the mid-18th. Century provincial sipahi cavalry formed the majority
of most Ottoman armies.They numbered around 40,000 men in the 15th
and 16th centuries, over half of whom came from the European provinces
(Rumelia).Ordinary timar fiefs supported one horseman,while the
holders of larger zeamets were also expected to equip mounted retainers
or cebelüs.Large still were the hass fiefs of the Sultan's family,
viziers and favorite ministers. An ordinary sipahi lived in a village,
work his own land, had to pay the peasants for most of their services
and received no salary.
Vassals played a more important part in Turkish
victories than is generally realized .Most areas accepted Ottoman
Suzeranity after the Turks captured their key towns.The sons of
many princes served as müteferrika cavalry in the Ottoman capital.T
his regiment,which also included the sons of turkish nobleman, formed
part of the Kapikulu coprs.Müteferrika were paid, uniformed and
educated by the Ottomans while at the same time being hostages.
infantry forces went by a confusing number of names, the meanings
of which could change over the centuries.Among the first were azaps.Most
were Anatolian turks and at first they were only paid for the duration
of a campaing.Later they got regular salaries and als acted as garrison
The gönüllüyan (volunteer infantry) who manned local stronpoints
could be Muslim or Christian, and were similarly supported by their
Voyniks were Balkan Christians.They are first recorded as the infantry
followers of Christian sipahis fighting for Murat I.