Orhan established regular standing cavalry formations
('akinci') to which he added infantry regiments known as "Yenic;eri"
or "new soldiers". These were the celebrated "Janissaries",
an awesomely well-disciplined body of troops, the like of which
the world had not yet seen. They were recruited from Christian children,
prisoners and inhabitants of subjugated provinces, who had been
educated from early childhood at Muslim schools. There they were
not only taught iron discipline, but also the teachings of the Defenders
of the Faith ('Gazi') after the principles of Haji Bektash, the
founder of the Bektashi Dervish sect. A regular cult grew up around
him. His grave near Caesarea in Cappadocia has remained a place
of pilgrimage to this day.
Orhan Gazi continued to extend the boundaries of the new country,
adding Izmit and other places to his territories. Orhan gained a
notable victory over a Byzantine army which attempted to lift the
siege of Nice and added the principality of Karesi to his lands.
Angora was regained from the Ahi Tribe and Cheembi Castle, Gallipoli,
Bolayir, Malkara, Chorlou and Tekirdagh were added to Ottoman territories.
During the reign of Orhan Gazi coins were used for the first time
in the Ottoman Empire. Orhan died in 1360, being succeeded by his
son Murad I .
Orhan's son, Murad I (1359-1389) profited from his father's reforms.
His armies marched about the Balkans in all directions.
They took Adrianople (today Edirne) in 1362, Sofia in 1385, Nish
in 1386, Shumen in Bulgaria, Nicopolis (Nigbolu) and Silestre in
Dobruja. Only at Turnovo was a tiny Bulgarian state left, which
had to pay annual tribute to the conqueror until 1393.
Murad was not only active in the Balkans. In Asia Minor he captured
Angora/Ankara (in antiquity: Ancyra) and subdued the East Anatolian
Principality of Karaman as well as a dozen cities and extended his
territory to include all of Anatolia.