Janissaries


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Janissaries

(jăn`ĭsâr'ēz) [Turk.,=recruits], elite corps in the service of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). It was composed of war captives and Christian youths pressed into service; all the recruits were converted to Islam and trained under the strictest discipline. It was originally organized by Sultan Murad I. The Janissaries gained great power in the Ottoman Empire and made and unmade sultans. By 1600, Muslims had begun to enter the corps, largely through bribery, and in the 17th cent. membership in the corps became largely hereditary, while the drafting of Christians gradually ceased. In 1826, Sultan Mahmud IIMahmud II,
1784–1839, Ottoman sultan (1808–39), younger son of Abd al-Hamid I. He was raised to the throne of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) upon the deposition of his brother, Mustafa IV, and continued the reforms of his cousin, Selim III.
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 rid himself of the unruly (and by now inefficient) Janissaries by having them massacred in their barracks by his loyal SpahisSpahis
or Sipahis
, Ottoman cavalry. The Spahis were organized in the 14th cent. on a feudal basis. The officers held fiefs (timars) granted to them by the sultan and commanded the personal loyalty of the peasants who worked the land.
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.

Janissaries

 

the regular Turkish infantry, organized in the second half of the 14th century, who, together with the spahis and akinji (cavalry), formed the core of the Ottoman army. Originally, janissaries were youths who had been driven into slavery; later, Christian boys were forcibly recruited. Converted to Islam, they were considered slaves of the sultan and lived in barracks; they were forbidden to marry or maintain their own households. In addition to service in military campaigns, they were assigned garrison duty in the Balkans and the Arab countries. The janissaries were headed by an aga and were closely associated with the Bectashi dervish order.

The decline of the janissaries began in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Members of the corps settled down with families and engaged in trade and handicrafts. Gradually they were transformed into agents of palace revolutions and a support for the forces of feudal-clerical reaction. In 1826 the janissary corps was destroyed by the Turkish sultan Mahmud II.

Janissaries

elite Turkish infantry. [Turk. Hist.: Fuller, I, 499, 508]
References in periodicals archive ?
19) In such a case it can be assumed that our "peasant" Janissaries were also the result of such an "exception".
The janissaries reveal themselves, commanding the men to row the boat ashore.
Speaking for the anxieties of his fellow townspeople, the chronicler al-Budayri recalled imperial Janissaries (qabiqul; Tk.
Soliman acknowledges Erastus's professional skills of knighthood to select him as a captain of Turkish Janissaries and to be his close friend:
But what such indictments are unable to conceal is that the Ottomans weren't simply a barbaric regime either, and that they had elaborate mechanisms of providing security in civil life, of which the janissaries were a prominent example, irrespective of how well or completely such arrangements worked, and which would probably compare favorably to the law and order protocols of early modern Europe as a whole.
Islam was the glue binding the Ottoman empire; a forcibly recruited unit, the janissaries, were converts from Christianity.
These Janissaries (Christian boys conscripted to serve in Ottoman infantry units) were either recruited from Europe or abducted from countries under Ottoman control.
Ottoman reform efforts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries attempted to reorder the traditional system, replacing obsolete institutions, such as the janissaries and court structure, with European-style armies and ministerial systems.
The nationalist leader further called the Bulgarian police "Janissary units"(the Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards), as they were "arresting Bulgarian patriots and not Islamists who threaten Christians.
The role of the Janissaries, that uniquely Ottoman institution, is explained as well.
Soliman, apostrophizing the dead Erastus, vows that he himself will kill the two janissaries who strangled him; Soliman's hand
Of the six thousand five hundred fighting men there were one thousand five hundred janissaries (Ianiceros), and two thousand Turks (Turcos).