from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Systematic collection of non-Muslim children on rural Christian populations of the Balkans, practiced by Ottoman Turks, in which every three or four years 300 to 1000 healthy boys and young men had to be taken by force to Turkey, converted to Islam and educated for military profession or religious disciplines.
Most noteworthy was his promotion on a large scale of the practice (known as the devshirme) of levying Christian children to fill positions in the palace, administration, and the Janissary corps.
This Mustafa gathered around him discontented holders of timars (military fiefs), peasants, and members of the religious establishment unhappy with the dominance of the devshirme (slave) class in Istanbul.
His drive to build a centralized state with himself as absolute ruler prompted him to reduce the power of the leading Turkish families (partly by confiscation of their landed property) and to promote members of his slave (devshirme) elite to positions of power, including the office of grand vizier.
Domestically Murad restored the recruitment of slaves and their training for government service (the devshirme), promoting the slaves as a counterweight to the political power of the Turkish notables.
Or under the Ottoman devshirme system, even the loss of a child in the name of a dhimmi tribute, or tax.
Inevitably fresh non-Muslim slaves, including children (for example, the infamous devshirme system in Ottoman Turkey, which spanned three centuries and enslaved