Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms


Infantry and Cavalry Regiment Standards

Below - The post-1909 Sultan's flag, given to each Imperial Army regiment. Carried by the:

  • Sanjakdar (Regiment Standard Bearer).
  • Bairakdar (Colour Bearer).
  • CoLour Sargeant.

Cavalry Sub-Unit Flag and Cavalry Regiment Standards

The Imperial Army cavalry regiments used the 1909 Regiment's Standard (discussed above).

Right - Beleived to be flag of the 3rd Cavalry Division (Imperial War Museum collection).

Special Banner Given to 79th Infantry Regiment

Right - The special banner given to 79th Infantry Regiment that defended Gazzasource. This is an American Colony Jerusalem picture of the “Regimental Standard presented to the defenders of Gaza, who repulsed the first British attack, 1917” (LC-DIG-ppmsca-13709-00116) [1] [2], This flag is much larger than the reguar infantry standards. The uniforms of the Sanjakdar (Standard Bearer) attending squad, is of particular interest as these two soldiers are actually wearing German M1910 tunics.



[1] Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi IV ncü Cilt 1 nci Kısım Sina-Filistin Cephesi Harbin Başlangıcından İkinci Gazze Muharebesi Sonuna kadar, Ankara 1979, resim.22 (Turkish War During WW1 v.4th,1st part, Sinai-Falestine Front, From beginning of the war to the end of 2nd gazza batttle, pic:22).

[2] From the Turkish Sabancı University, Sakıp Sabancı Museum collection, a fragment of an Ottoman regimental banner dated to the last quarter of the 19th century. The green, silk weave banner is 50 x 164 cm. The writing (including the boarder) in cream-colored silk thread on green fabric contains:

  • The continuation of Verse 77 of the Qur’anic chapter, 'The Women'; and.
  • The whole of Verse 27 of the chapter, 'The Food'.

Some illustrations of the Special Award Standard, from 1876-1908 show these to have been green with yellow embroidery.

Banner Medals

Above - Hanging from the 79th Regiment's banner streamers, are the Imtiyaz Medal in Gold, with 1916 Cross Swords Bar, and the 1915 War Medal.

Right - A photograph of an example of 1915 War Medal and Triumph Ribbon.

1333 (1914) Battle Ribbons

A ‘1333-1332 Battle Streamer’ could be folded midpoint and nailed lengthwise to the banner staff [1].


[1] C. Flaherty (2014) The Ottoman Imperial Army in the First World War: A Handbook of Uniforms (PARTIZAN HISTORICAL 16). Partizan Press.

Unidentified WW1 Higher Junior Officers' Rank Insignia Shoulder Boards

(Sanjakdar [Standard Bearer] Ranks)

Right - Dated with the European date - 1915, this picture of a Turkish junior officer, and he appears to have Bascavus Muavini (Assistant Sergeant-Major) - two cross bars on his shoulder boards, with the addition of a thick outside gold cord, added to the edge of the board. As well, he is wearing an Officer's pattern tunic (with six buttons), and full 'branch of service' coloured collar (again indication an officer's rank grade).


Right - This three cross bars on his shoulder boards, which is correct for the Bascavus (Sergeant-Major).

  • However, he has an addition of a thick outside gold cord, added to the edge of the board.
  • As well, he is wearing an Officer's pattern tunic (with six buttons - which a Bascavus can wear).
  • He is wearing an 1909 Officer's Portepee (which is also correct for a Bascavus).
  • However, his 1909 Officer's Portepee should be on a side-arm, not a sword unless he is in the cavalry or the field artillery.
  • Notwithstanding, in this case he is actually armed with an officer's sword, as well as wearing an officer's belt buckle, which were worn by officers - Lieutenant and above only.


Right - This shoulder board is seen in a WW1 picture published in Tunca Orses. Necmettin Ozcelik. (2007) Dunya Savasi'nda Turk Askeri Kiyafetleri 1914-1918. Militärmuseum, Istanbul: 71. It displays a double thick gold cord outer edge, with a single cross bar.


Right - This board displays a double thick gold cord outer edge, with one wide lace bar across the centre, divided by two central bars of pink/red highlights, representing three gold cross bars (separated by red lines).


Right - Another Ottoman WW1-wartime variation shoulder board with an embroidered gilt wire edge, and gold tape (with red center line) arranged in a hatch-lines pattern.


RIGHT - In the British 1916 Handbook on the Turkish Army (pg. 134), the Sanjakdar, is both listed as an officer (in British terms of reference), and is listed in seniority as below a Regimental Clerk Officer, and above the rank of Sergeant-Major.

RIGHT - The British 1916 Handbook on the Turkish Army (pg. 47), lists the 'Colour Bearer' as a Sergeant-level officer, in a Regiment Staff. 

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