The Bashbosq … Ottoman mercenaries vandalized and plundered wherever they were

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Source: Arabic.Net – Taha Abdel Nasser Ramadan

From its beginnings, it headed The Ottoman Sultanate To rely on irregular and mercenary forces in many of their military operations. Like the “Azap forces” that consisted of militia from peasants and young single villagers who volunteered as irregular infantrymen and received salaries during wartime periods, and the “Akinji forces” classified as a type of “light cavalry unit” that met Its members, on raids and looting, the Ottomans did not hesitate to create what is known as the “bashi-bazouk” teams, also known as “bashi-bazouk”, which consisted of foreign soldiers and were entrusted with “dirtiest” operations during periods of wars and revolutions.

A portrait of an artist, e-mail, to form a french embodiment of a member of the Bashi
A portrait of an artist, e-mail, to form a french embodiment of a member of the Bashi

According to most historians, the mercenary of the Bashbosq was made up of a mixture of races, the majority of whom were Albanian and Circassian. And because they were not adopted as official soldiers, they lacked uniforms, and they often wore different clothes from each other, the most prominent of which were wide-sleeved jackets decorated in many colors such as green, red, yellow, and loose trousers. Their heads.

Painting by Jean Leon Jerome, painted in 1869 by a member of the Bashi-Bazouks
Painting by Jean Leon Jerome, painted in 1869 by a member of the Bashi-Bazouks

In addition, the “Bashbosq” carried multiple weapons, such as ordinary swords, swords, pistols, and rifles, and it was said that their different weapons were caused by the difference in their culture and the regions they came from. On the other hand, the mercenaries were forced to bring their weapons with them when they joined the “Bashbosq”, and in the event of their lack of it, many of them did not hesitate to rent weapons from the squad leader, who was intentionally deducted from their meager wages.

A painting embodying a bashbosch element
A painting embodying a bashbosch element

The mercenary of the Bashbosq lacked discipline, as the Ottomans failed to impose order on their ranks. The French and the British resented their behavior in the Crimean War, which forced the Ottomans after that to entrust secondary military tasks to the “Bashi-Bazouq” that were limited to reconnaissance and sabotage. They were distinguished by the behavior described as “disgraceful”, and they earned a bad reputation as causing trouble and troubles, as they deliberately entered the markets to create chaos inside and wasted alcohol and always went to publicize their weapons and shoot the air, causing terror among civilians.

In the time of wars and revolutions, the Ottoman Empire did not hesitate to use the “Bashbosq” to attack civilians inside the cities, as these ruins spread wherever they were, and they stole and looted property, burned homes, blackmailed the people, intentionally kidnapped children and women, raped them and transferred many of them as slaves to the Astana. She was also associated with several mercenary “Bashbosq” Genocide and war crimesPerhaps the most prominent of them in the contemporary period is the Batak massacre in Bulgaria in 1876, which claimed the lives of about 7,000 people after the April Revolution, and the Phocaea massacre in 1914, in addition to many other crimes in the midst of war. Independence of Greece during the 1820s.

Contemporary photograph of a bashi-bouzouq
Contemporary photograph of a bashi-bouzouq

Thanks to this profession they practiced, the mercenaries of the “Bashbouzouq” got a lot of money. In return for receiving very little wages that were barely enough to fill Al-Rumq settlement, they accumulated tremendous wealth through the looting, robbery, and theft that they professed upon entering the cities by order of the Ottoman officials. Thanks to this, the profession of mercenaries “Bashbosq” attracted a huge number of criminals and bandits who came to Astana to join its ranks and obtain a legal character to carry out their duties.

A painting of the French painter Jean Lyon Jerome, of a bashbosque singer
A painting of the French painter Jean Lyon Jerome, of a bashbosque singer
Painting by Polish painter Shlibowski depicting a member of the Bashi-Bazouki while smoking
Painting by Polish painter Shlibowski depicting a member of the Bashi-Bazouki while smoking



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