Ottoman Janissaries, devshirme

Up until the collapse of Ottoman Empire, the infantry of the Ottomans called as the Janissaries was the utmost strict, loyal battling machine ever. In fact, nobody truly knows accurately the time of the corps was founded even though it is linked to Aladdin, brother of Sultan Orhan and first grand vizier of Ottomans in the period of 1326 to 1359. The basis for the establishing the Janissary system was the Ottoman sultan’s necessity for ideal armed forces since he conquered a growing amount of Anatolia and progressed into Europe.                  ”Ottoman Janissaries”


Ottoman Janissaries

In order to the form the Janissaries, ottomans decided that these particular troops should be the selected from non-Muslim ones and in the act making them slaves and forcing them to be Muslim and be circumcised. It was in fact against Islam nevertheless doesn’t appear to have bothered the Ottomans as they noticed the need for a strict force committed to the sultan. The sultans who were allowed to have twenty percent of the treasure taken on a raid probably found the idea of Jannissary system right after they begun raiding in Eastern Europe in the late period of the 14th century together with having a huge number of slaves.

The plan was to pick boys between the age range of 9 and 16 who were in physical terms good and clever under a training course named as devshirme. All of them will then experience a really difficult training through which they will get their skillsets. Right at the end of the training session, the young boys were separated. The most desirable and wise ones would probably be placed to one among the palace institutions for expert training in Bursa and Edirne later at Galata and Istanbul following the conquest of Istanbul to become officials and administrators in the empire bureaucracy, the Ruling organization. The remaining parts had a further military training and became members of the well known Janissary corps, regarded in the 15th and 16th centuries as the best qualified and strongest warriors of Europe.

Ottoman Janissary
Ottoman Janissary

Could Janissaries Marry?

Jannisaries who had a status between slave and free man were not allowed to marry or have children until they retire. And if they died, their assets were inherited to Sultans.

How Were The Janissaries Chosen?

The Sultan every 3-5 five years would probably order special “scouts” to look for skilled young boys who could be drafted. They pick healthy, strong and distinguished boys.

A majority of these selections were limited to specific parts of the Empire with Christian populations. The areas chosen were Rumelia or the Balkans ( Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, Greece )

Turks Could Join The Jannisary Army?

Eventually, in the 17th century, the composition of Janissary group changed. As a result of the opportunities accessible to the officers, lots of Turks sought to have their young children signed on in the Janissary corps.

Jannissaries And Music

Due to the fact that that there wasn’t enough interest from Turkish soldiers, the members of mehteran ( ottoman military band )were dominantly included Christians brought up by the Janissaries or Greeks and Armenians that converted.

Ottoman Band was an important part of army to motivate Turkish soldiers and scare their enemies in the battles

End Of Jannissaries

In 1449 they revolted for the first time, asking for higher salary The Sultan Selim II allowed janissaries to marry in 1566, damaging the exclusivity of loyalty to the Empire.

By 1622, the Janissaries were a dangerous threat to the constancy of the dynasty. By their greed and indiscipline, they were a self-imposed power and, against advanced western European armies, inadequate on the battlefield as a battling force. In 1622, the

In 1622, the teenage sultan, Osman II, after a defeat against Poland as a result of Janissaries’ reluctance to fight, he prepared to move against them the Janissaries. They revolted and took the Sultan captive in a dungeon and after a short time, he was murdered.

They revolted many times in the following years and the end to the Janissaries eventually came in 1826 in the reign of Sultan Mahmud II.

Today In Our Istanbul walking tours, Our local guides share the story of Jannisaries with our guests in Topkapi Palace and the sites constructed by the Ottoman Empire. You can customize or pick any of Istanbul tours with our local experts

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ottoman jannisaries



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