 ; Brémond, Sébastien and Corvo, Giuseppe, Viaggi fatti nell'Egitto superiore et inferiore (Roma: P. Moneta, 1679), 269 ; Teixeira, Pedro, Relaciones de Pedro Texeira (En Amberes: En casa de Hieronymo Verdussen, 1610), 194 ; Edib and Bianchi, Itinéraire de Constantinople à la Mecque, 8–23.

68 An early instance occurred when Ibrahim Pasha made such an attempt after the breakaway government of Egypt invaded Ottoman Syria during the 1830s. Barker and Ainsworth, Cilicia, 114.

69 The Ottoman government first tried to initiate the draining of the swamp during the 1840s. Numerous reports on the lingering impact of İskenderun's swamps with evidence of further measures taken to drain the swamps in 1879, 1893, and 1902; BOA, A-MKT 76/26 (11 April 1847); Bab-ı Asafi- Divan-ı Hümayun (A-DVN) 27/39 (2 July 1847); MVL 241/25, no. 2 (8 September 1851); A-Amedi Kalemi (AMD) 34/16 (8 December 1851); İ-DH 255/15722 (29 July 1852); A-MKT-UM 290/31 (1857); İ-ŞD 1/31 (8 April 1868); Yıldız-Esas Evrakı (Y-EE) 35/94 (31 July 1872); ŞD 2215/65 (10 October 1879); DH-MKT 53/26 (26 August 1893); BEO 2805/210320 (15 April 1906); BEO 2724/204240 (20 January 1903); DH-MKT 2659/5 (10 January 1904).

70 BOA, DH-İD 44-2/18, no. 4 (6 August 1912).

71 Delmas, and Trabaud, , Contribution á létude générale du paludisme en Syrie (Beirut: Imprimerie du Bureau Topographique de l'A.F.L., 1926), 28 .

72 On conversion rates, see Pamuk, Şevket, A Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

73 BOA, Y-EE-d 1085 (10 September 1888), 2–4.

74 A glance at the history of Lake Amik, the desiccation of which was also explored during the late Ottoman period, shows that such eventualities were sometimes far off, as drainage efforts on the lake only began in the 1960s. The draining of Lake Amik is regarded by many as a form of ecological destruction in contemporary Turkey; Vedat Çalışkan, “Human-Induced Wetland Degradation: A Case Study of Lake Amik (Southern Turkey),” in BALWOIS (Ohrid, Macedonia: BALWOIS, 2008). For Ottoman discussion of cleaning Lake Amik, see BOA, DH-MKT 402/65 (27 July 1895); and ŞD 510/23, No. 5 (27 December 1913).

75 BOA, Ticaret ve Nafia-Evrak Odasi (T-NF-VRK) 1373/34, no. 1 (1910/11).

76 See, for example, BOA, DH-MKT 1749/22; BEO 88/6583; and DH-MKT 2592/41.

77 For example, the latest Ottoman correspondence regarding drainage in İskenderun intimated that the area nearest to the port would be cleaned up immediately (ʿacilen) but the rest would be drained eventually (âcilen). BOA, DH-İD 44-2/18, no. 4 (6 August 1912).

78 Toksöz, Nomads, Migrants, and Cotton, 15.

79 Mevat signified uncultivated land that was not possessed by anyone with a deed and not within earshot of a town or village. See Bey, Atıf, Arazi Kanunname-i Hümayunu Şerhi, 2nd ed. (Istanbul: Matbaa-i Hayriye ve Şürekâsı, 1911/12), 4346, 327–37; and Ongley, F. and Miller, Horace E., The Ottoman Land Code (London: W. Clowes and Sons, 1892), 54 .

80 For discussion of different types of empty land, see Barakat, “An Empty Land?,” 29–54.

81 Halil İnalcık, “The Emergence of Big Farms, Çiftliks: State, Landlords, and Tenants”; Veinstein, Gilles, “On the Çiftlik Debate,” in Landholding and Commercial Agriculture in the Middle East, ed. Keyder, Çağlar and Tabak, Faruk (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1991), 1753 .

82 Quataert, Donald, The Ottoman Empire, 1700–1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 132–33. This was true to a large extent even in the comparatively densely cultivated region of Western Anatolia. Kasaba, Reşat, The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy: The Nineteenth Century (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1988), 64.

83 Toksöz, Nomads, Migrants, and Cotton, 64. In his discussion of Aleppo, Bruce Masters equates the land grabs that occurred under this law with the transformative homesteads of the United States from the same period. Masters, “The Political Economy of Aleppo in an Age of Ottoman Reform,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53 (2010): 309.

84 Measurements of the dönüm varied from place to place and time to time but this unit generally refers to one decare or four acres of land.

85 This language appears in correspondence between the Ministry of Public Works and the provinces, for example, in an 1882 letter to the far-flung Province of Hakkari in eastern Anatolia, which is one of the very few references to that province to be found within the Ministry of Public Works. BOA, T-NF-VRK 31/20 (20 December 1882).

86 BOA, T-NF-VRK 51/9 (22 August 1894).

87 BOA, BEO 995/74595, no. 3 (1 October 1893).

88 BOA, BEO 995/74595, no. 4 (23 August 1896).

89 BOA, T-NF-VRK 51/9 (23 August 1901); BEO 1742/130580 (4 November 1901).

90 The word for “immigrant” used in the documentation (muhacir) cited here is the same used to describe Muslim immigrants in Ottoman records.

91 See Shafir, Gershon, Land, Labor, and the Origins of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict, 1882–1914 (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1996), 10 .

92 BOA, DH-MKT 2422/104 (1 November 1900).

93 BOA, BEO 507/37969, no. 2 (24 October 1894). For more on such petitions, see Ben-Bassat, Yuval, Petitioning the Sultan: Protests and Justice in Late Ottoman Palestine, 1865–1908 (London: I.B.Tauris, 2013).

94 For more, see Aharonson, Ran, Rothschild and Early Jewish Colonization in Palestine (Lanham/Jerusalem: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers/Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2000). For discussion of mevat and settlement in Mandate Palestine, see LeVine, Mark, “Land Law and the Planning of Empire: Jaffa and Tel Aviv during the Late Ottoman and Mandate Periods,” in Constituting Modernity: Private Property in the East and West, ed. Islamoğlu-İnan, Huri (London: I.B.Tauris, 2004), 100–46; and Barakat, “An Empty Land?,” 29–36.

95 See Trombetta, Lorenzo, “The Private Archive of the Sursuqs, a Beirut family of Christian Notables: An Early Investigation,” Rivista degli studi orientali 82, no. 1 (2009): 197228 . For a recent study that makes extensive use of the Sursock archive, see Graham Auman Pitts, “Fallow Fields: Famine and the Making of Lebanon” (PhD diss., Georgetown University, 2016). For related family networks in the eastern Mediterranean, see Toksöz, Nomads, Migrants, and Cotton, 106–34.

96 See Fawaz, Leila Tarazi, Merchants and Migrants in Nineteenth-Century Beirut (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983), 85102 ; and Hanssen, Jens, Fin de siècle Beirut: The Making of an Ottoman Provincial Capital (Oxford/New York: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press, 2005).

97 Fawaz, Merchants and Migrants, 93.

98 Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, Sursock 18078, “Proprietes 1895–1901.”

99 BOA, DH-İ-UM-EK 11/65 (9 October 1915).

100 Shafir, Land, Labor, and the Origins of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict, 39.

101 TNA, FO 222/8/2, 1882 No. 3, Bennet to Dufferin, Adana (6 February 1882); BOA, DH-İD 160-2/56, No. 5 (24 February 1909).

102 Toksöz, Nomads, Migrants, and Cotton, 179–80.

103 Terzibaşoğlu, “Landlords, Nomads and Refugees,” 138.

104 See Mundy, Martha and Smith, Richard Saumarez, Governing Property: Law, Administration, and Production in Ottoman Syria (London: I.B.Tauris, 2007).

105 1323 Senesi Avrupa-yı Osmani Zıraat İstatistiği (Istanbul: Mahmud Bey Matbaası, 1910); 1325 senesi Asya ve Afrika-yı Osmani Zıraat İstatistiği (Istanbul: Matbaa-ı Osmaniye, 1911).

106 Official estimates of the size of these labor flows indicated a rising number ranging from around 50,000 to 80,000 by the end of the Ottoman period. BOA, HR-SFR (3) 282/31, No. 52 (11 February 1885); DH-İ-UM 59-2/1 31, no. 12-13, Hakkı to Dahiliye (13 December 1915).

107 Şerafeddin Mağmumi and Cahit Kayra, Bir Osmanlı Doktoru'nun Anıları (Istanbul: Boyut, 2001), 175.

108 BOA, BEO 3599/269906, no. 2 (27 June 1909).

109 The minutes of the Ottoman parliament contain intense debates about the relationship between malaria and rice cultivation. Türkiye Büyük Meclis-i Mebusan, MM 1/8, vol. 2, ink50, pp. 612–20 (23 February 1909).

110 Pirinç Ziraatı Kanunnamesi (Istanbul: Matbaa-yı Amire, 1910/11), 4.

111 See Kyle T. Evered and Emine Ö. Evered, “A Conquest of Rice: Agricultural Expansion, Impoverishment, and Malaria in Turkey,” Historia Agrarica (2015): 103–36.

112 Hanna Minah, al-Mustanqaʿ (Beirut: Dar al-Adab, 1986).

113 See Kemal, Yaşar, Çukurova Yana Yana (Istanbul: Yeditepe Yayınları, 1955); Binboğalar Efsanesi: Roman (Istanbul: YKY, 1971; 2004); and Memed, My Hawk (New York: Pantheon Books, 1961).

114 Scott, James C., Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1998), 343 .

115 Blumı, Ottoman Refugees, 5.

116 Bayly, C. A., The Birth of the Modern World, 1780–1914: Global Connections and Comparisons (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2004), 6 .

117 Moulin, “Tropical without the Tropics,” 173. See Samanta, Arabinda, Malarial Fever in Colonial Bengal, 1820–1939: Social History of an Epidemic (Kolkata: Firma KLM, 2002); Humphreys, Margaret, Malaria: Poverty, Race, and Public Health in the United States (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 4968 ; Webb, Humanity's Burden, 121–23.

118 Mitchell, Timothy, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2002), 1553 .

119 On Turkey, see Tekeli, İlhan and İlkin, Selim, “Türkiye'de Sıtma Mücadelesinin Tarihi,” in 70. yılında ulusal ve uluslararası boyutlarıyla Atatürk’ün büyük Nutuk'u ve dönemi, ed. Kundakçı, Gül E. (Ankara: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, 1999). See also Evered, Kyle T. and Evered, Emine Ö., “Governing Population, Public Health, and Malaria in the Early Turkish Republic,” Journal of Historical Geography 37 (2011): 470–82; and Evered, and Emine, , “State, Peasant, Mosquito: The Biopolitics of Public Health Education and Malaria in Early Republican Turkey,” Journal of Political Geography 31 (2012): 311–23. On the yishuv in Mandate Palestine, see Sufian, Sandra M., Healing the Land and the Nation: Malaria and the Zionist Project in Palestine, 1920–1947 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). For the comparable case of Italy, see Snowden, Frank M., The Conquest of Malaria: Italy, 1900–1962 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006). See also Biggs, David A., Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta (Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 2010).

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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
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