Rethinking Recruited Children: Body Politics of the Devshirme System in the Ottoman Empire


Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 12:30pm to 2:00pm


CMES, Rm 102, 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The CMES Sohbet-i Osmani Lecture Series presents

Gulay YilmazGulay Yilmaz
Visiting Fellow, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University; Associate Professor of Ottoman History, Department of History, Akdeniz University

Gulay Yilmaz is a 2018-19 Fulbright Scholar studying the early modern devshirme system in the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Yilmaz is an Assistant Professor at the department of History, Akdeniz University. She did her BA and MA at Bosphorus Universtiy. She completed her PhD at McGill University in 2011. While writing her dissertation on the social and economic roles of the janissaries in 17th-century Istanbul, she won SSHRC doctoral fellowship of Canadian government and RCAC residential fellowship of Koc University.

She has several articles on the recruitment process of devshirmes and its impact on local politics, the janissary involvement on the urban culture and economy of 17th-century Istanbul, and early modern popular protests in Istanbul. Her research at Harvard focuses on the children and youth who were enforced into the devshirme system. She examines the physical characteristics of the children, their experiences, and the regions they were levied with an attempt to depict physical and socio-cultural profiles of Ottoman Christian children. She also concentrates on the functioning of the institutional structure and its transformation in time from the beginnings of the 15th Century to the mid- 17th Century.

Contact: Liz Flanagan