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Mehmetçiks in trench, waiting for the order to attack with fixing the bayonet on their rifles during the artillery preparatory fires (Turkish War of Independence).

Mehmetçik (literally: Little Mehmet) is a general term used affectionately to refer soldiers of the Ottoman Army and Turkish Army. It is the Turkish equivalent of "Tommy Atkins" for the British Army, "Doughboy" or G.I. of the United States Army,[1] "Digger" of the Australian Army[2] and the New Zealand Army or Johnny Reb for Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. Although it is used for especially infantryman (foot soldier),[3] terms such like Piyade Mehmetçik (Infantryman Little Mehmet) and Süvari Mehmetçik (Cavalryman Little Mehmet), Topçu Mehmetçik (Artilleryman Little Mehmet) have rarely been seen.[4]


  1. ^ David Nicole, (Illustrated by Christa Hook), Ottoman Infantryman 1914-18, Osprey Publishing, 2010, ISBN 978-1-84603-506-7, p. 38.
  2. ^ Phil Taylor, Pam Cupper, Gallipoli, A Battlefield Guide, Kangaroo Press, 1989,[page needed]
  3. ^ Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar, The politics and poetics of translation in Turkey, 1923-1960, Rodopi, 2008, p. 262.
  4. ^ For example in Arif Bilge, Anadolunun Türkleşmesi, İslâmlaşması ve aramızdaki Rumlar Tarihi, Ülkü Basımevi, 1971.

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