Janizary 1
Janizaries 1
Janizary 2
Members of the Turkish army's special infantry who were brought up in strict discipline to become fanatic fighters for Islam from being children who were either taken as tax from the Christian inhabitants of the occupied territories or kidnapped throughout military campaigns. In Europe this was the first permanent mercenary army. The central troops lived in barracks within the empire, and functioned as the defence core in field battles. The provincial troops served in garrisons. Their commander was the janissary agha. Their armament consisted of a wide and curved sward the yataghan, a long rifle, a bow and an arrow; their flag was decorated with a silver crescent and sword. Their uniform also differed from those of other Turkish soldiers and the shape of their hat which hung down at the back was especially characteristic.