Serasker, or seraskier (Ottoman Turkish: سرعسكر‎; Turkish pronunciation: [ˈseɾaskeɾ]), is a title formerly used in the Ottoman Empire for a vizier who commanded an army.

Following the suppression of the Janissaries in 1826, Sultan Mahmud II transferred the functions of the old Agha of the Janissaries to the serasker. The latter now became a distinct office at the head of the Ottoman military, combining the functions of a commander-in-chief and a minister of war.[1] He also took over the Janissary Agha's former duties regarding the upkeep of order in Istanbul. Indeed, as the police system developed and expanded with the empire's progressive centralization, it became one of the main duties of the serasker until 1845, when it became a separate agency.[1]

The seat of the serasker and his department (bab-i seraskeri, or serasker kapısı—"Gate of the serasker") initially was in the Eski Saray, but were transferred to dedicated buildings in 1865. In 1879 the office was renamed to Ministry of War (Harbiye Nezareti) until 1890, when it reverted to its old name; it was finally renamed again to Ministry of War in 1908.[1]

Some notable seraskers:


  1. ^ a b c Lewis, Bernard (1986). "Bāb-i Serʿaskeri". The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume I: A–B. Leiden and New York: BRILL. p. 838. ISBN 90-04-08114-3.
  2. ^ Sinaplı, Ahmet Nuri. "Şeyhül Vüzera, Serasker Mehmet Namık Paşa". İstanbul: Yenilik Basımevi, 1987.


was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar, the 1685th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 685th year of the 2nd millennium, the 85th year of the 17th century, and the 6th year of the 1680s decade. As of the start of 1685, the Gregorian calendar was

10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Arslan Mehmed-paša

Arslan Mehmed-paša (Turkish: Arslan Mehmed Paşa; 1745–1812), was a governor of the Ottoman Province of Bosnia from 29 April 1789 to 15 October 1789. He was also a serasker of Bosnia.

Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye

The Mansure Army (Ottoman Turkish: عساكر منصورهٔ محمديه‎, romanized: Asâkir-i Mansûre-i Muhammediye, "The Victorious Soldiers of Muhammad") was an ocak of the Ottoman army. It was established by Mahmud II, who also disbanded the Janissary Corps.

After The Auspicious Incident and the disbandment of the Janissary Corps, Mahmud II established a new military ocak and Agha Hussein Pasha was appointed to the command of the corps. Husrev Pasha served as their serasker.

Mahmud II was not the first sultan who started the modernisation of the Ottoman army. Despite this, the Mansure Army became the main army corps of the Ottoman Empire until the Dissolution era. In 1912, the uniforms of the ocak were changed and finally in 1918, the Ottoman army was dissolved.

Battle of Stavuchany

The Battle of Stavuchany was a battle between the Russian and Ottoman armies, which took place on August 17(28) of 1739 during the Russo-Turkish War of 1735-1739.

Stavuchany (Russian: Ставучаны) is a small village some 12 km southwest of Khotyn (today's Chernivtsi Oblast in Ukraine). The Russian army (approx. 61,000 men and 250 cannons) under the command of Field Marshal Burkhard Christoph von Münnich approached Stavuchany, where the Ottoman army (80,000 to 90,000 men) under the leadership of serasker Veli-pasha occupied fortified heights. The Ottoman commander attempted to surround the Russian troops, but Münnich was able to repel numerous enemy attacks from his flanks and rear. The Russians managed to distract the Ottomans by their "window-dressing" activities on the left flank and then attacked the central positions of the Ottoman army with main forces, and captured them. The Russian army captured some 50 cannons and other trophies. The Ottoman army lost up to 1,000 men dead, while the Russians lost 13 killed and 54 wounded. As a result of the Battle of Stavuchany, the Ottoman fortress of Khotyn was captured on August 19(30) and the Russians occupied most of the Wallachia in September.

Despite the victory, Russia had to agree to the terms of the Treaty of Belgrade (September 18(29), 1739) due to Austria's withdrawal from the war, which practically reduced the achievements of the Russian army to zero.

Budzhak Horde

Budzhak Horde or Belgorod Horde was one of the successors of the Lesser Nogai Horde between the 17th century and the 18th century that were settled in the Northern Black Sea coast under protectorate of the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, Sanjak of Ozu (Yedisan). Its capital was in Căușeni.

In the 1620s the horde migrated from the Pontic steppes to the steppes of the Budzhak. The Bilhorod Tatars (20,000-30,000) were nomadic herdsmen. They made forays for slaves and loot into Right-bank Ukraine and Moldavia. In 1770 the horde became a protectorate of the Russian Empire and soon after was dispersed through resettlement in the Azov steppes. From there its remnants emigrated to Turkey during the Crimean War.

Among the most prominent leaders of the horde was Khan Temir who established the noble Moldavian family of Cantemiresti.

Dah Polloshka

Dah Polloshka or Abdullah Polloshka (1800-1845) was an Albanian warrior from Gjakova who fought Ottoman Tanzimat-reforms. He fell in the Albanian revolt of 1845 fighting the Ottomans in Nakarade, Gjakova. The Polloshka family, alongside the Vula family, were the founding families of Gjakova. Polloshka family derives from the Krasniqi and Geghyseni. Polloshka's house was burned twice by the Ottomans.

Hurshid Pasha

Hurşid Ahmed Pasha (died 30 November 1822) was an Ottoman general and Grand Vizier during the early 19th century.


Ispahsālār (Persian: اسپهسالار‎) or sipahsālār (سپهسالار; "army commander"), in Arabic rendered as isfahsalār (إسفهسلار) or iṣbahsalār (إصبهسلار), was a title used in much of the Islamic world during the 10th–15th centuries, to denote the senior-most military commanders but also as a generic general officer rank.

Kıbrıslı Mehmed Emin Pasha

Kıbrıslı Mehmed Emin Pasha ("Mehmed Emin Pasha the Cypriot"; 1813–1871) was an Ottoman civil servant and statesman of Turkish Cypriot origin, who served at the top post of Grand Vizier during three different times under the reign of the sultan Abdülmecid I.

He was in favor in reforming the Ottoman Empire into a constitutional monarchy. He however died before the first Ottoman constitution came into existence.

Mehmed Namık Pasha

Mehmed Emin Namık Pasha (1804 – 1892) was a prominent Ottoman statesman and military reformer, who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the modern Ottoman Army. He served under five Sultans and acted as counsellor to at least four of them. He founded the Mekteb-i Harbiye (The Ottoman Military Academy), was twice Viceroy of the province of Bagdad, was the first ambassador of the Sublime Porte at Saint-James's Court, was appointed Serasker (Supreme Commander of the Ottoman Army), he served as Minister of War, became a Cabinet minister, and was conferred the title of Şeyh-ül Vüzera (Head of Imperial Ministers). During a long career that spanned a long lifetime (he lived to be eighty-eight), he was one of the personalities who shaped, as well as were themselves shaped by what historian İlber Ortaylı called “the longest century” of the Ottoman state (İmparatorluğun En Uzun Yüzyılı, 1983).

His son, Hasan Riza Pasha, was a general in the Ottoman Army.

Mehmed Riza Pasha

Mehmed Riza Pasha or Serasker Riza Pasha (Turkish: Serasker Rıza Paşa; 1844–1920) was an Ottoman military commander. He reached the rank of Serasker what was the highest military rank of the Ottoman Empire. He participated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78).

Morean War

The Morean War (Italian: Guerra di Morea) is the better-known name for the Sixth Ottoman–Venetian War. The war was fought between 1684–1699, as part of the wider conflict known as the "Great Turkish War", between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Military operations ranged from Dalmatia to the Aegean Sea, but the war's major campaign was the Venetian conquest of the Morea (Peloponnese) peninsula in southern Greece. On the Venetian side, the war was fought to avenge the loss of Crete in the Cretan War (1645–1669), while the Ottomans were entangled in their northern frontier against the Habsburgs and were unable to concentrate their forces against the Republic. As such, the Morean War was the only Ottoman–Venetian conflict from which Venice emerged victorious, gaining significant territory. Venice's expansionist revival would be short-lived, as its gains would be reversed by the Ottomans in 1718.

Mustafa Pasha Bushatli

Mustafa Pasha Bushatli (Turkish: Mustafa Paşa Buşatlı, 1797 – May 27, 1860), called Işkodralı ("from Scutari"), was an Ottoman statesman, the last hereditary governor of the sanjak of Scutari. In 1810 he succeeded Ibrahim Bushati and ruled Scutari until 1831.


Radinovo (Bulgarian: Радиново, IPA: radˈinovɔ) is a village in Maritsa Municipality, Plovdiv Province, Southern Bulgarian. Its name is sometimes seen as Radenovo (Bulgarian: Радeново). As of 2006 the population is 720.

Selim Khimshiashvili

Selim Paşa (1755 – 3 June 1815) was a Muslim Georgian nobleman of the Khimshiashvili clan and a derebey of Upper Adjara under the Ottoman suzerainty, but with considerable autonomy. His seizure of power in the Pashalik of Akhaltsikh and attempts to bring all of "Ottoman Georgia" under his rule led to a fallout with the sultan's government and a war which ended in Selim's death.

Selim Bey was a son and successor of Abdullah Bey, a derebey ("the lord of the valleys") of Upper Adjara, who was killed at Aketi during his raid against the neighboring Georgian principality of Guria in 1784. Selim Bey cherished an ambition to bring all of the Ottoman possessions in Georgia under his autonomous rule. In 1802, he capitalized on a crisis in Akhaltsikh and seized control of it, declaring himself a new pasha. His adversary, Şerif Paşa, was able to dispossess him in June 1809, but Selim staged a comeback in 1812. His staunch opposition to the central Ottoman government led him into clandestine negotiations with the Russians through Mamia V Gurieli, Prince of Guria, whose sister was married to Selim's son Abdi Bey. In 1815, the sultan ordered him be deposed and put to death for treason. As 15,000 Ottoman troops under Pehlivan İbrâhim Paşa, serasker of Erzurum, approached, Selim fled Akhaltsikhe to the mountains of Adjara and entrenched himself in the castle of Khikhani, which fell after a two-month-long siege on 31 May 1815. Selim Paşa was beheaded on 3 June 1815. Selim's four sons—Abdi (Abdullah; 1786–1859), Ahmed (1781–1836), Hüseyin, and Dede (Dursun)—took shelter in Guria until the Turkish punitive force left Adjara in 1818. Subsequently, they came to rule several areas in "Ottoman Georgia": Abdi Bey in Shavsheti (Şavşat), Ahmed in Upper Adjara, Hüseyin in the Andzavi valley, and Dede in Taoskari.In today's Adjara, Selim is remembered as a hero. His native village Nigazeuli hosts his museum and the day of his memory, Selimoba, is marked annually in June. There is a street named after Selim Khimshiashvili in Adjara's main city, Batumi, where his statue was also unveiled in 2015.

Siege of Belgrade (1688)

The Siege of Belgrade in 1688 was the fourth siege of that city, taking place during the Great Turkish War.

Siege of Vienna

The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege came in the aftermath of the 1526 Battle of Mohács, which had resulted in the death of the King of Hungary and the descent of the kingdom into civil war, with rival factions supporting the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria and others supporting the Ottoman backed John Zápolya. The Ottoman attack on Vienna was part of their intervention into the Hungarian conflict, intended in the short term to secure Zápolya's position. Historians disagree in their interpretation of Ottoman long-term goals and regarding what motivations lay behind the choice of Vienna in particular as the target of the campaign. The failure of the siege marked the beginning of 150 years of bitter military tension and reciprocal attacks, culminating in a second siege of Vienna in 1683.

There is speculation by some historians that Suleiman's main objective in 1529 was actually to assert Ottoman control over the whole of Hungary, the western part of which (known as Royal Hungary) was under Habsburg control. The decision to attack Vienna after such a long interval in Suleiman's European campaign is viewed as an opportunistic manoeuvre after his decisive victory in Hungary. Other scholars theorise that the suppression of Hungary simply marked the prologue to a later, premeditated invasion of Europe.

Topal Osman Pasha

Topal Osman Pasha (1663–1733) was an Ottoman military officer and administrator. A capable man, he rose to the rank of beylerbey by the age of 24 and served as general against the Venetians and the Austrians and as governor in several provinces. His career eventually brought his appointment to the position of Grand Vizier in 1731–32. After his dismissal, he was sent to a provincial governorship, but was soon recalled to lead the Ottoman troops in the Ottoman–Persian War of 1730–35. He succeeded in defeating Nader Shah and saving Baghdad in 1732, but was decisively beaten and fell in the Battle of Kirkuk (1733) where he clashed with Nader for a second time, the next year.

Uprising of Dervish Cara

The Albanian Revolt of 1843–1844, variously also known as the Revolt of 1844 or the Uprising of Dervish Cara (Albanian: Kryengritja e Dervish Carës), was a 19th-century uprising in northern Ottoman Albania directed against the Ottoman Tanzimat reforms which started in 1839 and were gradually being put in action in the regions of Albania. Some historians include the actions in Dibër of the same time under the same historical name, though the events in Dibër were independent and headed by other leaders.


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