Ghazi

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Ghazi

 

(Arabic; the russianized plural form gazii is sometimes found in Russian works). (1) In the Middle Ages a person taking part in a ghazwa—a war between Muslims and “infidels” (see jihad); in certain countries there were also special detachments of ghazi recruited among the poor and declassed elements of the population, in effect mercenaries, to defend the borders and to put down popular uprisings.

(2) An honorary title, in many eastern Muslim countries bestowed on those who had distinguished themselves as military leaders—for example, Mustapha Kemal (Ataturk) was voted the title of ghazi by the Turkish Grand National Assembly for his victory in the battle of Sakarya (August-September 1921). After the abolition of titles in Turkey in 1934 the title ghazi was no longer used.