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Former good article nomineeJanissary was a History good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
July 20, 2012Good article nomineeNot listed

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 23 August 2021 and 10 December 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Jmd684.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 01:04, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Wikipedia 0.7[edit]

Changed B-Class referencing to No as some sections are missing citation. Otherwise, article is fine.--dashiellx (talk) 11:21, 22 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've added plenty of refs and it's been re-assessed as B-class. More eyes on this would be appreciated. --ROGER DAVIES talk 21:25, 30 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Refs in lede[edit]

I removed the following and bring it here for discussion:

Initially a small compact force of elite troops, they grew in size and power during the five centuries of their existence until they eventually became a threat to the fabric of the Ottoman empire. In their later years, they mutinied whenever an attempt was made to reform them, deposing and murdering those sultans they regarded as enemies.

This is completely unreferenced, and makes some very strong claims, to boot. This has to be cited or stay gone. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 19:06, 13 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a rather strange action, since the Janissaries had to be disbanded with extreme force and violence due to their direct threat to the Ottoman State, as a whole section in the article explains. Unreferenced? Whole library full of books have been written about why and how they were disbanded, some are mentioned here. Did you even read the article? Please restore the above. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 15 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I removed this months ago, and you come now demanding I restore it? Interesting. If there are so many great sources, then add one to the lede that shows this statement to be true. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 14:22, 15 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I did. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Celibacy controversy[edit]

There is a controversy about being celibate as a Janissary:

"They were subject to strict discipline, but they were paid salaries and pensions on retirement, and were free to marry; those conscripted through devşirme formed a distinctive social class[...]"

but then "Janissaries trained under strict discipline with hard labour and in practically monastic conditions in acemi oğlan ("rookie" or "cadet") schools, where they were expected to remain celibate."

What's correct now? -- Halk52 (talk) 16:14, 29 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The first, I suppose, refers to Janisseries overall; the second to their initial period of training. It doesn't seem very controversial to me.  Roger Davies talk 06:51, 1 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Yeniçeri means "new soldier" in Turkish. [1] F.Mehmet (talk) 13:28, 28 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

However, whilst this is the generally accepted view, there is an alternative etymology that derives Janissary from the Persian جان نثار jan nissar - life or soul scatterer. This is a much more coherent and meaningful phrase than yeni çeri, which is an odd mixture of the Turkish yeni, new, and the rather obscure Middle Persian chērīh, bravery, victory (çeri in modern Turkish simply means "contents" - yeni asker would have be a more straightforward rendering of "new troops" in Turkish).

Incidentally, يکيچرى does not say yenicheri but yakicheri - it would be interesting to see the word written in an authentic Ottoman text. And why would it have passed into spoken usage as "Janissary", if it were written yenicheri? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:32, 25 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, it says yeniçeri. The letter ک in this word (and many words derived from old Turkic and have velar nasal) symbolises velar nasal in Ottoman Turkish. During Ottoman times, we wrote "yeni"يکى -"new" You proved its Turkish origin yourself. See Ottoman Turkish. Greetings. F.Mehmet (talk) 12:52, 31 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why the tilde over the N in yeñiçeri? What is the difference in the transliteration between ñ and n? I searched and couldn't find anything. I was tempted to change it to the simple N (as it seems to be e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e else).

Sokollu Mehmed Paşa / Mehmet Pasa Sokolovic[edit]

Sokollu Mehmed Paşa (family name: Sokolovic) was a christian Serb from Bosnia not a Bosniak. He became a muslim shortly before he was turned into a member of the janissary. The history of the Balkans may be difficult, but nonetheless the article should be based on facts, which are worldwide known.-- (talk) 14:50, 20 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I bet you haven't got a neutral source for this information. Mehmed Paşa's origin is not known. Maybe he was a Bosniak, maybe he was a Serbian, it does not change anything. The most important thing is that he is an Ottoman. Greetings.F.Mehmet (talk) 18:56, 2 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well regarding a fact that "Bosniak's" are either converted Croat's, either converted Serbs..he surly wasn't "Bosniak".and regarding a fact that Bajo Nenadić sound like Serbian name...i will say he was a Serb before become Ottoman. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 29 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ceddin Deden[edit]

ceddin deden was written in 20th century. if you look at the lyrics, you can see the nationalism there. nationalism isn't the best thing for empires, i suppose.

btw, it was written by ismail hakkı bey. -- (talk) 01:48, 1 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

İsmail Hakkı Bey (1860-1929). And it was composed by Kaptanzâde Ali Rıza Bey (1881-1934). Takabeg (talk) 20:19, 11 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This paragraph appears to be missing something in the middle[edit]

There seems to be something missing between the first and second sentances here (and the 2nd sentance doesn't seem to be in quite the right style or tone either):

The Janissaries became the first Ottoman standing army, replacing forces that mostly contained tribal warriors (ghazis) whose loyalty and morale were not always guaranteed.[1]But they all learned Islam in the madrasas and each of them became a Muslim. Turks took them as slaves but showed mercy and they stayed in the closest rooms to the Sultan's room. Turks themselves were not strangers to the "slave-soldier" system, since Turkish slaves and mercenaries served as memluk or ghilman soldiers in the Abbasid and Fatimid Empires. Ghaznavid Turks also used Afghan and İndian slaves in such manner.

Wardog (talk) 14:44, 6 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Famous Janissaries[edit]

I consider it an omission not to mention famous Janissaries as Koca Mimar Sinan and Piri Reis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:46, 11 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree for Mimar Sinan, but are there any sources that Piri Reis was a janissary?--Antidiskriminator (talk) 12:18, 11 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Mladic made reference to this term in a video in the trial, which can be seen at BBC news. Dahis redirects here, but the term occurs only once in the article, without explanation of what it is/means. Could someone possibly fix this? --Dweller (talk) 11:23, 17 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Janissary/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Dana boomer (talk · contribs) 17:37, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi! I'll be reviewing this article for GA status and should have my full review up shortly. Dana boomer (talk) 17:37, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    • The lead needs to be expanded. For an article of this length, the lead should be around three paragraphs, and should summarize the whole article without including information that is unique (not found in the body of the article).
    • I'm not sure what the summary in the infobox is for...the infobox should be easily digested bits of information (statistics, etc), while summaries are left to the lead.
    • Some redundant information/headings. For example, there is the heading "Recruitment, training and status" and the heading "Training".
    • The organization is rather...strange. The history sections and the technical specification sections (recruitment, training, equipment, etc) seem all mixed together. I think a good deal of thought should be given to the organization of this article, so that the reader has a coherent story to follow.
    • Because of the issues with referencing and organization, I did not do a thorough prose check.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    • The largest problem (and the main reason for the failure of this GAN) is the lack of referencing. There are entire sections missing references, including statistics, opinions and potentially controversial information. Because of the lack of referencing, it is hard to see if there is original research.
    • Two citation needed tags - these should have been fixed before the article was nominated for GAN, especially given that the one was placed almost four years ago.
    • What makes ref #11 (The Janissaries and the Ottoman Armed forces) a reliable source?
    • Ref #5 (Encyclopædia Britannica. Eleventh Edition) needs additional information - what volume? what article?
    • Ref #23 (See "Janissary music," New Grove Online) needs additional information - what is this? A book? A webpage? An encyclopedia?
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    • It appears to cover the major aspects, but due to the other problems I did not do a check for focus.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    • I did not check this.
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    • File:Ataturk Janissary.jpg needs additional information - the licensing is for author death + 70 years, but there is nothing showing who the author is or that he died more than 70 years ago.
  7. Overall:
    I am unfortunately going to have to fail this article's GA nomination. There are significant issues with referencing and organization that preclude it from being of GA status at this time. I see that the nominating editor has no edits to the article or its talk page besides the nominating edit, and I would like to suggest that they take some time to work on the article with the criteria in mind. Please let me know if you have any questions, Dana boomer (talk) 17:55, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CONverted to Islam, not REverted to Islam ![edit]

Because the children recruited into the Janissary core where from Christian families, they CONVERTED to Islam during the training stages. They did not REVERTED to Islam, because they had not been Muslim prior to the enrollement into the Janissary training !! In fact, inclusion of Muslim childred into the Janissary core was totally forbidden during the first four centuries of the existence of the Janissary core !! Be more carefull with the use of the English language when you create history articles. The inapropriate use of some words would mislead the reader and give a disparate and twisted image on the subject.

Translations in the intro paragraph[edit]

Why are there so many translations in paranthesis in the first paragraph? Should all of those even be there? Robert (talk) 16:41, 19 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. It is entirely unnecessary, unless those translations hold direct historical significance (e.g. the Turkish translation). I'm removing all the translations other than the turkish translation. If anyone has a problem with that, feel free to revert it, but please comment here so we can have a discussion as to why those are necessary (in the lead of all places) --Nick2253 (talk) 19:58, 15 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Decline of The Janissaries[edit]

Don't know much about Janissaries, but this section seems ambiguous and uncited. Referring to the Janissaries as a "valiant fighting force" is rather unscholarly and a bit weird.

--Anonymous, 4:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Uniform colours[edit]

In the infobox, the colours are Red and Green, but there is also an Blue Uniform type. --Sevenman2345 — Preceding undated comment added 12:56, 17 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Equipment: "Trench Gun with 80mm ball?"[edit]

In the Equipment section, there is the line "In particular, they used a massive 'trench gun', firing an 80-millimetre (3.1 in) ball,[citation needed]" I have doubts that anyone carried around essentially a miniature cannon that shot a 3.1 inch lead ball. There is no citation for this and if no one can come up with one it should probably be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:50, 13 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Most of them are described in Osprey Janissaries by David Nicole especially the "Trench Gun with 80mm ball". LaLa_AL (talk) 10:57, 10 March 2017 (UTC)sevenman2345Reply[reply]

Unreliable sources[edit]

This article makes extensive use of unreliable sources. Alan Palmer and Lord Kinross are/were not academic historians, their books can't be used as serious sources on an encyclopedia. Likewise large segments of the article are based upon Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane's book Balance. Neither of these people are historians of the Ottoman Empire. This article must be based on sound, reliable, scholarly sources by historians who actually specialize in this topic. If you write an article based on books by people who aren't experts, then you're going to get a lot of distortion and misinformation. Chamboz (talk) 18:38, 23 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"kapıkulları" or "kapıkullar"[edit]

In the paragraph "Origins", I read this sentence: "The Janissaries were kapıkulları". Anyway, the plural is not "kapıkulları", but "kapıkullar", unless Ottoman Turkish used another ending.

Sorry if I made any mistake.

Treuiller (talk) 14:21, 1 September 2018 (UTC) TreuillerReply[reply]

Yeah, that's just not correct, sorry. The plural of kapıkulu is kapıkulları. The word merges two nouns together "kapı" and "kul" so you need to include the -i/ı/u/ü suffix based on vowel harmony. For kapıkul it's 'u' and for kapıkullar it's ı. 'kapıkullar' without this addition is grammatically incorrect, it would be like writing "kapıkul" for the singular. It's not related to a difference between Ottoman and modern Turkish (the Ottoman word is actually kapukulları). Chamboz (talk) 14:28, 1 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Were Janissary recruits kidnapped? -Please fix[edit]

I am only a reader who read such biased info here. Instead, I read from various history books that Janissary recruits were recruited IF a Christian family have six boys, so one-only was picked to be given to country. Also there were incidents, which in some Balkan regions, locals were offended if Janissary recruiters did not visit their village for this prestigious duty (because of high salary, and possibility of raising as a Vizier, such as intelligent boys were picked for Enderun (Vizier school) and normal boys were picked for Janissary school, and dumb boys were picked for to be raised as shipwright or porter).

Thus saying Janissary recruits were kidnapped is wrong. Surely there could be rare instances, however mainly there was a solid system which Janissary recruiters visiting villages and inspecting children amounts of Christian families.

Thanks for other nice proper information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:37, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There were families that bribed officials to enlist their children, I will add that when I have spare time wtih a proper source.--Visnelma (talk) 19:25, 3 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First Modern Standing Army in Europe?[edit]

The first paragraph introduces the Janissaries as "the first modern standing army in Europe", as in, a professional and organized military structure (see link to standing army). This sounds like a subjective assessment since the first such standing army would have been the Ancient Roman army, which was European, organized and constituted of professional soldiers, most of which enrolled voluntarily, I believe.

I wouldn't call Ancient Rome a MODERN standing army. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:1970:5163:1200:0:0:0:FBA4 (talk) 02:40, 4 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some do not differentiate between military and army. Yes, the Janissary army has its own name — Janissary Corps. There are a few willing to merge the concepts. Станислав Минков (talk) 10:34, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]