List of Ottoman titles

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This list is continuously updated, for different spellings see the articles on the title, if available.

Traditional Ottoman titles

(Titles are in alphabetical order)

Civil and military affairs

title translation Explanation
Ağa Commander, captain Officers, also within the militarily organized state administration ( gedikli ağa ); see also section "Women and Harem"
Alaybeği Commander of a force
Commander of the feudal riding (the feudal bearers who are bound to military success)
Alp Warrior, hero Former name of honor for outstanding warriors
Azab Jungmann, unmarried Lightly armed infantry militia, auxiliary force of the Janissaries , bulk of the Ottoman army; see also paragraph "Janissaries"
"Supreme Soup Distributor" Chief of the mayor ( çorbacı , s. D)
Basdeli Sergeant Subordinate of the deli (s. D.)
Beğ, Bey Lord, commander Prince, noble private person or high military man, son (without rank of his own) of a dignitary, also short for sancakbeği (s. D.)
Beğlerbeği, Beylerbey "Lord of Lords" Originally commander in chief of the armed forces, later the highest-ranking Sancakbeği (see d.), One each in Anatolia and Rumelia ; Title of the governors attached to the princes as lala (s. D.); Provincial Governor
Bostancıbaşı Gardener Colonel Commander of a grand bodyguard of gardens and palaces ( bostancı )
Bölükbaşı Squad Leader Commander of a mercenary militia; see also paragraph "Janissaries"
Cebecibaşı Arsenal Colonel Commander of the arsenal troops
Cebeciler kâtibi Arsenal model master Head of the arsenal troops
Çorbacı "Soup distributor" Mayor, see Başçorbacı ; see also paragraph "Janissaries"
Defterdar Bookkeeper Reich Minister of Finance later also provincial finance officer
Deli The daredevils Body cavalry of viziers and Beğs
Delibaşı Colonel of the deli see deli
Efendi Lord, master civil servant (borrowed from the Greek); see also paragraph "clergy, scholars, judges"
Emir , Amīr Lord, commander Commander of a Muslim troop, then governor
Ghazi Believers Fighter for faith, hero, nickname of the early Ottoman rulers (Arabic gazi 'warrior')
Gönüllü The brave, the volunteers Light cavalry like the deli (s. D.)
Hasseki, Haseki Veteran Long-serving in the army, lower officer of the bostancı (s. D.); see also paragraphs "Court of the Sultan ..." and "Women and Harem"
Kaptan-ı Derya "Captain of the Seas" corresponds to the fleet admiral ( Büyük Amiral ), only awarded in 1538 by Sultan Süleyman I to Chaireddin Barbarossa ( Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa ) ( Ottoman : کاپیتان دریا Kaptan-ı Derya)
Kapudan paşa Supreme captain highest military rank in the Ottoman Navy, member of the Sultan's State Council , Commander in Chief and Minister of the Navy
Kâtib, Kâtip Clerk Clerk or secretary; see also paragraph "Sultan's Court ..."
Kethudâ Deputy Chief adjutant or authorized representative of a commander, see also paragraph "Court of the Sultan and high dignitaries"
Khedive Viceroy Title of the Ottoman Viceroys of Egypt (Turkish: Hıdiv )
Mehter bası Kapellmeister directs the Mehterhâne (s. d.), see also Mir-i alem (paragraph "Court of the Sultan ...")
Mehterhâne music Military music band
Mevkufatî Head of the office Head of the confiscation office (collection of goods to be delivered, income from fiefdoms, forfeited salaries, etc.)
Muhâfız guardian Garrison commander, fortress commander on the border
Tired , Mudir Chief Head of a district, vice-governor ( Anglo-Egyptian Sudan ); see also section "clergy, scholars, judges" (Arabic: مدير mudîr)
Muesel lime, muesellem equestrian Tax-exempt militia cavalryman
Odabaşı Room manager Third highest officer of a unit after the Ağa (s. D.) And the Kethüda (s. D.)
Paşa general Prince, vizier , highest military rank, high dignitary of the imperial administration
Paşazade "Pasha's son" Son of a Pasha (see also Paşa )
Re'âya the supervised Subjects liable to pay tribute, mostly the (Christian) peasant class
Sancakbeği Banner Lord Governor of a province ( sancak )
Ser'asker Commander in chief Supreme commander of a field army, general
Serçeşme Chief of the dog handler Commander of irregular provincial troops (pers. Seğbân , dog handler); see also paragraph "Janissaries"
Serdengeçti "Has given up his head" Higher-paid storm troops in fortress sieges, suicide mission
Serhad kulu, Serratkuli Frontier servant Provincial and border troops (Pers. Serhad 'border', Turkish kul 'servant, slave, servant')
Sipahi oğlu Fief cavalry Cavalry enfeoffed with a fief ( timur or siamet ) and committed to military success
Subaşı originally: army or troop leader (from sübaşı),
later change in meaning to "supreme water distributor"
City governor or city inspector, captain of the city troops, chief of a fiefdom cavalry squadron
Sürgün Exile Punishable resettled person
Terakkili Contract holder Fief rider or mercenary favored by fief or wages
Topçu ağa Artillery Colonel Commander in Chief of the Artillery (also topçubaşı )
Toviça Swarm leader Rottenführer the Akıncıs
Yaya pedestrian Auxiliary troops from the rural population raised in the event of war

Clergy, scholars, judges

title translation Explanation
Baba father Dervish title
Çelebi Junker Member of the lower clergy or theologically educated; see also paragraph "Sultan's Court ..."
Dersiâm professor Professor ( see Müderris ), who was also allowed to teach the general public in a mosque
Derviş, dervish Monk, ascetic Believers living in mystical worship (Pers. Darvish 'poor, beggar')
Efendi Lord, master Senior clergyman, scholar and civil servant (borrowed from the Greek); see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Fakih Legally trained Student of Islamic law , lower theologian rank (Arabic faqīh , legal literate)
Hahambaşı Chief rabbi Title of the Grand or Chief Rabbi of Turkey
Hacı, Hajji Pilgrims Honorific of Mecca pilgrim (Arab. Hâcci )
Hekimbaşı chief doctor Minister of Health of the Reich and supreme personal physician of the Sultan
Hoca ( Hodscha ) Teacher Honorary title for scholars: "Teacher of the Sultan"
imam Chief Prayer leader, leader of the Friday prayer of a mosque (from Arabic)
Istanbul Kadısı , Istanbul Efendisi City judge, mayor from 1453 to 1855 also mayor of Istanbul and chief judge, until 1922 only higher judge
Lālā mentor Educator and advisor to the Ottoman princes ( Şehzade , s. D.); see also paragraph "Sultan's Court ..."
Kazasker Army judge Head of the administration of justice, one each in Anatolia and Rumelia
Mevlâna His Eminence Name for legal scholars and religious dignitaries (Arabic "Our Lord")
Molla Legal scholar “Notary” for the formulation of agreements and contracts
Tiredris professor Holder of a chair at a madrasah
Mufti Legal advisor Official legal expert, gives legal information in the form of fatwas
Tired , Mudir director Head of a high school ( madrasa ); see also paragraph "Civil and military affairs" (Arabic: مدير mudîr)
Mülâzım Contender, candidate Trained legal scholar without office; see also paragraph "After the army reforms"
Münlâ District judge Judge above the Qādī (kadı) (s. D.) In the ten most important cities of the empire
Nâib Assistant judge Assessor of a Qādī (kadı) (s. D.)
Ordu kadısı Camp judge Qādī also kadı, (s. D.) At the court of a dignitary
Qādī Judge Judge (Kadı) of an administrative district
Sadr "Front piece" Denomination of rank for high judicial and religious officials who were given the front seats, i.e. the places of honor, in meetings (Arabic صدر; plural Sudur , "chest")
Şehid martyr Martyrs, dead in the religious struggle
Şeyh Honorable man Head of the order, teacher of the faith
Şeyh ül-islâm Legal advisor Mufti of Istanbul , supreme theological authority of the Ottoman Empire , appointed the sultan
Seyyid Mr Descendant of the Prophet Mohammed or his grandson Husain ibn Ali (borrowed from Arabic)
Ulema Law teacher Teacher for divine law and constitutional law

Court of the Sultan or high dignitary

title translation Explanation
Bab-ı saadet ağası Chief steward Head of the four court offices (key, tablecloth, sorbet and jug keeper), lives in the seraglio
Başçuhadar Chief Chamberlain Chief of the Sultan's chamberlains (see "Çokadar")
Başmabeyinci Supreme Mabeyinci see "Mabeyinci"
Çakırcıbaşı Supreme Falconer High office at the Ottoman court, decline in importance from the 17th century
Çavuş, Tschausch Executive body Divan officer assigned to security or special tasks, officer for special use at court
Çavuşbaşı Court Marshal Gate Marshal, Minister of Executive, Executive
Çavuşlar kethüdâsı Court Marshal Colonel of the executive organs of the sultan or of a governor
Çelebi Junker Prince; see also paragraph "clergy, scholars, judges"
Çokadar Lackey Valet, companion on foot of a mounted dignitary
Çubukçubaşı "Lord of the pipes, of the tobacco" Title of the person in charge of the sultan's tobacco
Damad , Damat son in law official title of a man who married into the Sultan's family
Darüssa'âde ağası Colonel eunuch Chief Steward of the Sultan's Court
Dilsiz Tongue less Deaf and dumb servants in the Ottoman palace
Dîvân çavuşu Divan folder Executive organ (folder) on the divan
Dîvân tercümânı Divan interpreter Official interpreter of a council meeting (of the sultan or the governor)
Divitdar Stationery keeper Most senior minister in the Egyptian Mamluk Empire
Han, Khan Ruler Additional title of the ruling sultan
Hasodabaşı Manager Head of house in the Sultan's palace
Hassbeği Domain Lord Interim administrator of a sultan's domain
Hasseki, Haseki Veteran Long serving in the seraglio ; see also paragraphs "Civil and military affairs" and "Women and harem"
Hazinedar başı Chief Treasurer white eunuch, wears the sultan's prayer rug and ceremonial turban on festive occasions
Hunkâr, hudâvendkâr Autocrat Honorary name of the sultan since Mehmed I and the conquest of Constantinople (pers. 'Ruler')
İmrahor ,
Emir-i Ahur
chief equerry Title of the chief stableman in the Sultan's palace , he had the rank of Paşas (sd)
Kahvecibaşı "Chief Coffee Chef" Title of the Sultan's Coffee Maker and Sevierers
Ka'immakam Deputy Representative of the Grand Vizier in Istanbul during his absence (Arabic qa'im maqam , 'king instead of king'); see also paragraph "After the army reforms"
Kapıcıbaşı Chamberlain Chief of the gatekeepers and treasurers ( kapıcılar )
Kapıkulu ocakları Servant of the gate The troops of the gate, especially the janissaries and the court cavalry ( kapı 'gate', kul 'servant, slave, servant', ocak 'home, center')
Kâtib, Kâtip Clerk Clerk or secretary, divan-i hümayun kâtibi (secretary at the Sultan's court ); see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Kayser-i Rum Emperor (absolute ruler) Mehmet 2. (1432–1481) ruler title used in the Ottoman Empire
Kethudâ Court Prefect, "Lord of Servants" Chief adjutant or authorized representative of a dignitary or commander, holder of a position of trust with a dignitary; see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Kethüda beğ Deputy Beğ Approximately corresponds to the Minister of the Interior
Kilarçı başı Cellar master Head of the food and drinks warehouse , sets up the tablecloth, prepares desserts and drinks (pers. Kilar , cellar)
Lālā mentor confidential address of the Grand Vizier by the Sultan ; see also paragraph "clergy, scholars, judges"
Mabeyinci Forwarder at court brings the Sultan's decisions and accepts petitions and communications to him (from the Arabic expression mabeyin : "what is in between"), see also "Başmabeyinci"
Mir-i alem , Emir-i alem "Lord of the flags" Title of the person responsible for the flags and standards of the Sultan was in charge, and the commander of all military bands ( Mehterhane , s d.).
Mirza prince Title of distinguished Tatars ( pers.emîrzâde , Prince's son)
Müteferrika Fouriere Servants in the immediate vicinity of the sultan , mostly sons of high dignitaries, in Istanbul keepers of the court treasure, in the field watchers of the flag and horse tails of the sultan
Nişancı Calligrapher Draftsman of the grand Tughra , issuer of diplomas, keeper of seals
Padishah Grand Lord Title of the ruling sultan (pers. Pâdişâh 'great ruler, king')
Paşalı Paschaknecht Servant of a pasha
Reîs Efendi, Reîs ül-küttâb State Chancellor Approximately corresponds to the Minister for Foreign Affairs
Rikiab ağası Lord of the stirrup Colonel of the stirrup holder (see also silihdar )
Rikiabdar Stirrup holder Deputy of the rikiab ağası (s. D.)
Şahinci Falcon keeper Department of the Grand Huntsmanship
Sarıkçıbaşı "Supreme Turban Keeper" Title of the officer who was responsible for keeping, washing and dressing with the turban at the Sultan 's
Şehzade "Ruler's son" Title for all male descendants of the Sultan (before the name)
Şehnameci Author of a Şehname Office of the poet's chronicler to praise the ruler. The office was created under Suleyman the Magnificent
Selâm ağası Greetings master Congratulatory and greeting bearers between dignitaries
Silâhdar gun carrier Bodyguard cavalryman, weapon bearer, stirrup holder, sword bearer of the Sultan
Silâhdarbaşı Body Cavalry Colonel Colonel of a body cavalry of the Sultan ( silihdar , s. D.)
Sipahioğlanı Traveling boy Member of a sultan's body cavalry ( sipahi )
sultan Ruler Since Murad I (1359–1389) in the Ottoman Empire used ruler title (before the name), for prince or princess (after the name), from the Arabic
Sultanzade Prince title Son of an Ottoman princess (led by name)
Sünnetçi Circumciser specialized doctor, similar to the Jewish mohel who circumcised the Ottoman princes
Tekür, tekir, tekfür "Emperor" Title of (mostly Christian) local princes and lords of the castle at the time of the conquest of Asia Minor by Osman I (Armenian: t'agavor 'prince')
Telhîsî Court clerk Bearer of reports and submissions from the Grand Vizier to the Sultan
Ulûfeci mercenary Member of the Sultan's Guard Cavalry
Yalı ağası Coast Master Administrator of the port income of the Khan of the Crimean Tatars
vizier minister Grand Vizier ( sadr-i a'zam ): Chairman of the Council of Ministers, representative of the Sultan (Arabic vezîr , who helps carry the burden ')


title translation Explanation
Acemi oğlânı Pupils Apprentice Janissary candidates
Azab Jungmann, unmarried Lightly armed infantry militia, auxiliary force of the janissaries ; see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Başçavuş Obersttschausch Commander of the 5th Janissary Company , deputy of the kul kethüdâsı (s. D.), Person in charge of parades
Bölükbaşı Squad Leader Commander of a smaller Janissary unit; see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Çorbacı "Soup distributor" Traditional name of the Janissary company commanders; see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Kapıkulu ocakları Servant of the gate The troops of the gate, especially the janissaries and the court cavalry ( kapı 'gate', kul 'servant, slave, servant', ocak 'home, center')
Kul kethüdâsı Janissary Prefect Deputy of the Janissary Arena ( yeniçeri ağası , s. D.)
Muhzır ağa Büttel-Colonel Colonel of the Janissary Military Police, Commander of the Sultan's Protection Force
Samsuncubaşı Chief of the dog handlers Commander of the 71st Janissary Company ( samsuncu , dog warden), third deputy of the Janissary arena
Serçeşme Chief of the dog handler Commander of the 65th Janissary Company (pers. Seğbân , dog handler); see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Turnacıbaşı Crane Keeper Colonel Traditional name of the janissary commanders and their deputies in border fortresses
Yayabaşı Company commander entrusted with carrying out the boy harvest ( devşirme )
Yeniçeri ağası Janissary arena General of the Janissary Corps or Commander of the Janissary Garrison of a Province
Yeniçeri sakâsı Janissary water carriers Responsible for the drinking water supply of the Janissary Company
Zağarcıbaşı Chief male attendant Commander of the 64th Janissary Company ( zağarcı , male guardian)

Women and harem

title translation Explanation
Ağa Commander Palace eunuchs of the grand harem ; see also section "Civil and military affairs"
Gedikli The chosen ones Haremsdamen from whose number of Sultan itself or the valid Sultan (s. D.) The next bed of the companion Padischah selected
Hasseki, Haseki "Long-serving" Favorite who gave birth to the Sultan a son, see also paragraphs "Civil and military affairs" and "Court of the Sultan ..."
Hatun woman Elegant married lady
Hanim Sultan Princess title Daughter of an Ottoman princess
Ikbal concubine Concubine who gave birth to a daughter to the Sultan, also Odalisque (Turkish oda, odalık , room, room ')
Kadın Efendi Main wife Title, the first four wives of Ottoman Sultans since Mehmed IV. Was awarded
Kapı Ağası White Chief Steunuch Title of the supreme white palace eunuch , head of the palace school
Kethüdâ kadın,
Supreme woman Supervisor and financial administrator of the sultan - harem , directly subordinate to the valid sultan (s. D.) (Turkish kadın , woman)
Kızlar Ağası Supreme eunuch Most senior of the black eunuchs , most important person in the harem after the valid sultan (s. D.)
Odalisque "Flatmate" Servants of the sultan's wives and were under the supervision of the sultan's mother
Sultan, Sultana princess Daughter of the sultan, princess (after the name, e.g .: Ayla Sultan)
Valide sultan Sultan's mother Mother of the ruling sultan, supreme authority in the harem

After the army reforms

(Titles are ordered according to rank)

Rank / troop translation Remarks
Ser'asker Commander in chief from 1826 instead of the Janissary ğas army commander and minister of war (until 1845 also responsible for public security, e.g. police, fire brigade), from 1908 new title of war minister harbıyye
Müşir Marshal introduced after the Tanzimat (1839)
Birinci ferik general Where
Ferik Division general Where
Liva Brigadier General where, in Iraq and Egypt (until 1939) in use (Turkish liwa 'Brigade')
Me alay Colonel Regiment commander (Turkish alay , regiment ')
Ka'im-makam Lieutenant colonel Introduced in 1826 by Sultan Mahmud II ; see also paragraph "Sultan's Court ..."
Binbaşı major first regimental, from the end of the 18th century battalion commander, literally "commander over 1000 men"
Kol ağası adjutant between major and captain, general staff captain
Yüzbaşı Captain literally "Commander over 100 men"
Mülazim-i evvel Lieutenant
Mülazim lieutenant see also paragraph "clergy, scholars, judges"
Çavuş ( Tschausch ) sergeant
Onbaşı corporal literally "commander over 10 men"
Asker soldier
Başı Bozuk 'asker Freerolls, irregulars Irregular troops (mostly from Albanians, Kurds, Circassians), disbanded in 1877

See also


  • The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition (English)
  • Gustav Bayerle: Pashas, ​​Begs, and Effendis. A historical dictionary of titles and terms in the Ottoman Empire . Istanbul: Isis Press, 1997. ISBN 975-428-107-6 (in English)
  • Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall : The Ottoman Empire's state constitution and state administration, presented from the sources of its basic laws. Camesinasche bookstore, Vienna 1815.
  • Stephan Kekule : About titles, offices, ranks and salutations in the official Ottoman language . Hall a. S .: Kaemmerer, 1892. Digitized version: [1]
  • Richard Franz Kreutel (translator): Kara Mustafa in front of Vienna. The Turkish diary of the siege of Vienna in 1683, written by the master of ceremonies of the Sublime Porte. Volume 1 of the series: Ottoman historians. Verlag Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1955, first edition.
  • Richard Franz Kreutel, Erich Prokosch, Karl Teply (translator): In the realm of the golden apple. The Turkish globetrotter Evliyâ Çelebi made a memorable trip to the Giaurenland and the city and fortress of Vienna in 1665. Volume 2 of the series: Ottoman historians. Verlag Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1987, ISBN 3-222-11747-0 .
  • Richard Franz Kreutel, Friedrich Kornauth (translator): Between paschas and generals. Report by 'Osman Ağa from Timisoara about the high points of his work as a diwand interpreter and diplomat. Volume 5 of the series: Ottoman historians. Verlag Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1966, first edition.
  • Richard Franz Kreutel (translator): The pious Sultan Bayezid. The history of his reign [1481–1512] according to the old Ottoman chronicles of Oruç and Anonymus Hanivaldanus. Volume 9 of the series: Ottoman historians. Verlag Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1978, ISBN 3-222-10469-7 .
  • Richard Franz Kreutel, Karl Teply (translator): The lion of Timisoara. Memories of Ca'fer Pascha the Elder, recorded by his keeper 'Alî. From the series: Ottoman historians. Volume 10, Verlag Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1981.
  • Stefan Schreiner (Ed.): The Ottomans in Europe. Memories and reports by Turkish historians. Verlag Styria, Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1985, ISBN 3-222-11589-3 .