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The Reşwan Kurds and Ottoman Tribal Settlement in Syria, 1683-1741

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The Reşwan were one of the most important tribal confederations in the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth century. Yet their history remains almost completely ignored, while the few contemporary authors who refer them almost invariably fail to mention that they were Kurds. This article seeks to retrace the history of the Reşwan confederation and particularly their place in the Ottoman imperial tribal settlement (iskan) scheme of the eighteenth century. Drawing on both Ottoman chancery documents and local şeriat archives, it seeks to show that the Reşwan enjoyed relatively good relations with the Ottoman authorities and a high degree of integration with other groups in northern Syria and Mesopotamia, with individual members attaining high office in the region. While the Reşwan name has virtually disappeared, members of the confederation in Turkey today still trace their origins to the Syrian settlement initiative.

Affiliations: 1: Université du Québec à Montréal winter.stefan@uqam.ca

10.1163/22138617-12340151
/content/journals/10.1163/22138617-12340151
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2017-10-05
2017-11-18

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