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Subject: Ottoman janissary
murabit821    10/17/2007 5:03:37 PM
I need some help with janissary and other ottoman kapikulu when you know some info , or links , good books to my question i will be happy thanks and turkish terms i will be happy when you can correct me Kapikulu ocaki Kapikulu piydeleri Acemi ocak , i know there was 14 orta in Rumelia and 17 in Anatolia how about its strengh,size ? also this orta have its own numbers ? Yeniceri ocak i know there was 197 Ortas Jemmat 101 orta Boluk 62 Orta Sekban 33 Orta durring ottoman empire janisary size increase from 5000 to 140000 how about structure there was always 196 orta and than , orta size increase or number of orta increase ? i read about size of Orta different info , one time Orta have 60 men , another time 100 men , 400 men , 500 men ? and Orta are divided to Oda , and how about Oda size ? Have somebody info about which orta is Tufekchi or which Orta are Zirhli nefer ? And some info which Orta was garisoned in Chotin or Pest ? Jemmat orta s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th orta are devec , camelstrain this men handle camels or just escort them ? and how about sultan and 1st orta ? 60th, 61st , 62nd , 63rd orta are solaks , what they do ? and how about 94 and 99 orta ? Corbasi of 99th orta is aslo Bektasi sejch ? i read boluk 5th orta comander is also bascavus 28th boluk orta is Muhzir aga what are they dutties ? also other orta or theys comanders have special function ? and about Orta comand structure Corbasi = orta comander Bayraktar = flagbearer Odabasi = ? Vekilharc = suply oficer Imam what are they chain of command ? and there is some other function inside orta ? have anyone info about payment of janissary or lenght of service ? or nishan of each orta and how about Jebeci , Topcu , Humbaraci , and others infanry . how is they size how are they organized ? thanks
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Pars       11/18/2007 8:30:55 PM
Orta can be roughly translated as regiment but an orta do not have a fix number of soldiers. It can be 50 soldiers or several thousands. Oda means room. Which simply means the soldiers who live in the same room/tent. Every room/tent has its commander and commander lives and eats with the soldiers.
Other than several Guard  Ortas permanently stationed at the capital no Orta was stationed permanently at some location. Most of the garnisons had soldiers from different Ortas.
Camelmen Ortas were the ones which originally founded to guard the baggage train. In time their duty changed.
Solak Ortas are the Guard units. The word of "Solak" means left-handed. And exactly half of the soldiers of these Ortas were left-handed. When the Sultan passed someplace, left handed soldiers stayed on his left, right handed ones stayed on his right. And they secured Sultan himself. No Sultan after Murat I (who lived before Solak units were founded)  in Ottoman history assasinated by someone other than his solaks.
All Janisaries were followers of Bektasi sect. So they had their own religios officials. 99th Orta was the Orta which guarded their own highest ranked religious-officer.
Many Ortas were founded for a specific duty. In time when their duty become obsolote they served in a different capacity.
They had archer Ortas, musket Ortas and armoured Orta. During 17th century all Janissaries started to use muskets. There were naval Janissaries which were used as marines. There were dog keeping and hawk keeping ortas which were part of sultan's hunting group. (Ottoman sultan's loved hunting).
Every command position is also referred to a specific duty. For example the Orta commander Corbaci literally meant "the soup-giver". During meal time he personally brought the food to the Orta.
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