The military organization of the Akıncıs in Ottoman Rumelia
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This study's primary objective is to shed light on the peculiarities of one military corps in the Ottoman army, particularly that of the akıncıs. Examining the first so far known akıncı defteri from the second half of the fifteenth century with all its peculiarities and putting it into the historical context of the time, this research stresses its importance. Moreover, taking a look on the preceding centuries of the Ottoman history, in which the raiders (akıncılar)and especially their military commanders played a great role in the Ottoman military advance on the Balkans, prominence is given to the possible breaking point in the organizational status of a defined body of the akıncı corps in the Ottoman army,which the defter from 1472 marks in this troop's existence. Thus the study attempts to examine the corps in its first formative stage when it became a distinctive body of the centralized Ottoman military forces. Therefore, an examination is made on the character of the first Ottoman advance into Balkan territories, when the traditions of the marches represented by the prominent akıncı leaders, was still playing a great role in the Ottoman military actions. The time of Mehmed the Conqueror and especially the register for the raiders' recruitment from the second half of the fifteenth century, come to illustrate the assimilation of the representatives of the frontier culture into the centralized structures of the growing Empire. The development of both-the corps itself and its commanders, has been examined. Consequently, the final aim of this study is to reveal the early stages of the akıncı corps in terms of organization.