In June 1565 when Mehmet Sokolovich was appointed the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, he brought with him to Istanbul hundreds of his Slavic relatives and appointed many of them to high offices and helped others establish lucrative business ventures there just like his predecessor the Grand Vizier Rustem Okupovich, the husband of Sultan Süleyman’s daughter, Mirimah. Throughout Ottoman history there was a steady migration of regional elites and their relatives and friends to Istanbul.
Initially slow, the migration and urbanization of the elites accelerated in intensity and scope during the nineteenth century after millions of European Muslim subjects immigrated and settled on lands still under the Ottoman sultan’s rule.
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