Military Review

Janissaries and Bektashi


Janissaries and Bektashi

Perhaps someone saw this performance in Konya or Istanbul: a large hall in which the lights go out and men in black cloaks become almost invisible. There are no sounds from which sounds unusual for our ears come - the drums set the rhythm for musicians playing old reed flutes.

The men standing in the center of the hall suddenly drop their cloaks and remain in white shirts and felt conical hats.

Crossing their arms over their chests, they, in turn, approach their mentor, lay their heads on his shoulder, kiss their hand and line up in a column.

At his command, a strange dance begins: at first, the artists depicting dervishes go around the hall three times, and then they begin to spin - with their heads thrown back and outstretched arms. The palm of the right hand is raised up to receive the blessing of heaven, the left palm is lowered, conveying the blessing to the earth.

Yes, these dervishes are not real. The whirling prayers of members of this small fraternity of dervishes usually take place at night, last for several hours and are closed to outsiders. The members of this Sufi Order are called Bektash. And in modern Turkish, the Janissaries are also sometimes called, using these words as synonyms.

Janissary, engraving

Now we will try to figure out how and why this happened.

First of all, let's decide who the dervishes are and talk a little about their communities, which are often called orders.

Brotherhood of Dervishes

Translated from Farsi, the word “dervish” means “beggar”, “poor”, and in Arabic it is a synonym for the word Sufi (Sufi in Arabic - literally, “dressed in coarse wool”, the first Sufis tried to “understand the world, themselves and God "). In Central Asia, Iran and Turkey, the mendicant Muslim preachers and mystic ascetics were called dervishes.

Wandering Dervish Sufi, Iran, 19th Century

Their distinguishing mark was a long shirt, linen bag, which they wore on their shoulders, and an earring in their left ear. The dervishes did not exist on their own, but united into communities ("fraternities"), or the Order. Each of these Orders had its own charter, its own hierarchy and monastery, where dervishes could spend some time in case of illness or due to some life circumstances.

Albania, Berat, Bektash Dervish Inn

The dervishes did not have personal property, since they believed that everything belongs to God. They received money for food, mainly in the form of alms, or earned money by showing any tricks.

In the Russian Empire, before the revolution, Sufi dervishes could be found even in Crimea. Currently, the Order of the Dervishes is in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Iran, and some African countries. But in Turkey in 1925, they were banned by Kemal Ataturk, who said: "Turkey should not be a country of sheikhs, dervishes, murids, a country of religious sects."

The Republic Monument, Taksim Square, Istanbul. Kemal Ataturk, to his left - Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Aralov

Monument "Republic", Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Aralov

And earlier, in the XNUMXth century, it was the order of the Bektash that was banned by Sultan Mahmoud II. We will also explain why this happened. In the meantime, we say that at the end of the twentieth century, the Bektash were able to return historical homeland.

The Bektash Order is not the only and not the largest community of dervishes. There are many others: Kadiri, Naqshbandi, Yasevi, Mevlevi, Bektashi, Senusi. Moreover, under the influence of a Sufi order, there may also be people who are not officially members of this community and who are not dervishes. For example, in Albania up to a third of all Muslims in the country sympathized with the ideas of the Bektash.

All Sufi orders were characterized by a desire for a mystical unity of man with Allah, but each of them proposed its own path, which his followers considered the only right one. Bektashis professed a distorted Shiite Islam, which to the adherents of Orthodox Islam seemed a terrible heresy. Some even doubted that the Bektashis were generally Muslims. Thus, initiation into the order seemed to many to be similar to the rite of baptism in Christianity, and the Torah and the Gospels find the influence of the Bektash itself. Among the rites - communion of wine, bread and cheese. There is its own “Trinity”: the unity of Allah, the Prophet Muhammad and Shiite Ali ibn Abu Talib (“the fourth righteous caliph”). Men and women are allowed to pray in the same room, over the mihrab (a niche indicating a direction to Mecca) in the prayer rooms of the Bektash communities hang portraits of their sheikh - Baba-dede, which is simply unthinkable for Orthodox Muslims. And near the tombs of the saints Bektashi light wax candles.

That is, the order of the bektashes by the overwhelming majority of Muslims was to be perceived as a community of heretics, and therefore, it seemed, was doomed to become a refuge for marginalized people. But, oddly enough, it was this eclecticism that allowed us to assimilate Islam in a simplified form (especially from the ritual point of view), and played a decisive role in the rise of this order.

Now let's talk a little about the foundation of the Bektash order.

Haji Bektashi Vali

Haji Bektash, portrait in the museum of the city of Hadzhibektash

The foundation of this Sufi order was laid in the 12th century in Asia Minor by Sayyid Muhammad bin Ibrahim Ata, better known by the nickname Haji Bektashi Vali (“Vali” can be translated as “saint”). He was born in 1208 (according to other sources - in 1209) in the territory of the north-eastern province of Iran, Khorasan, but died, presumably, in 1270 or 1271. in Turkish Anatolia - near the city of Karshehir.

Khorassan and Nishapur on the map of Iran

Karshehir and Hadzhibektash on a map of Turkey

Some sources claim that Sayyid Muhammad from childhood had the gift of karamat - miracles. Parents gave the boy to the education of Sheikh Luckman Perendi from Nishapur. At the end of his studies, he settled in Anatolia. Here he preached Islam, quickly gaining respect from the locals. Soon he had his own students, for whom 7 small houses were built near the road. It was the disciples of Sayyid Muhammad (Vali Bektash), headed by Balim Sultan, who is now revered as the “second teacher” (feast as-sani) 150 years after his death and organized a new Sufi order, named after the first Teacher. Around the houses built for the first students, a small settlement grew, which, over time, became a city with the unpronounceable name Sulujakaraheyyuk - now it is called Hadzhibektash.

Hadzhibektas museum complex

Hadzhibektash, museum complex, a statue of a lion from Egypt, donated to the Order of Bektash in 1835 year

Here is the grave of the founder of the Order, and the residence of his current head is “grandfather”.

Outside of Turkey, the Sufi order of bektash was very popular in Albania, it was in this country that many of the dervishes found refuge after the ban of their community by Sultan Mahmoud II and Kemal Ataturk.

Albania, Berat Prefecture, Bektash graves

In addition, in Turkey and Albania there are “tekke” - original monasteries of the monastery of murids (novices), which, preparing to become dervises, are trained by mentors - murshids. The head of each such monastery is called a “father” (baba).

Subsequently, members of the Bektashi order were divided into two groups: in their historical homeland, in Anatolia, Chelyabi believed that they were descended from Haji Bektash Vali, and in Albania and in other European possessions of the Ottoman territories, the Babagans believed that Teacher did not have a family, and therefore , he could not have offspring. As is usually the case, Chelyabi and Babagans have traditionally been at enmity with each other.

But still, what does the Janissaries have to do with it?

"New army"

The founder of the Turkish Empire, not yet the Sultan, but just Bey Osman, needed infantry.

Osman Gazi

The sword of Osman Gazi, with which the sultans girdled upon accession to the throne

She, in general, existed in the Turkish army, but was recruited only during the fighting, was poorly trained and unruly. Such infantry was called "yaya", the service in it for hereditary dashing riders was considered prestigious, and therefore the first professional infantry units were created from Christian soldiers converted to Islam. These compounds were called the "new army" - "Yeni Cheri" (Yeni Ceri). In Russian, this phrase has become the word "Janissaries". However, the first janissaries were recruited only for the duration of the war, and then - were dismissed to their homes. In an anonymous treatise of the beginning of the XVII century, “The History of the Origin of the Laws of the Janissary Corps,” it is said about them:
“His Majesty Sultan Murad Khan Ghazi, may the mercy and grace of God be upon him! headed against the unfaithful Wallachia and ordered to build two ships in order to transport the Anatolian horse army ... (to Europe).

When it took people to lead these (ships), they turned out to be a bunch of rabble. There was no benefit from them. In addition, they had to pay them two acres. The expense is large, and they performed their duties - through the sleeves. Returning from the campaign to their vilayets, they robbed and ravaged Raya (non-Muslim tax-paying population). ”

A council was assembled to which the great vizier, ulama and “learned men” were invited, among whom Timurtash Dede was especially noted - he is called the descendant of Haji Bektash Vali. At this council, the decision was made:
"Instead of immediately making the" foreign boys "(adjemi oglan) janissaries, first send them to study with a salary of one acche so that they become Janissaries with a salary of two acches only after preparation."

Akce, silver coin of Suleiman I

Under the grandson of Osman Murad I, the famous devshirme system was introduced: in the Christian provinces of the sultanate, mainly in the Balkans, about once every five years (sometimes more often, sometimes less often) boys were recruited to the Janissaries corps.

Set of boys in the Janissaries, drawing of the 16th century

The devshirme system is often regarded as one of the methods of oppressing the Christian population of the Ottoman Empire, however, oddly enough, by the same Christians as a whole, it was perceived rather positively. Muslims whose children were forbidden to take into the Janissaries corps attempted to identify their sons there for bribes. The right to send their children to the Janissaries, who converted to Islam to the Slavs of Bosnia, was granted as a special mercy and privilege, which the Bosnians themselves asked for.

Murad I

According to Murad, future Janissaries should choose only from the best and most noble families. If there were several boys in the family, the best of them should be chosen, the only son from the family was not taken.

Preference was given to children of medium stature: too tall were rejected as stupid, and small ones as non-living. The children of the shepherds were rejected on the grounds that they were "poorly developed." It was also forbidden to take the sons of village elders, because they were "too mean and cunning." The overly talkative and talkative did not have a chance to become janissaries: they believed that they would grow up envious and stubborn. Boys with beautiful and delicate facial features were considered prone to rebellion and rebellion (and “they seem pathetic to the enemy”).

In addition, it was forbidden to recruit boys “from Belgrade, Central Hungary and the border (lands) of Croatia into Janissaries, because a real Muslim would never turn out from a Magyar and a Croat. Having seized the moment, they renounce Islam and run. ”

The selected boys were brought to Istanbul and enrolled in a special corps called “Adjemi-oglans” (“foreign boys”).

Istanbul (Constantinople). Vintage image

The most capable of them were transferred to a school at the Sultan's palace, after which they sometimes made brilliant careers in the public service, becoming diplomats, provincial governors and even viziers.

On the banks of the Bosphorus

Lazy and incapable were expelled and appointed gardeners or servants. Most of the students of Ajemi-oglu turned into professional soldiers and officers who came for full state support. They were forbidden to engage in crafts and marry, they were supposed to live only in the barracks.

Sipah and the Janissaries

The main unit of the corps was called "ode" ("room" - meaning a room for sharing meals), and the corps itself - ojak ("hearth"). Only having attained the position of oturak (veteran) by age or due to injury, the janissary could let go of his beard, get permission to get married and get an economy.

The Janissaries were a special, privileged caste of the military. They were sent to monitor order in the field armies and garrisons; it was at the Janissaries that the keys to the fortresses were stored. The Janissary could not be executed - at first it was necessary to remove him from the corps. But they were strangers to everyone and completely dependent on the Sultan.

The only friends of the Janissaries were the Bektashi dervishes, whose sheikh Timurtash Dede, as we recall, was one of the main initiators of the creation of this corps. And they found each other - severe dervishes and frightened little Christian boys torn from their families and families, from which new and unique units of the Turkish army began to form. And the strange eclecticism of the Bektash teachings, which was mentioned above, turned out to be the best possible, as it allowed the neophytes to accept Islam in a form more familiar to Christian children.

From now on, the fate of the Bertash dervishes and the fate of the omnipotent Janissaries pushing the sultans together were tied together: together they gained great fame, and their end was equally terrible. But the Bektashis, unlike the Janissaries, managed to survive and exist today.

"Bektashism" became the ideology of the Janissaries, who were called the "sons of Haji Bektash." The dervishes of this order were constantly next to the Janissaries: they went hiking with them, taught them and provided first aid. Even the Janissary headdress symbolized a sleeve from the clothes of Haji Bektash. Many of them became members of the order, the sheikh of which was the honorary commander of the 99 corps company, and at the inauguration ceremony he was also proclaimed a mentor and teacher of all Janissaries. Sultan Orhan, before deciding to create a new Janissary corps, asked for blessings from representatives of the Bektashi order.

It is widely believed that it was Haji Bektash who made the dua prayer to the Almighty, standing in front of the first Janissaries, wiped the back of each of them, wishing them courage and valor in battles with enemies. But this is only a legend, no more: we remember that Timurtash Dede, considered his descendant, attached to the foundation of the corps of Janissaries.

At the end of the XIV century, all the neighbors of the Turks trembled with horror. The battle on the Kosovo Field (1389 g.) Was a triumph for the Janissaries, and after the defeat of the crusader army near Nikopol (1396 g.), They began to frighten children across Europe with their name. Inspired by dervishes, fanatical and well-trained janissaries on the battlefield were second to none. The Janissaries were called “lions of Islam,” but they fought against their fellow believers with no less fury.

Janissaries in the campaign

Yatagans from the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul

The number of Janissaries steadily increased. Under Murad, there were only two or three thousand of them, in the army of Suleiman II (l520-1566) there were already about twenty thousand, and by the end of the XVIII century the number of Janissaries sometimes reached 100 000 people.

Patrol Janissary

Very soon, the Janissaries realized all the benefits of their position and from the humble servants of the Sultans turned into their worst nightmare. They completely controlled Istanbul and at any moment could remove the inconvenient ruler.

Sultan Bayazid II and the Janissaries

Bayazid II

So, in the 1481 year, after the death of Fatih Mehmed II, his sons - Jem, who was supported by the Mamelukes of Egypt, and Bayazid, in whose support the Janissaries of Istanbul, supported the throne. The victory was won by the henchman Janissary, who went down in history as Bayazid II. In gratitude, he increased their salary from two to four acches per day. Since then, the Janissaries began to demand money and gifts from each new Sultan.

Bayazid II went down in history as a man who refused to Columbus, who asked him to finance his expedition, and Leonardo da Vinci, who offered him a project for the construction of a bridge across the Golden Horn.

But he rebuilt Istanbul after the 1509 earthquake of the year (“Small End of the World”), built a grand mosque of his own name in the capital, sent his fleet to evacuate Muslims and Jews expelled from Andalusia, and earned the nickname “Vali” - “saint”.

Bayazid II Mosque, Istanbul

One of the wars waged by this sultan went down in history under the curious name “Beard”: in 1500, Bayazid demanded that the Venetian ambassador swear by his beard that his state wants peace with Turkey. Having received the answer that the Venetians do not have beards - they shave their faces, he mockingly said: "In this case, the inhabitants of your city are like monkeys."

The deeply affected Venetians decided to wash away this insult by Ottoman blood, and were defeated, having lost the Peloponnese Peninsula.

However, in the 1512 year, the Janissaries, who elevated Bazid II to the throne, forced him to renounce power, which he had to transfer to his son Selim. He immediately ordered the execution of all his relatives on the male line, for which he went down in history under the nickname Yavuz - “Evil” or “Ferocious”. He was probably also involved in the death of Bayazid himself, who died suspiciously quickly - a month after his abdication.

Sultan Selim I Yavuz

Istanbul hosts

Selim I Yavuz died in the 1520 year, and already in the 1524 year the Janissaries rebelled against his son, known in our country as Suleiman the Magnificent (and in Turkey he is called the Legislator). The house of the great vizier and other nobles was robbed, customs destroyed, Selim II personally participated in the suppression of the rebellion, and even, as they say, killed several Janissaries, but, nevertheless, was forced to pay off them.

Sultan Selim II (Suleiman the Magnificent)

The peak of the Janissary riots occurred at the beginning of the 17th century, when in just six years (1617-1623) four sultans were displaced.

But at the same time, the Janissary corps rapidly degraded. The devshirme system was eliminated, now Janissaries' children and native Turks became Janissaries. The quality of the military training of the Janissaries and their combat effectiveness deteriorated. The former fanatics were no longer eager for battle, preferring a well-fed life in the capital to campaigns and battles. From the thrill that the Janissaries once inspired the enemies of the Ottoman Empire, there was not a trace left. All attempts to reform the corps according to European standards failed and the sultans who dared to take such a step were considered a great success, if the fury of the Janissaries managed to pay off the heads of the great vizier and other dignitaries. The last sultan (Selim III) was killed by the Janissaries in 1807, the last vizier - in 1808. But the denouement of this bloody drama was already close.

Mahmoud II and the last rebellion of the Janissaries

In the 1808 year, as a result of the coup d'etat organized by Mustafa Pasha Bayraktar (Governor Ruschuk), the Sultan Mahmoud II (the 30 Ottoman Sultan) came to power in the Ottoman Empire, sometimes called the “Turkish Peter I. He made compulsory primary education, authorized the publication newspapers and magazines, became the first sultan to appear in public in European clothes. To transform the army into a European way, German experts were invited from Germany, including even Helmut von Moltke the Elder.

Mahmoud II. Thumbnail 1840's

In June 1826, Sultan Mahmud II ordered the Janissaries to be announced (and there were about 20 000 in Istanbul) that they would not be given lamb until they had studied the combat order and tactics of the European armies. The very next day, they rebelled, which for some reason also joined the firemen and porters. And in the front ranks of the rebels, of course, were old friends and patrons of the Janissaries - dervishes-bektashis. Many rich houses and even the palace of the great vizier were looted in Istanbul, but Mahmoud II himself, along with ministers and sheikh-ul-Islam (the spiritual leader of Muslims in Turkey), managed to take refuge in the mosque of Sultan Akhmet. Following the example of many of his predecessors, he tried to end the rebellion with promises of mercy, but the fiery Janissaries continued to rob and burn the capital of the empire. After that, the sultan could only flee the city, or prepare for an imminent death, but Mahmud II suddenly broke all existing stereotypes and ordered to bring Sandak-sheriff - the sacred Green banner of the Prophet, which, according to ancient legend, was sewn from the robe of Muhammad himself.

Sanjak Sheriff - the banner of the Prophet Muhammad (collapsed) and the golden ark in which it is stored, Topkapi, Istanbul

The heralds urged the townspeople to stand under the “Banner of the Prophet", they distributed to volunteers weapon, the gathering place of all Sultan forces was designated the mosque of Sultan Ahmed I ("Blue Mosque").

Sultan Ahmed I Mosque, Istanbul

Mahmoud II hoped for the help of the residents of Istanbul, who had suffered from the willfulness of the Janissaries, whom they in every way oppressed: they imposed tribute to the merchants and artisans, forced them to do household work for themselves, or simply robbed in the streets. And Mahmoud was not mistaken in his calculations. Sailors and many of the townspeople joined his loyal troops. The Janissaries were blocked on Eitmaydan Square and shot by buckshot. Their barracks were burned, and hundreds of janissaries were burned alive in them. The slaughter continued for two days, and then for another whole week the executioners chopped the heads of the surviving Janissaries and their dervish allies. As usual, there were some abuses and abuses: some hurried to inform their neighbors and relatives, accusing them of aiding the Janissaries and Bektash. The bodies of the executed were thrown into the waters of the Bosphorus, and there were so many that they interfered with the navigation of the ships. And for a long time then the residents of the capital did not catch or eat fish caught in the surrounding waters.

In the history of Turkey, this massacre entered under the name "Happy Event".

Mahmoud II forbade the utterance of the name of the Janissaries; their graves were destroyed in cemeteries. The Order of Bektash was banned, their spiritual leaders were executed, all the property of the fraternity was transferred to another Order - Nashkbandi. Many Bektashis emigrated to Albania, which for some time became the center of their movement. The Bektashi World Center is currently located in this country.

Later, the son of Mahmud II - Sultan Abdul Majid I, allowed the Bektash to return to Turkey, but they no longer gained their former influence here.

Alois von Greater. Portrait of Sultan Abdul Majid I

In the 1925 year, as we recall, the Bektashis, along with other Sufi orders, were expelled from Turkey by Kemal Ataturk.

And in 1967, Enver Hoxha (whose parents sympathized with the ideas of the Bektash) stopped the activities of their order in Albania.

Enver Hoxha, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Albanian Labor Party, banned the order of the Bektash in Albania

Again, the Bektashis returned to this country in 1990, at the same time as they returned to Turkey. But now they have no meaning and influence in their historical homeland, and their mystical "dances", which are performed by folklore ensembles, are perceived by many as just a fun attraction for tourists.

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  1. Soveticos
    Soveticos 22 November 2019 06: 17
    Thanks to the author. Very interesting article.
    1. Bar2
      Bar2 22 November 2019 09: 01
      the pseudo-historical articles that Ryzhov writes can cause only a large number of questions to which he is unable to answer and nothing more.
      For example, the picture in which the boys are accepted as Janissaries, it is known that the Janissaries were recruited from the Slavs, and these boys are not Slavs, but some kind of Mongoloids, so there’s a lie right away.
      It is known that the Janissaries from the very beginning elected from the sons of the deceased Sultan, the future Sultan, and the remaining sons i.e. The future sultan himself was supposed to execute the brothers of the main applicant, for order in the country. Instead of this, Ryzhov writes not at all.
      Janissary suppression of 1826 raises many questions. How huge is the power of the Yanychan corps, did professional soldiers suddenly lose, as Ryzhov writes to the armed citizens? This is not conceivable. It was clear that there was a full-fledged war when the Janissaries faced the same strong enemy, and it could only be the armed forces of other states and these were of course Europeans. Therefore, then all Turkish policy was reoriented to Europe.
      In those days, there was a Great War with the former world with Great Tartaria, which most likely consisted of several disparate states and which the Europeans simply broke up in parts.
      1. Korsar4
        Korsar4 22 November 2019 09: 31
        Why not with Swabrania?

        What years of war? Who fought with whom?

        What personalities of these wars left a mark and memory?
      2. Sneaky Urus
        Sneaky Urus 22 November 2019 10: 22
        article is some kind of hash. For example, under Murad 1, they could not bring the boys to Istanbul - Constantinople still belonged to the Romans, and after the conquest of the city, the Turks continued to call it Constantine ...
        I believe that even when writing popular historical articles, the author should be accurate in events and terms.
  2. polpot
    polpot 22 November 2019 06: 30
    Thanks, very interesting .
  3. Pecheneg
    Pecheneg 22 November 2019 07: 10
    The Janissaries are somewhat reminiscent of archers, especially when they overthrew their sultans and kings.
    1. VLR
      22 November 2019 07: 23
      In their way of life, the last janissaries are similar to the last archers, and their participation in palace coups is more like the Russian guard of the XNUMXth century. Many foreigners then directly called Russian guardsmen "janissaries".
      1. Operator
        Operator 22 November 2019 15: 50
        Sagittarius / Janissaries is a military estate on which the heads of state saved budget money by paying a salary in wartime and providing an opportunity for self-employment in wartime.

        The Russian guards were military servants, receiving a salary regardless of the state of war / peace. Guard officers had an additional source of funding - their estates, but not because the officers served in the guard, but according to the right of family property.

        The top of the guard officers participated in palace coups of the 18-19th centuries by right of origin from the house of the Rurikovich or from the boyars, equal until 1613 to the ancestors of the Romanovs.
  4. kalibr
    kalibr 22 November 2019 07: 23
    Wonderful material, dear Valery! Most importantly, I just finished writing two articles about the Ottomans' cavalry - the Sipahs, Delhi, Akinci, who fought with the cuirassiers and pistols of the Europeans, and here is this material. He will be the first, and mine will complement him. It will turn out just fine!
    1. VLR
      22 November 2019 07: 24
      Thank you, glad I liked it
      1. stv
        stv 22 November 2019 23: 56
        Author, I specifically registered to leave a comment. Historically correct interpretation, but an incredible mishmash created by a person who absolutely does not understand the subject of Sufism, even superficially !!! Elephant ears, giraffe neck, and all this is attracted to the lion! About Sufism, Jelladdin Rumi and his dances with Mevlana's poem, I will not say anything, your consciousness does not contain such deep meanings, it is easier to attract all this to the bektash. But to call the son-in-law of the Prophet and the last righteous caliph Abu Talib, "Shiite saints", is the height of erudition!
        1. VLR
          23 November 2019 04: 39
          Sorry, but such commentators remind me of "all knowing" sofa erudites, "watering" under the spotlights and monstrous tension of the players of "Your Game" or "What, Where, When". Get up "under the spotlight" yourself, write an article that the editors consider worthy of publication, and the readers will, without yawning out of boredom, read with interest, and be prepared to see in the comments to this article from an unknown person, the "great and terrible anonymous" - any unsubstantiated nonsense. In general, enlighten us - we will be very grateful. Or is registration on the site the only "feat" that we have the right to expect from you?
          1. stv
            stv 23 November 2019 09: 04
            The author, I do not "water" you. I apologize if my post caused any tension, historically the article is excellent. But religious topics in it are mixed in a large pile, and a simple Wikipedia can enlighten you in them.
  5. andrewkor
    andrewkor 22 November 2019 07: 38
    I'm not talking about the Janissaries, I just remembered the film "Mameluk", about their counterparts in Egypt. Impressed me.
  6. Korsar4
    Korsar4 22 November 2019 07: 41
    Sufism manifested itself in the pre-Islamic period.

    And the principle of selection is remarkable: "Rejection of tall ones as stupid, and small ones as quarrelsome."
  7. Butchcassidy
    Butchcassidy 22 November 2019 08: 03
    The devshirme system is often regarded as one of the methods of oppressing the Christian population of the Ottoman Empire, however, oddly enough, by the same Christians as a whole, it was perceived rather positively.

    It is completely unclear on what basis this conclusion is made? How does the author imagine that parents voluntarily surrender their child, knowing that he will be raised not just in Islam, but in hatred of Christianity, and then can be used to intimidate and pacify their co-religionists?

    Moreover, the author does not mention that the very concept of janissaries was a method of psychological warfare, when Christian peoples knew that their blood co-religionists were going to kill them, forcibly taken from their parents within the framework of devshirme - "blood tax".

    But in general, the article is interesting.
    1. VLR
      22 November 2019 08: 21
      Because often it was the only chance for a child to get out of the hopeless poverty in which entire generations of this family lived.
      1. Butchcassidy
        Butchcassidy 22 November 2019 11: 02
        Nonsense. In those days there was no such secularization and no one would have thought of such a thing. Moreover, they took away the best, strongest and most healthy ones. And to give the child in order that he supposedly live better, knowing that after a while he can come to his family with a punitive purpose and will sincerely hate them, because they are Christians, no one will do such a thing in their right mind.

        Which authoritative researcher writes about your version?

        It is enough simply to take the name devshirme from those peoples in relation to which it was applied: among the Serbs - "Danak at Krvi", among the Bulgarians - "Krven dank", which translates as "blood tribute, blood tax", in order to understand the attitude of Christian peoples towards this vile and disgusting phenomenon.
        1. VLR
          22 November 2019 11: 10
          Did you notice that the same Serbs, Croats, Magyars did not take their children as Janissaries? Because they believed "a Magyar and a Croat will never make a real Muslim. Seizing the moment, they renounce Islam and flee" - this is written in the article. But in Slavic Bosnia, they asked for Devshirma, as a special favor - it is also written. In different countries and among different peoples, the attitude towards the possible career of sons in the Janissary corps was different.
          1. Butchcassidy
            Butchcassidy 22 November 2019 12: 42
            Those. do you write about some particular cases, but give an example as a general rule?

            Slavic and Christian are not synonyms. As well as Muslims and Turks. The degree of "churching" can be different in any religion.
          2. pytar
            pytar 22 November 2019 13: 01
            Dear author, interesting, informative article! hi As for the attitude of the spoiled peoples to the so-called. tax devshirme, for Bulgarians it was the most terrible tragedy that continued for centuries! The entire Bulgarian folklore is replete with sorcery stories on this topic! Songs and legends tell how ferocious, merciless fanatics the Christian boys became, turning into janissaries. When rumors came that the selection was starting, many hid the children in the mountains. There were cases when the parents themselves mutilated their children so that they would not be taken away by the Janichars. According to the calculations of historians and demographers, during the time the "blood tax" was in effect, no less than 8 million boys were taken from the Bulgarians alone. Millions of them died in battles. It was a terrible blow to the population of the Bulgarian people. Continuous bleeding wound! For comparison, in the 14th century, during the period when Bulgaria fell under Ottoman slavery, the Bulgarian population was about 2 million. By the end of the 18th century, again 2 million. The process of the Revival of the Bulgarian nation began after the Janissary corps was disbanded. Then the demographic situation improved dramatically and by the end of the 19th century there were 4,5 million Christian Bulgarians.
            1. revnagan
              revnagan 22 November 2019 14: 56
              There is a very interesting book by V. Malyk "The Secret Ambassador", "The Ambassador of the Urus Shaitan." Of course, the book is fiction, not historical, but in my youth I read it to her. There are janissaries from the Bulgarian people, and the Ottomans, and the Zaporozhye Cossacks, Tatars, and Russian troops, intrigue, betrayal, love ... It was not for nothing that Malyk was called the “Russian Fenimor Cooper.” It was from there that I learned that this article was not news to me. Plus, of course, V.S. Pikul’s books (the same "Favorite"). Yes, also fictional, but there is the same thing about Turkey as in the article (although the article is very interesting). So if there is an opportunity, read it, I think you will not regret it.
            2. Butchcassidy
              Butchcassidy 22 November 2019 23: 42
              What are we talking about. Only unhealthy pan-Turkic-minded people can believe that devshirme was a blessing for Christian nations.
  8. Slavutich
    Slavutich 22 November 2019 08: 21
    Thanks for the informative and in-depth article.
  9. raki-uzo
    raki-uzo 22 November 2019 12: 25
    Thanks! I enjoyed reading your article. The information that is given here in Turkey is slightly different, but it does not matter, both here and there are truths and lies. So ... with great difficulty the Ottoman Empire got rid of them. And Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a brilliant leader and founder of the modern Turkish Republic, with one decree removed these "religious ants" like bektashi, dervish, etc. - they executed those who were against, the state was more important, which was supposed to keep a course for prosperity.
    1. Butchcassidy
      Butchcassidy 22 November 2019 12: 44
      Now everything is back, but not the dervishes, Muslim brothers (banned in Russia) in the form of the AKP. The same Erdogan, if I’m not mistaken, is Imam Khatib.
  10. Undecim
    Undecim 22 November 2019 14: 11
    An excellent article, Valery, but there are a number of inaccuracies, for the elimination of which it was probably necessary to expand the range of sources, and in some cases just to be more careful, as in the moment "Selected boys were brought to Istanbul", which some representatives of the "super ethnos" immediately raised on the shield ...
    As for "devshirme", or, like the Bulgarians, "krvniyat dank" - tax in blood, then the question should be clarified.
    Forcibly recruited from the Christian population, the boys were not only for service in the Janissaries. Yeni Çeri is more a status category. The boys recruited according to the devshirma became kapıkulları and were intended for service in kalemiyye (office), joined the ranks of theologians -İlmiyye and went to military service - seyfiyye. The latter could serve both in the cavalry, Kapıkulu Süvarileri, and in the infantry - Kapıkulu Ordusu.
    Regarding the positive perception of "devshirme" by the Christian population is a controversial issue. Having experience of living in the Balkans (Bulgaria, Yugoslavia) and communicating with the local population (including historians), I can say that I have not met any positive feedback. A number of uprisings are known in Bulgaria against the "devshirme".
  11. Nikolai Kotsofana
    Nikolai Kotsofana 22 November 2019 14: 34
    Recently I read the novel by VS Pikul "Janissaries", where all these events and much more about the Janissaries are described.
  12. Raphael_83
    Raphael_83 22 November 2019 15: 12
    Despite minor inaccuracies, the material is good as usual, thanks to the author, I have been following his work for a long time, every time I learn something new, especially the materials about the Caribbean filibusters and others like them were very informative. fellow
    The story of the rise and subsequent fall of the Janissaries corps, completely typical for all, without exception, not just selected, but so to speak super-elite units that degenerated from professional (and high-class!) Military into parasitic estates: starting from the era of Great Rome, when the Praetorians from the personal guard emperors, initially recruited as the best of the best and sometimes accomplished exceptional feats, consistently (as the Empire itself degraded) turned into the worst nightmare of rulers who could not be oryazhatsya even bodyguards (sometimes themselves unbelted bodyguards were deadly threat); skipping Europe’s self-willed noble gatherings, which even kings were forced to ask for (or even bribe), but did not order, since there were either few or no organized crown troops (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is a standard, we can say); passing to the Petrograd archers, who wanted people for service, privileges for occupying crafts, arbitrariness of settlements, but by the beginning of the 18th century as military people had finally degenerated and represented a naturally empty place even in comparison with the plainly untrained and inexperienced new-fashioned amusement regiments of the king; similarly degenerate noble French royal musketeers, at the end of their inglorious existence, openly hated in disciplined combat units, recruited by appeal from commoners; and ending with the uneventful court guards of the 19-20th centuries. who worked not so much for the Fatherland (whatever it was — from the Russian suburbs to Latin America), but to their own pockets, pushing rulers and keeping their own peoples in fear (sort of gopniks, only legitimized and in shape).
    That is, first, the formation / formation of these parts with a healthy dose of mysticism and unusualness (distinguishing these chosen ones for the better from other "black-footed"); further organization in the actual unit with its own staff, equipment, weapons, supplies (and again, excellent for the better! which at first is certainly a blessing, but subsequently always proved fatal); drill and training, different from those generally accepted by potential enemies (and their unpreparedness, therefore, to face unusual tactics and techniques); subsequent breathtaking battlefield victories with honors and privileges; then a gradual awareness of its steepness with a parallel that even such steep ones on the battlefield can be killed (and you can't really see a beautiful life, but the position and pay allow!) - the siege of Vienna and Kamenets in terms of losses and undermining the morale of the Sultan's guard is great indicative in this plan; and finally, it is the final moral decay, permissiveness, natural racketeering (read extortion from the rulers of money, benefits and privileges) and not just an inglorious, but naturally shameful death or, at best, dissolution and termination of existence.
    So, the Janissaries, therefore, were nothing new for the History from the Big Letter on a global plane, presenting at the same time an entertaining specimen not so much like similar troops as an entire original socio-cultural community - originally aggregated from various nationalities, traditional ways of life , languages ​​and religions, turned against external enemies, and in the ending, degraded, corrupt, turned against her own country for the sake of purely selfish interests. request
    From SW. hi
    Even in the entertainment literature, the image of the Janissaries was perfectly worked out by Frank Herbert and his son Brian in the Dune Universe (sardaukars, same).
    SERGEY SERGEEVICS 22 November 2019 16: 09
    And why didn’t they arrange a war like that? They themselves didn’t fight, but with the help of our Slavs. The main part of the Janissaries were and were Slavs.
  14. Catfish
    Catfish 22 November 2019 16: 14
    Thank you, Valery! hi
    At his command, a strange dance begins: at first, the artists depicting dervishes three times

    I saw once a long time ago a newsreel with this dance, but I remember it. And as for the Janissaries, Vereshchagin immediately remembered, but I don’t know exactly how bash-buzuki relate to regular units.
  15. Looking for
    Looking for 22 November 2019 17: 04
    Quote: Bar2
    the pseudo-historical articles that Ryzhov writes can cause only a large number of questions to which he is unable to answer and nothing more.
    For example, the picture in which the boys are accepted as Janissaries, it is known that the Janissaries were recruited from the Slavs, and these boys are not Slavs, but some kind of Mongoloids, so there’s a lie right away.
    It is known that the Janissaries from the very beginning elected from the sons of the deceased Sultan, the future Sultan, and the remaining sons i.e. The future sultan himself was supposed to execute the brothers of the main applicant, for order in the country. Instead of this, Ryzhov writes not at all.
    Janissary suppression of 1826 raises many questions. How huge is the power of the Yanychan corps, did professional soldiers suddenly lose, as Ryzhov writes to the armed citizens? This is not conceivable. It was clear that there was a full-fledged war when the Janissaries faced the same strong enemy, and it could only be the armed forces of other states and these were of course Europeans. Therefore, then all Turkish policy was reoriented to Europe.
    In those days, there was a Great War with the former world with Great Tartaria, which most likely consisted of several disparate states and which the Europeans simply broke up in parts.

    nonsense !!!! firstly. medieval engravings and drawings are not photography. and do not pursue the anthropological similarity of the characters. secondly, the big port was an absolute despotic monarchy. And questions of succession were not at all a privilege of the masses of soldiers, although privileged. thirdly, there is such a historical process-rebirth. as a result of which the strong become weak. smart-fools. disciplined-rabble. The Communist Party is a clear example.
    1. VLR
      23 November 2019 04: 19
      The palace coups in the Ottoman Port, carried out by the Janissaries, is a fact that no one doubts. As for the Rurikovichs and the "equal boyars" in Russia, remember Catherine I, who came from nowhere, who, after the death of Peter I, was actually elevated to the throne by the "noble boyar" Aleksashka Menshikov. And the artful German Catherine II and the "Ruriks" Alexei Orlov, Grigory Potemkin, the visiting adventurer Shvanvich, who took part in the assassination of the last "natural Russian emperor" Peter III. The "secretary" of this conspiracy is the "murky" "Piedmontese" Mr. Otrar, who is considered by many to be an adventurer of international scale Saint-Germain. Remember the "noble boyars" Zubovs and the German "Ruriks" Bennigsen and Pahlen, who killed Paul I.
  16. G. Petrovich
    G. Petrovich 2 December 2019 15: 00
    And for what kind of services are the Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Aralov present at the Republic monument?
    1. dmmyak40
      dmmyak40 5 December 2019 21: 22
      So who helped Ataturk expel the Anglo-Greek occupation forces? Military advisers from the Red Army, and the corresponding military assistance in the form of ammunition, guns.
      And, of course, one should not underestimate the combat experience of the Turkish troops of Kemal Pasha: they fought with the Russians for a long time. Yes, and the mood for the liberation of Turkey was present.
  17. Polkanov
    Polkanov 19 December 2019 20: 08
    ... to the author - rakhmet. A masterpiece.
  18. didra
    didra 1 February 2020 15: 29
    Janissaries is the mechanism of the genocide of the Balkan Slavs, period. Another question is that the very idea of ​​forming military units on a national or territorial basis is still Byzantine-Roman. And it would be interesting to read about this. But alas, "" caravan of stories "is our level).
  19. vindigo
    vindigo 16 February 2020 10: 36
    I read that Suvorov ordered the soldiers to fight the dervishes first of all in battle, the Janissaries then did not fight so fiercely.