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Open Access Turks in the Ottoman Imperial Palace

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Turks in the Ottoman Imperial Palace

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Chapter Summary

To a non-specialist "Turks in the Ottoman Imperial Palace" may sound reasonable, even expected, certainly innocuous, but in Ottoman studies the expression comes with a question mark and an exclamation point. Both in terms of the underlying principles and in terms of actual practice there were supposed to be no Turks in the Ottoman palace, except in special circumstances. But from the late sixteenth century, as critics put it, Turks and Kurds and other riffraff penetrated the palace and so caused the deterioration of the venerable institution of the imperial household. The imperial household differed from others in two qualitative ways, one having to do with firearms and the other with the method of recruitment. The imperial household was supposed to have a monopoly on the use of gunpowder and firearms, only partly to be explained on the basis of the traditional royal prerogative of controlling all mining.

Keywords: household troops; imperial household; Ottoman imperial palace; Turks



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