The Ottoman Empire is easily the most famous historical empire to share a name with a type of footstool, and the most notable group of individuals from its centuries-long history was the Janissaries. The Auspicious Incident, the day that marked the massacre of the Janissaries at the hands of Sultan Mahmud II, ended that notoriety. A highly trained military force with an existence nearly as long as the Empire’s, the Janissaries were originally composed entirely of slaves who were bound to the sultan after being captured as children and forcibly converted from Christianity. Despite this seemingly cruel origin story, the Janissaries fought bravely and loyally for the Ottomans in many important battles, including the capture of Constantinople.
Unfortunately, the golden age of the Janissary could not last forever, and slipping recruitment standards caused the group’s loyalty and effectiveness to wane. By the end of their tenure as an inimitable fighting force, the Janissaries were nothing more than an elite class of society bent on controlling the Empire through their military might. This often left them in opposition to the very sultans they were still technically sworn to, and they participated in several coups. That all ended, along with the Janissaries themselves, in June of 1826, when Sultan Mahmud II enacted the Auspicious Incident and wiped them out.
The Attack Was Incredibly Brutal, Efficient, And Successful
It Ended The 500-Year Existence Of The Janissaries
Formerly Slaves, The Janissaries Had Become An Elite Class Free From Paying Taxes
By The Time Of The Incident, Janissaries Had Become King Makers
The Rules Had Slipped For Janissary Recruitment, As Had Their Loyalty
The Incident Came As A Result Of Decades Of Plotting