Serdar (Ottoman rank)

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Serdar (a variant of Sardar, a long-standing Indo-Aryan rank) was a military rank in the Ottoman Empire and a noble rank in Montenegro and Serbia. It means a head (ser) of place/land (dar). Serdars especially served at the borders of Ottoman Empire. They were responsible for security of lands. For example, Yakup Ağa who was the father of Barbaros from Yenice.

Serdar was also used in the Principality of Montenegro and the Principality of Serbia as a lesser noble title below that of Vojvoda (Duke) equating to Count. The Royal Houses of both Montenegro and Serbia still grant this title. For example, Janko Vukotić who was a military leader and former prime minister of Montenegro with title of Serdar.



  • Serdar is a popular male name in Turkey.
  • Serdar-ı Ekrem or (Serdar-ı Azam) means the commander-in-chief with the highest rank, and thus, it sometimes refers to the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Serdar is also used as a noun (especially to give a nostalgic feeling) with its original meaning (i.e. commander-in-chief) in Turkish. For example, "Ordunun serdarı yiğit savaşçılarına saldırı emrini verdi" means "The commander-in-chief of the force ordered his brave fighters to attack."
  • The word has been adapted in English with its original or related spellings, i.e. serdar, sardar, sirdar, all meaning commander-in-chief of an army. However, these words are not used in everyday terminology.

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