Imperial Ideology in the Ottoman Empire

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The ruling elite of the Ottoman Empire were unique, because they were a foreign influence, which shaped the way they were perceived and how they displayed their identity. This was because; they were Devirshirme, recruits of the child levy system. They served in either the palace service or the Janissary military system. Their status as the ruling elite was bittersweet, filled with pros and cons. The Janissaries formed a powerful interest group, which allowed them to project their power to the Sultan as well as the people.

The Devirshirme were recruited through the child levy system to serve as statesmen and soldiers. They were recruited primarily from the Balkans, but also from other Christian European territories within the Ottoman Empire. This made them a foreign influence in the Islamic government. Therefore, they were forced to convert and Islam. Those that showed intellectual promise were educated in the Palace schools and entered palace service. Those that showed more athletic ability were trained to be janissaries and entered military service. Their pay was regulated by the S...

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