In 1826, the Ottoman Imperial Army, played a significant role in the policing of the Ottoman state, and Imperial Capital, Constantinople inherited from the Aga of the Janissaries, whom had been responsible for public security, police duties, fire-fighting, and the like, in the capital.
In the areas outside Constantinople, there were the SUBASILAR, who were under the command:
These fulfilled the security and public order duties together with soldiers under their command.
The security and public order services were performed by the military organizations which were called:
The proclamation of Administrative Reforms on 3 November 1839, establisded the duty of protecting the right to life and property of the people, and was assigned to officers who worked under the authority of provincial or sanjak governorates.
After 1847, local police forces were established in every district, and these forces were responsible from escorting the collection of taxes and providing the necessary means for security of the population, travellers, roads and bridges.
The first police organization was established during the Ottoman Empire on 10th of April, 1845.
On 16 February 1846, “Zaptiye Musirligi” was established and Umur-u Zaptiye services in provinces and sanjaks were directly subordinated to this authority.
Initially Constantinople developed its own special police structure.
Serving as a permanent guard whenever the army corps had to leave its appointed location, the Police force was divided into brigades, each 'Eylayet' (Prior to 1864, the 'Eyalets' were a former primary administrative division of the Ottoman Empire, the term is sometimes translated province or governorate):
In each brigade there were as many companies as there were provinces in the respective Eylayet, each commanded by captains.
Contemporary western sources give various definitions for individual roles within the Police:
The “Asakir-i Zaptiye Nizamnamesi”, which was the first regulation of the organization, entered into force on 14 June 1869. In accordance with these laws:
Right - The 'Chef du Police' in 1870. Wearing his court uniform to the Sultan's Palace. This is likely to be the Mudir-i-umumi (Police Director-General).
In the British 1916 Handbook on the Turkish Army (pg. 103), under the Chief of the Department of Public Safety, there are six ranks of police recorded:
It appears in all the early illustrations of police uniforms that there are six-equivalent 'ranks' used.
Right - Originally, Police Ministry was established to provide security in Istanbul but it was expanded to the security of all country in 1885. Moreover, undercover police, police inspectorships and mounted police troops were established in 1898 and Marine Police was started to serve in 1899. Police Ministry was abolished after the II. Constitution was declared (1908-1909).
Right - This British pre-WW1 Grenadier Cigarettes card illustrates a Marine Police wearing the post-1900 service jacket with fly cover over the buttons, with red piping (which is actually the red lining of the button fly). The uniform colours, are green tunic with red collar and cuffs piped white. The gorget in silver metal. While the aiguillette is red.
Right - WW1 (1918) war-time workshop made solid Cast Brass (Small-Medium) Orta and Star One-Piece Badge (3.1 cm across x 3.5 cm high). 1832 Order of Orta (long-horn crescent type). Cast in one piece with star badge. A. 1918-period the Agal, or M1909 kalpak badge.
Below/Right - Extracted from photograph of members of the Turkish Gendarmerie present when the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Sir Edmund Allenby accepted the formal surrender of Jerusalem on 11 December 1917; this officer wears a police/civil official's wool cap with a similar badge.
Below - Owned by Peter Suciu illustrates three features that show this to be for government service:
Normally, light gray represents the cavalry, and darker grey the infantry. However, in this case grey was also the basic uniform colour for the police. This one also incorporates a more classical button-spike, with a small ball final.
Right - Discribed as "Turkish Gendarme's epaulettes", worn by members of the Turkish Gendarmerie present when the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Sir Edmund Allenby accepted the formal surrender of Jerusalem on 11 December 1917. This is in the Imperial War Museum collection. The Ottoman script indicates 'Jerusalem'. This is for the rank of Onbasi (Corporal). However, these are for an Ottoman Police officer.
Right - A WW1 war-time workshop made solid cast brass cast medium-sized (4.5 cm across) 1832 Order of Orta (long-horn crescent type) and star badges. Same as the Agal, or M1909 kalpak badges. However, attached to horses’ blinder.
Inseted for comparason is the photograph of a member of the Turkish Gendarmerie present when the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Sir Edmund Allenby accepted the formal surrender of Jerusalem on 11 December 1917; this officer wears a police/civil official's wool cap with an identical badge.