Soldiers in the service of the Ottoman Empire, the Janissaries were established by Sultan Murad I. Initially comprised of war captives and Christian youths pressed into service, the Janissaries grew to great power in the empire. Eventually, Muslims began entering the service, and it slowly devolved into a purely political institution.

In 1826, Sultan Mahmud II decided the Janissaries had outlived their usefulness, and the Janissaries were slaughtered in their barracks by the Spahis.