Devshirme

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Devshirme is from Turkish, meaning "gathering". Devshirme was a system that took place under the Ottoman Empire. The system of devshirme was introduced under Sultan Murad 2 in the 1420's. The sultan would collect Christian boys from the Balkans and turn them into his slaves. Usually the boys were around the ages of 8 or 10 but sometimes even as old as 20. The purpose of this was to ensure that the sultan would have loyal troops and civil servants. The devshirme collection was performed by a higher Janissary officer (who often would themselves be of devshirme origin.) Normally around the age of 20, when they were finished training, the boys would be placed in the army or civil service and could become landowners. A few would become governors or viziers after receiving an education in the palace school. The devshirme never were granted total freedom.

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