List of Ottoman titles and appellations

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This is a list of titles and appellations used in the Ottoman Empire. In place of surnames, Muslims in the Empire carried titles such as "Pasha", "Hoca", "Bey", "Hanım", "Efendi", etc. These titles either defined their formal profession (such as Pasha, Hoca, etc.) or their informal status within the society (such as Bey, Hanım, Efendi, etc.).

Usage by Ottoman royalty[edit]

The sovereigns' main titles were Khan, Sultan, and Padishah; which were of Turkic, Arabic and Persian origin, respectively. His full style was the result of a long historical accumulation of titles expressing the empire's rights and claims as successor to the various states it annexed or subdued. Beside these imperial titles, "Caesar" of Rome (Kayser-i Rûm) was among the important titles claimed by Sultan Mehmed II after the conquest of Constantinople.

A late version translates as: Sultan (given name) Khan, Sovereign of the House of Osman, Sultan of Sultans, Khan of Khans, Commander of the Faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe, Protector of the Holy Cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, Emperor of The Three Cities of Constantinople, Andrinopole and Bursa, and of the Cities of Damascus and Cairo, of all Azerbaijan, of the Magris, of Barka, of Kairuan, of Aleppo, of Arabic Iraq and of Ajim, of Basra, of El Hasa, of Dilen, of Raka, of Mosul, of Parthia, of Diyarbakır, of Cicilia, of the Vilayets of Erzurum, of Sivas, of Adana, of Karaman, Van, of Barbary, of Abyssinia, of Tunisia, of Tripoli, of Damascus, of Cyprus, of Rhodes, of Candia, of the Vilayet of the Morea, of the Marmara Sea, the Black Sea and also its coasts, of Anatolia, of Rumelia, Baghdad, Kurdistan, Greece, Turkistan, Tartary, Circassia, of the two regions of Kabarda, of Georgia, of the plain of Kypshak, of the whole country of the Tartars, of Kefa and of all the neighbouring countries, of Bosnia and its dependencies, of the City and Fort of Belgrade, of the Vilayet of Serbia, with all the castles, forts and cities, of all Albania, of all Iflak and Bogdania, as well as all the dependencies and borders, and many other countries and cities.

The Heir Apparent was styled in full: Daulatlu Najabatlu Vali Ahad-i-Sultanat + [given name] + Effendi Hazlatlari, i.e. Crown Prince, with the style of His Imperial Highness. Other Male descendants of a Sovereign in the male line: Daulatlu Najabatlu Şehzade Sultan + [given name] + Hazretleri Effendi, i.e. Prince (given name) Effendi, with the style of His Imperial Highness. The husbands of Imperial Princesses: Damad-i-Shahyari (given name) Bey Effendi, the latter, only if not possessed of a higher rank or title, with the style of His Highness. The sons of Imperial Princesses: Sultanzada (given name) Bey-Effendi, i.e. Prince, with the style of His Highness. The daughters of Imperial Princesses: (given name) Hanimsultan, i.e. Princess,with the style of Her Highness. The grandsons of Imperial Princesses merely: (given name) Bey. The granddaughters of Imperial Princesses merely: (given name) Hanim.

During the time of Suleiman[edit]

Titles and appellations in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, from Albert Howe Lybyer's book "The government of the Ottoman empire in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent":[1]

  • Agha (Ottoman Turkish: آغا, Modern Turkish: ağa): a general officer.
  • Ajem-oghlan (Ottoman Turkish: عجمی اوغلان, Modern Turkish: acemi oğlan): a cadet or apprentice Janissary.
  • Akinji (Ottoman Turkish: آقنجى, Modern Turkish: akıncı): the irregular cavalry.
  • Ashji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: آشجی باشی, Modern Turkish: aşcıbaşı): a chief cook
  • Azab (Ottoman Turkish: عزب, Modern Turkish: azap): the irregular infantry.
  • Berat-emini (Ottoman Turkish: برات امینی): a distributor of ordinances.
  • Boluk-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: بولق باشی, Modern Turkish: bölükbaşı): a captain of the Janissaries.
  • Bostanji (Ottoman Turkish: بوستانجی, Modern Turkish: bostancı): a gardener; a euphemism for the Sultan's palace guard.
  • Bostanji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: بوستانجی باشی, Modern Turkish: bostancıbaşı): The "chief gardener" and head of the palace guard. Equivalent to the rank of pasha.
  • Chakirji (Ottoman Turkish: چاقرجی, Modern Turkish: çakırcı): a falconer.
  • Chasneji (Ottoman Turkish: چشنیجی, Modern Turkish: çeşnici): a taster.
  • Chasneji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: چشنیجی باشی, Modern Turkish: çeşnicibaşı): the chief taster.
  • Chaush (Ottoman Turkish: چاووش, Modern Turkish: çavuş): an usher.
  • Chaush-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: چاووش باشی, Modern Turkish: çavuşbaşı): chief of the Chaushes, and a high court official. Equivalent to the rank of pasha.
  • Chelebi (Ottoman Turkish: چلبى, Modern Turkish: çelebi): a gentleman.
  • Cheri-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: چری باشی, Modern Turkish: çeribaşı): a petty officer of feudal cavalry.
  • Danishmend (Ottoman Turkish: دانشمند, Modern Turkish: danişmend): a master of arts.
  • Defterdar (Ottoman Turkish: دفتردار, Modern Turkish: defterdar): a treasurer.
  • Defter-emini (Ottoman Turkish: دفتر امینی): a recorder of fiefs.
  • Deli (Ottoman Turkish: دلی, Modern Turkish: deli): appellation of a scout or a captain of the Akinji.
  • Dervish (Ottoman Turkish: درویش, Modern Turkish: derviş): a member of a Muslim religious order.
  • Deveji (Ottoman Turkish: دوه جی, Modern Turkish: deveci): a camel-driver.
  • Emin (Ottoman Turkish: آمین, Modern Turkish: emin): an intendant.
  • Emir (Ottoman Turkish: امیر, Modern Turkish: emir): a descendant of the prophet Mohammed.; a commander, a governor.
  • Emir al-Akhor (Ottoman Turkish: امير الآخر, Modern Turkish: ahır bakıcısı): a grand equerry.
  • Ghurabâ (Ottoman Turkish: غربا, Modern Turkish: guraba): a member of the lowest corps of the standing cavalry.
  • Gonnullu (Ottoman Turkish: گوڭـللو, Modern Turkish: gönüllü): a volunteer soldier or sailor.
  • Hekim-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: حکیم باشی, Modern Turkish: hekimbaşı): a chief physician.
  • Helvaji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: حلواجی باشی, Modern Turkish: helvacıbaşı): a chief confectioner.
  • Hoja (Ottoman Turkish: خواجه, Modern Turkish: hoca): a teacher; the Sultan's adviser.
  • Ikinji Kapu-oghlan (Ottoman Turkish: ایکنجی قاپی اوغلان, Modern Turkish: ikinci kapıoğlan): a white eunuch in charge of the second gate of the palace.
  • Imam (Ottoman Turkish: امام, Modern Turkish: imam) the Caliph or lawful successor of Mohammed; a leader of daily prayers.
  • Iskemleji (Ottoman Turkish: اسکمله جی, Modern Turkish: iskemleci): a page of high rank.
  • Itch-oghlan (Ottoman Turkish: ایچ اوغلان, Modern Turkish: içoğlan): a page in one of the Sultan's palaces.
  • Jebeji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: جيب جي باشي, Modern Turkish: cebecibaşı): a chief armorer.
  • Jerrah-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: جراح باشی, Modern Turkish: cerrahbaşı): a chief surgeon.
  • Kâim (Ottoman Turkish: قائم, Modern Turkish: kaim): a caretaker of a mosque.
  • Kanuni (Ottoman Turkish: قانونی, Modern Turkish: kanuni): legislator.
  • Kapu Aghasi (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی آغاسی, Modern Turkish: kapıağası): the white eunuch in charge of the principal palace.
  • Kapudan Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: کاپیتان پاشا, Modern Turkish: kaptan paşa) an admiral.
  • Kapuji (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی جی, Modern Turkish: kapıcı): a gatekeeper.
  • Kapuji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی جی باشی, Modern Turkish: kapıcıbaşı): literally "head gatekeper"; master of ceremonies.
  • Kapujilar-kiayasi (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی جی لر قایاسی, Modern Turkish: kapıcılar kâyası): a grand chamberlain.
  • Kazi or Kadi (Ottoman Turkish: قاضی, Modern Turkish: kadı): a judge.
  • Kazasker (Ottoman Turkish: قاضيعسكر, Modern Turkish: kadıasker): one of the two chief judges of the Ottoman Empire, entrusted with military matters.
  • Kharaji (Carzeri, Caragi), a non-Muslim who pays the kharij.
  • Khatib, a leader of Friday prayers.
  • Khazinehdar-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: خزانه دار باشی, Modern Turkish: hazinedarbaşı), a treasurer-in-chief.
  • Khazineh-odassi (chamber of the treasury), the second chamber of pages.
  • Khojagan, a chief of a treasury bureau.
  • Kiaya (Cacaia, Cahaia, Caia, Checaya, Chechessi, Chiccaia, Chietcudasci, Gachaia, Ketkhuda, Quaia, Queaya) (common form of ketkhuda), a steward or lieutenant.
  • Kiaya-bey, the lieutenant of the grand vizier.
  • Kiaya Katibi, a private secretary of the Kiaya-bey.
  • Kilerji-bashi, a chief of the sultan's pantry.
  • Kizlar Aghasi (general of the girls), the black eunuch in charge of the palace of the harem.
  • Kul, a slave; one of the sultan's slave-family.
  • Masraf-shehriyari (imperial steward), substitute for the intendant of kitchen.
  • Mektubji, a private secretary of the grand vizier.
  • Mihter (Mecter), a tent-pitcher; a musician.
  • Mihter-bashi, the chief tent-pitcher.
  • Mir Alem, the imperial standard bearer.
  • Molla, a judge of high rank.
  • Mosellem, a fief holder by ancient tenure.
  • Muderis, a professor in a Medresseh.
  • Muezzin, one who calls Muslims to prayer.
  • Mufettish, a special judge dealing with endowments.
  • Mufti, a Muslim legal authority; in particular, the Sheik ul-Islam.
  • Muhtesib, a lieutenant of police.
  • Mujtahid, a doctor of the Sacred Law.
  • Mulazim (candidate), a graduate of the higher Medressehs.
  • Munejim-bashi, a chief astrologer.
  • Muste emin, a resident foreigner.
  • Mutbakh-emini, intendant of the kitchen.
  • Muteveli, an administrator of an endowment.
  • Naib, an inferior judge.
  • Nakib oI-Eshraf, the chief of the Seids or descendants of the prophet Mohammed.
  • Nazir, an inspector of an endowment.
  • Nishanji, a chancellor.
  • Nizam al-mulk, basis of the order of the kingdom (title of a vizier of Melek Shah).
  • Oda-bashi (head of chamber), the page of highest rank; a corporal of the Janissaries.
  • Papuji, a page of high rank.
  • Pasha (Bascia, Bassa), a very high official.
  • Peik, a member of the body-guard of halbardiers.
  • Reis Effendi, or Reis ul-Khuttab, a recording secretary; a recording secretary of the Divan, later an important minister of state.
  • Rekiab-Aghalari (generals of the stirrup), a group of high officers of the outside service of the palace.
  • Rusnamehji, a chief book-keeper of the Treasury.
  • Sakka, a water-carrier.
  • Sanjak-bey, a high officer of feudal, cavalry and governor of a Sanjak.
  • Sarraf, a banker.
  • Segban-bashi (Seymen-bashi) (master of the hounds), the second officer of the corps of Janissaries.
  • Seid, a descendant of the prophet Mohammed.
  • Seraskier, a commander-in-chief.
  • Serraj, saddlers.
  • Shahinji, a falconer.
  • Sharabdar (Seracter) (drink-bearer), a page of high rank.
  • Shehr-emini (Saremin), intendant of imperial buildings.
  • Sheik, a preacher; a head of a religious community.
  • Sheik ul-Islam, the Mufti of Constantinople and head of the Muslim Institution.
  • Sherif, a descendant of the prophet Mohammed.
  • Silahdar (Silahtar, Selicter, Sillictar, Suiastrus, Suluphtar) (sword-bearer), a member of the second corps of standing cavalry; the page who carried the sultan's arms.
  • Sofi, woolen; a dervish (an appellation of the Shah of Persia).
  • Softa (Sukhta), an undergraduate in a Medresseh.
  • Solak (left-handed), a janissary bowman of the sultan's personal guard.
  • Spahi (Sipah, Sipahi, Spachi, Spai), a cavalry soldier; a member of the standing or feudal cavalry.
  • Spahi-oghlan (Spacoillain) (cavalry youth), a member of the highest corps of the standing cavalry.
  • Subashi, a captain of the feudal cavalry and governor of a town.
  • Sultana, a princess or queen mother; (the true Turkish form uses a proper name or the word Valideh, followed by Sultan).
  • Tahvil Kalemi, a bureau of the Chancery.
  • Terjuman, an interpreter (dragoman).
  • Terjuman Divani Humayun, a chief interpreter of the sultan.
  • Teshrifatji, a master of ceremonies.
  • Teskereji, a master of petitions.
  • Teskereji-bashi (chief of document-writers), the Nishanji.
  • Timarji, the holder of a Timar.
  • Ulufaji (Ouloufedgis, Allophase, Holofagi) (paid troops), a member of the third corps of the sultan's standing cavalry.
  • Veznedar, an official weigher of money.
  • Vizier (burden-bearer), a minister of state.
  • Voivode (Slavic), an officer, a governor.
  • Yaya, a fief holder by ancient tenure, owing infantry service.
  • Yaziji (laxagi), a scribe or secretary.
  • Zagarji-bashi (master of the harriers), a high officer of the Janissaries.
  • Zanijiler (Italianized), lancers or Voinaks (?).
  • Zarabkhane-emini, intendant of mints and mines.
  • Ziam, the holder of a Ziamet.

Other titles[edit]

Other titles include:[2]

  • Agha (or Agha): commander, a title junior to Bey and conferred on military officers on a personal basis.
  • Alp: brave warrior, a title conferred during the early years of Ottoman rule.
  • Amir ul-Muminin: Commander of the Faithful, one of the many titles of the Sultan of Turkey.
  • Bey: a title junior to Pasha and conferred on civil and military officers on a personal basis; also borne as a curtesy title for the sons of a Pasha.
  • Beg, an ancient Turkic administrative title (chieftain, governor etc.)
  • Bey Effendi: part of the title of a husband and sons of an Imperial Princess.
  • Beylerbeyi (or Beglerbegi): Lord of Lords. An office signifying rule over a great province, equivalent to Governor-General. The office entitled the holder to the personal title of Pasha.
  • Beyzade: son of a Bey, a courtesy title borne by a son of a Bey Effendi.
  • Binbashi: (literally head of 1000) Major (army) or Commander (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Effendi.
  • Chiflik Rulers:Compared to Christian feudal system the chiflik rulers controlled land holdings.These land holdings could be passed on to their sons.
  • Khalif (also Caliph or Khalifa): Successor (of the Prophet).
  • Khalifat Rasul Rub al-A'alimin: Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe. The highest earthly title of the Muslim world, enjoyed by the Sultans of Turkey after their conquest of Egypt in 1517.
  • Damad-i-Shahriyari: Imperial son-in-law, title conferred on the husbands of Imperial Princesses.
  • Effendi: master, title equivalent to Esquire; frequently used together with higher titles in order to indicate signify enhanced status. Used by the sons of Sultans from the reign of Sultan 'Abdu'l Majid I.
  • Ferik: Lieutenant-General (army) or Vice-Admiral (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Pasha.
  • Ghazi: victorious, a title conferred on leaders who distinguish themselves in war.
  • Gözde: noticed (by the Sultan). Style borne by junior ladies of the Harem when first gaining favour from the Sultan.
  • Khadim ul-Haramain us-Sharifain: Protector of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, a title awarded to Salim I by the Sherif of Mecca.
  • Haji (or Hacci): honorific used for men who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca.
  • Hakhan ul-Barrayun wa al-Bahrain: Lord of the Lands and Seas, one of the many titles of the Sultan.
  • Haseki Kadın: Lady favourite, title borne by junior ladies of the Harem, who had borne a daughter to a Sultan.
  • Haseki sultan: Princess favourite, title borne by junior ladies of the Harem, who had borne a son to a Sultan, usually limited to the first four or six to become mothers.
  • Hazretleri: style equivalent to Highness.
  • Kaimakam: Lieutenant-Colonel (army) or Commander (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Bey.
  • Katkhuda: Second in command to the Agha in the Janissary corps
  • Khan (or Hân): a title signifying sovereign or ruler in Turkey, but a very junior title signifying a male noble, or even a mere name, in other parts of the Muslim world.
  • Khakhan: Khan of Khans, one of the many titles of the Sultan of Turkey.
  • Khanum: female of Khan, equivalent to Lady.
  • Khanum Effendi: title borne by the official wives of Imperial Princes.
  • Khanum Sultana (or Hanım Sultan): Princess Lady, title borne by the daughters of Imperial Princesses.
  • Begum: female of Beg, equivalent to Lady.
  • Kizlar Aghasi: Chief of the Eunuchs. The office entitled the holder to the style of His Highness.
  • Iqbal (or Ikhal): fortunate, title borne by the favourite Harem ladies of a Sultan.
  • Kapudan Pasha: Grand Admiral or Admiral of the Fleet.The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Pasha.
  • Kodjabashis: local Christian notables in parts of Ottoman Greece who exercised considerable influence and held posts in the Ottoman administration.
  • Lewa (or Liva): Major-General (army) or Rear-Admiral (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Pasha.
  • Mahd-i Ulya-i-Sultanat: crade of the great Sultan, another title for the Sultan's mother.
  • Miralai: Colonel (army) or Captain (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Bey.
  • Mulazim Awal: Lieutenant (army) or Sub-Lieutenant (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Effendi.
  • Mulazim Tani: Second Lieutenant (army) or Midshipman (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Effendi.
  • Mushir: Field Marshal.The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Pasha.
  • Nishan (or Nichan): order of chivalry or decoration of honour.
  • Padshah (or Padishah): Emperor, one of the many titles of the Sultan of Turkey.
  • Pasha: Lord, a title senior to that of Bey and conferred on a personal basis on senior civil officials and military officers. Awarded in several grades, signified by a whip, the highest rank being a whip of five Yaks tails.
  • Pashazada: son of a Pasha, used as an alternative courtesy title to Bey.
  • Sadaf-i-Durr-i-Khilafat: shell of the pearl of the caliphate, another title for the mother of the Sultan.
  • Saraskar: C-in-C.
  • Shah: King, title of Persian origin.
  • Shah-i-Alam Panah: King, refuge of the world, one of the titles of the Sultan.
  • Shahzada (or Shahzade): son of the King, title used for the sons of Sultans from the reign of Muhammad I.
  • Shahzada Hazratlari (or Shahzade Hazretleri): Imperial Highness.
  • Shaikh ul-Islam: the title held by the highest ranking Muslim religious official below the Khalif. The office entitled the holder to the personal title of Pasha together the style of His Highness.
  • Shalabi (or Cecebi): gracious lord, title borne by sons of the Sultan until the reign of Muhammad II.
  • Silahadar: Master-General of the Ordnance.
  • Sipah Salar: General of Cavalry.
  • Sultan: title borne by male members of the Imperial family, particularly after then reign of Muhammad II. When it is used before the given name, together with Khan after the name, it signifies ruler. When used before the name, Imperial Prince. When used after the name, Imperial Princess.
  • Sultan Khan: The Grand Sultan, the chief title borne by the ruler of Turkey and the Ottoman empire, equivalent to Emperor.
  • Sultan us-Selatin: Sultan of Sultan, one of the many titles of the Sultan of Turkey.
  • Sultanzade (or Sultanzada): son of a Sultan, the title borne by the sons of Imperial Princesses.
  • Sünnetçi: Circumciser.
  • Vali: Governor. The office entitled the holder to the personal title of Pasha.
  • Vali Ahad (or Veliaht): Heir Apparent or Presumptive usually translated as Crown Prince.
  • Vali Ahad Zevcesi: Heir Apparent's wife, the title borne by the official wives of the Heir Apparent, equivalent to Crown Princess but not usually translated.
  • Valide Sultana: Princess Mother, the title borne by the mother of a reigning Sultan.
  • Vizier: bearer of the burden, i.e. Minister.
  • Vizier-i-Azam: Grand Vizier, the title borne by the incumbent Prime Minister. The office entitled the holder to the personal title of Pasha together the style of His Highness.
  • Yuzbashi (or Youzbashi): Captain (army) or Lieutenant (navy). The holder of the rank enjoyed the title of Effendi.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]