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Tımar-holding Cavalry vs. the Janissaries: The Evolution of Ottoman Military Recruitment Practices (14th-16th Century)

April 29 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm



Monday, April 29th 2024,

19:00 (Turkish time; GMT +3)

Orient-Institut Istanbul


Tımar-holding Cavalry vs. the Janissaries: The Evolution of Ottoman Military Recruitment Practices (14th-16th Century)


Gülay Yılmaz, Akdeniz University


Scholarship on Ottoman military history has traditionally focused on individual campaigns, warfare technology, and military tactics, particularly emphasizing the major transformation of the Ottoman army during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It is important to recognize that; however, the Ottoman army was a dynamic institution that underwent significant changes throughout the sixteenth century, which needs closer analysis. The objective of this presentation is to analyze the recruitment methods employed by the early janissary army, situating them within the broader context of the Ottoman military landscape spanning the fourteenth to the end of the sixteenth century. Special attention will be given to how recruitment into tımar-holding cavalry and the janissary army evolved over time in relation to changes occurred in other forces, including raiders (akıncıs), peasant militia forces (yayas and müsellems), ‘azebs, martoloses, and voynuks.


Gülay Yılmaz is an Associate Professor at the Department of History, Akdeniz University. She completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Boğaziçi University, and PhD at McGill University. During the 2018-19 academic year, she was a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Researcher at Harvard University Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, where she began working on her book focuses on the devşirme system and is still a work in progress. This year she is a visiting scholar at Orient-Institute Istanbul. She published widely on the recruitment process of devşirmes, janissaries, and seventeenth-century Istanbul.



Orient-Institut Istanbul

Galip Dede Cad. 65, Şahkulu Mah., TR – 34421 Istanbul

Tel: +90 212 293 60 67



April 29
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Andrea Selimoğlu
+90 – 212 293 60 67
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Orient-Institut Istanbul
Şahkulu Mah., Galip Dede Cad. No. 65
Beyoğlu, İstanbul 34421 Turkey
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+90 212 293 60 67
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