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Rumi connections: A diasporic group in distinct geographies in Asia
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CitationÖzay, M. (2018). Rumi connections: A diasporic group in distinct geographies in Asia. Paper presented at the 23rd Symposium of the Comité International des Études Pré-Ottomanes et Ottomanes, Sofia, Bulgaria, 11-15 September 2018.
Asian nations have experienced significant migration periods over the course of history commencing from the early ages of their respective histories. The major human stocks initiating their migrations on the basis of various reasons exercised the mobility and caused cultural, political and religious interactions and changes in distinct geographies. Regarding this, a particular group, the Rumis, who are identified as the seafarers and warriors in the Ottoman State, had an impact in the regions as a diasporic group exercising their professions from the West Asia through India and till Southeast Asia. This paper will briefly discuss the migrant issue of the Rumis which seems to have emerged in the early decades of the 16th century in the Asia Minor, and their travel for various reasons to the Indian Subcontinent and the Archipelago in Southeast Asia. The historical existence of the Rumis in these regions can be traced till the beginning of the 18th century. The mobilization of the Rumis is considered to have been initially based on the expansion process of the Ottoman State. Beyond this, it can be argued that the awareness of the relevant geographies, expansion of trade routes and the requirement of the skilled warriors by the sultanates adjacent to the Indian Ocean are the reasons for the smaller or larger group of the Rumis to have traveled by their own capacities under certain conditions. The Rumis who can be regarded as individual entrepreneurs have contributed to the acquaintance of the Ottomans with the relevant sultanates and their existence reveals connections, to some or larger extent, in the above-mentioned geographies.