82nd Orta 82Orta.jpg (18465 bytes)

Cemaat Division Janissaries

Ottoman Empire

In the Reign of Sultan Mehmed III and Mehmed IV

A recreated living history/reenactment military unit of the 17th C. (target of 1670 but covering 1603-1683) with Timerot cavalry and Topsus (Artillery)

Janissary March

OttoCrew10_07.JPG (69482 bytes) DC Turkish Festival, Oct  2007 our 3rd presentation; better all the time! 

           More Pictures click  here>>>>>>>  Janissary Photo Gallery  <<<<<<<<<<


SOMCannonS.JPG (56867 bytes) We formed in 2007 and we are looking for brave men and women to join us in this fascinating presentation. Also looking for Mehter bandsmen. 

1st Event, MTT, April 2007

  Captain John Smith 400th, Point Deposit MD, Sat. July 21

 DC Turkish Festival, Sunday Oct 14. 07 Freedom Plaza, downtown Washington DC

Tangiers , 1674, Nov 3 2007, Ft. Mifflin, (Philly PA)

March 15 Jamestown VA MTA - a cameo appearance

Turkish camp at Siege of Vienna 1683, MTT, Marietta Mansion MD April 19-20 

DC Turkish Festival, Sunday Oct 5, 2008 Washington DC (see Turkish newspaper report)

Filming of "1453 fall of Constantinople" themed music video. NYC, Nov 2008.

Appearance at Va Ren Fair, June 6 2009

Battle against Landsknechts, Nov 3 2009

wpe1.jpg (42341 bytes) Romany-Balkan (Bosnian) infantry, VARF, June 2009

For Information: Contact  Reis the Lame  Odabashi  (Rick Orli.) 703 528 5618 (e)

Unit Objective?

Our unit impression presents the material and military culture of the 17th C Ottoman Empire. The contribution of Ottoman culture and history to our present civilization is not well known, or sometimes negatively stereotyped, and our educational mission is to correct this (while having a great time!).

Our presentation is an excellent way to introduce young people to early-modern history.

Why the 82nd?

The 82nd is a Regiment or "Orta" that has the crossbow as a symbol and had the traditional role of combat support including operation of ballista and catapults, so were artillery-related.  

From the late 1300s, the Ottoman state had professional artillery crews, outside of the Janissary establishment.  In 1460-70s Murad II established the Topsus Artillery division, supported with the Top arabact transport service and Cebecis Armourers (and an infantry regiment, also sappers; also Lagumcis sappers). Like Janissaries, these were devsirme-raised (draft of Christian Youth, who were then trained to be Muslim servants of the State (and slaves of the Sultan).  

The 82nd retained a close association with the Artillery, but the exact role is not completely clear.  They seem to have been engineers in their Peace-time role, and in War presumably the same plus as fusiliers ( specialist infantry for light artillery support.)

What do you do?  

It varies.... our Presentation for the first Turkish festival is  John Smith's Ottoman Adventure, 1602-1603 Relating his initial Success against and eventual Capture by the Ottoman Army, his Captivity in Istanbul, his dalliance with a Beautiful Young Lady and other Felonious Deeds, his Escape, and his days as a Fugitive in Tatary.

Other times we have participated in mini battles, such as the recent Tangiers 1674 event, and the planned 1500s event Nov 2009..

We can also present ourselves as Janissaries in Polish service... these may be one of the two orta that deserted and took up service under Jan Sobieski, or may be local Poles in units dressed in Janissary fashion (often personally bodyguard units of major magnates and Voiovoides.  In time, I may create alternate 'spoons' for the hat of a Polish service type.

Can I participate? we need help!  Do I have to be a  Turk to participate?  All Ottomans were characterized by outsiders as "Turks", but Janissaries were almost never ethnically Turkish, except for some of mixed ancestry. Our membership is, not unlike the constitution of the historic 82nd Orta, ethnically diverse and substantially Slavic, with a sprinkling of Turks for seasoning.  

Roles: Men, Women and Kids of any background are invited to participate. Possible roles may include:

Civilian: craftsman, merchant, Great Lady, farmer, ... imagine.

Military: we are flexible! Ghazi Cavalry, Janissary Infantry, Artilleryman, Engineer, Azap Infantry....


82nd Orta Kit/Uniform page

Janissary Photo Gallery 

Schedule of Events

So I say to Anna: "why don't we go into the bomb bunker to practice our mehter, since no one will hear us down there."   And a crowd of voyeurs and a video camera follows.-->  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KpRIcmHt-s

Battle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHD_-Q64nGw

Join this Yahoo group for living history discussions: SCA Turkish Personas

(We sometimes participate in SCA events, but usually we have events with firearms that are outside SCA scope)

Where do I get stuff?

We make and buy.

Some basic items such as tarbuch/kufi hats, turban cloths, and khuffs (need to be modified by replacing the zipper with lacing) can be obtained from Islamic supply houses:


Hussar Supply Plus has sabers and other gear, and connections to a couple of competent tailors who can make kaftans.

Where can I get general information about Ottoman history?

The focus of this website are the details that are hard to find elsewhere about reconstructing actual Ottoman artifacts.  General and specific historical and cultural information are available in many sources. We recommend:

The Ottomans