Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies: Teagan Cameron

When and Where

Thursday, April 18, 2024 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
BF200B, Conference Room
Bancroft Building (4 Bancroft Avenue, Toronto)


Teagan Cameron, University of Toronto


Janissaries, Slaves, and Witnesses in the Qadi Court Records of Istanbul, 1652-86

The transformation of the Ottoman janissary corps from a slave army to a major social group in civilian urban spaces has been well recognized by historians. From the late sixteenth century onwards, they entered guilds, opened coffeehouses, and turned to civilian channels of justice for their disputes, especially the qadi courts. Nevertheless, the impact of this transformation on their traditional status as “slaves of the sultan” remains obscure. Were they slave, free, or experiencing another form of unfreedom entirely? What can sharia court records of the period tell us about their status in relation to their civilian activities? This presentation will examine how janissaries appear in the Istanbul records and what these appearances reveal about their stature in the wider community.

* See the event poster: PDF iconCameron, SOTS 2024-04-18.pdf