Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms


Welcome to Ottoman Uniforms. an historical interest website looking at the history of  Ottoman military uniforms and insignia, from the 1600s till the early 1920s.

Intended for English speaking researchers, interested in military history; collecting; wargaming; modelling; military fashion history; art history; filmmakers; and family histories.

  • This is a non-political historical exploration of the various uniforms and insignia that developed over the various periods.
  • This study identifies over 1,000 costumes and uniforms and insignia, with a major focus on the Ottoman army, and navy from the 1600s.
  • Examples are taken from surviving uniforms, period illustrations, written descriptions, and photographs.

Many of the terms, phrases and spellings of ranks are also used, to preserve what may have been original pronunciations.

  • For instance, between 1880 and 1916 commonly the Ottoman rank of major, is written in German, and British references as ‘Bimbashi’. Whereas in modern Turkish it is correctly spelled as Binbashi (from the Turkish – a chief of a thousand).
  • In this particular case, it is known that ‘Bimbashi’ is actually soldier Arabic, a pidgin of Arabic which developed among the Anglo-Egyptian military (used typically between 1870  and 1920).

Chris Flaherty

Ottoman Military Related Uniforms & Insignia History Studies

This website includes some smaller studies which have been undertaken, on Ottoman military related uniforms and insignia of the Ottoman North African states:

Overview studies of the Army and Navy of Egypt:

The 1916-1918 Arab Revolt Turkish Column

Ottoman Civil Police Uniforms:

Ottoman Military School Uniforms:

Above - Figure(s) 1: Sultan's Halberdier Bodyguard (1830); 2: Interior Guard (Beylerbey Palace), Sultan's Halberdier Bodyguard (1854); 3-4: Officer, and Halberdier Bodyguard ‘Garde du Palais’ (1860); 5-6: Maison Militaire de S.M. Impériale le Sultan Abdul-Hamid II. Baltadjis (Imperial Courts' Halberdiers) (1876-1908)(C.Flaherty 24 March 2015).


Other armies/uniforms of interest, are covered under  this section:

  • Persian (Iran) Qajar Dynasty Army & Navy


A range or recently completed books on Ottoman Army and Navy uniforms history can be ordered on this page:

A collection of articles on Ottoman uniforms can be found on this page:

Books about wargaming rules for the Napoleonic period can be found here:


March-August 2015: Chris Flaherty was a contributor to the Turkish Gallipoli Centenary Exhibition - ‘From Depths to the Trenches: Gallipoli 1915’. This opened in March, with a very successful press conference in the Isbank Museum in Istanbul. He contributed two large illustrations, Ottoman infantry, and the Imperial Ottoman Navy uniforms in 1915.

July 2015: Chris Flaherty is mentioned as one of the contributors to 'Philip Jowett. Armies of the Greek-Turkish War 1919–22. MEN-AT-ARMS 501. Osprey Publishing, 20 Jul 2015)'.

January 2014: Christopher Flaherty’s web site is mentioned in the latest Wellington Antique & Historic Arms newsletter for being instrumental in identifying a rare WW1 Turkish helmet that belongs to the Secretary of the WA&HAA.

Monday, 4 February 2013: went online! rated in the Top WW1 Militaria Sites! Reached the first milestone of 10,000 Views on 8 November 2013! 30,000 Views (in the first 2-years)!







2012: Chris Flaherty's pnainting based on a passage in C.E.W.Bean, the WW1 Australian war correspondent records vividly the first time that the ANZACs saw a Turkish soldier, sighting a ‘lonely figure on the skyline'.

August 2011: Chris Flaherty contributed to German Colonial Uniforms' section on 'German Officers and NCOs in the Ottoman Army 1913-18: Ottoman Army Uniforms'.

October 2009: Thanks to Chris Flaherty for providing the information on updates. made on the German Army in Ottoman Uniforms Page; and information on cap tallies to the German Navy in Ottoman Service Page.

June 2009: Thanks to Christopher Flaherty for his help with information on new page Ottoman Army Uniforms page.

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