Ferenc Wathay 1
It meant "guarding, protecting". They were Turkish fortress soldiers in the infantry, the most important ones after yanichars and gönüllüs (they were often identified with yanichars). Their soldiers' pay was 6-8 akche a day. The elite group of müstahfiz-s was the core of Turkish border defence. Usually smaller müstahfiz units protected bridges, gunpowder mills, weapon warehouses, which demanded special protection.