Foundation date of the unit (Turkish: ocak) (pronounced [ˈodʒak]) is not known, but it appears that the Cebeci unit was founded in the 15th century. It was one of the privileged units of the Ottoman army. They were considered as a part of the Jannisary and based on devshirme system. Their commander was called Cebecibaşı. The unit was small and selected, numbering no more than 625 men in 1574.
The Cebeci unit was in charge of maintenance and keeping the weaponry. They were also responsible in transporting weapons to where they were needed. During peace times, they kept the weaponry in arsenals named cephane. The Cebeci unit participated in all campaigns commanded by the sultan or the grand vizier. In other campaigns only a part of the unit participated.
In most İstanbul revolts during the stagnation and decline periods of the Ottoman Empire, the Cebeci units acted together with the jannisary, and in 1826, when the Jannisary was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II following the Auspicious Incident, Cebeci units were also abolished.
- Gabor Agoston-Bruce Masters:Encyclopaedia of the Ottoman Empire ISBN 978-0-8160-6259-1
- Nicolae Iorga:Geschiste des Osmanischen Reiches II (translated by Nilüfer Epçeli) Yeditepe yayınevi, İstanbul, ISBN 975-6480-21-1 p.296, 376
- Stanford Shaw :History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Tu rkey Vol I Cambridge ISBN 0-521-29163-1 p.139
- History page (Turkish)