Topics: Ottoman Empire, Islam, Mongol Empire Pages: 2 (529 words) Published: February 12, 2011
The emergent of Mamluks started under Hasan Pasha's whose intent was to strengthen his personal base of power by creating a group of disciplined military and civil functionaries committed uniquely to him and not to the government at Istanbul or the Arabs of Baghdad. A page corps was formed, originally recruited from local families but later composed almost exclusively of slaves imported from the Caucasus and Georgia (Thomas Philipp, Ulrich Haarmann, 1998.) These slaves were instructed in reading and writing, but also horse-manship and swimming, a combination of martial and bureaucratic virtues making them superior to Turks and Iraqis as civil servants. Their training emphasized a sense of interdependence and "esprit de corps." They were made to feel that they owed their privilege to their master and to the Mamluks institution. John Joseph Saunders in the “The History of the Mongol Conquests” noted that the Mamluks dominated the power elite, but as an alien force, and they were merciless to any suspected rival to their authority. A close disciplined fraternity, and the only effective civil and military organization within the country, they provided their pashas with the power of an independent monarch. He argued, nevertheless, Mamluk pashas at no time renounced allegiance to the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He went on to explain how they defended Iraq from the Wahhabis and Persians but did not create war on neighbors within the empire. They were the only Islamic dynasty that withstands the invasions of the Turks and Mongol. They were slave boy children captured and trained carefully groomed for life as military men. They were leaders’ corps of warrior-slaves, mostly from Turkic or Kurdish Central Asia, but also including some Christians from the Caucasus region of south-eastern Europe. They were called the Mamluks which literally mean slave. According to historians, Mamluks were young boys who were not Muslim and groomed to be Sunni Muslim soldiers(...
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