Mehmet Safa Saracoglu
- Assistant Professor
- Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
An attempt at understanding the interaction between Vidin County [present-day Bulgaria] and the Ottoman Empire in the late nineteenth Century
This dissertation focuses on the administrative and judiciary practices in Vidin County. During the nineteenth century, the region witnessed a rising trend in population and economic activity, massive immigration of various ethnic groups, and a prototypal application of administrative reforms that were later applied on an empire-wide scale. Overlapping of these three processes led to a series of uprisings contributing to Bulgarian independence in 1877; and the empire used the feedback from local units in restructuring its reform policy. These outcomes made the local administrative, judiciary practices, and the ways agents produced information about these practices domains of politics. I aim to explicate the political nature of such practices and their impacts on the empire’s reform policies.
Writing Refugees into State Discourse: Immigration, Local Populace, and Ottoman Governmentality in Vidin, 1860-1880
Using previously untapped documents in Ottoman, Bulgarian and English, this project explores the politics of local administration by focusing on the debates, particularly in official correspondence, around the settlement of different refugee groups to Vidin in the last two decades of the Ottoman rule. Due to the economic tensions it created in the region, the settlement of several thousand refugees serves as a good example to understand the practice and procedures of local administration and provides valuable insight into the participation of local populations in the new Ottoman provincial administrative structure introduced in the nineteenth century.