In the middle of the XIV century. The Ottoman Turks implemented their first conquests in the Balkans. First they enslaved Bulgaria, then attacked Serbia. In 1389, an unequal battle took place on the Kosovo Field between Serbian knights and more numerous Turkish troops. In this battle, both the Serbian king Lazar and the Turkish sultan Murad were killed. The elder son of Murad, Bayazid, became the sultan, who was called Lightning for his lightning military successes in the Balkans and Asia Minor.
Serbs and Bosnians suffered a crushing defeat on Kosovo’s Field. For 500 years the Balkan peoples lived in Turkish captivity.
The Turks created a permanent army, the striking force of which was foot soldiers – janissaries, armed with scimitars, spears and daggers. The Janissaries were not the Turks, but the prisoners or the Christian boys, taken in the form of tribute. They were brought up by their dervishes, who “washed” their memory of their people and instilled in them a fanatical devotion to Islam and the Sultan. The Janissaries became the guards of the Sultans and helped them to enslave the Christians. But, if they were oppressed, the janissaries made palace coups or organized riots in the capital.
Serb sources say that Murad on the Kosovo Field was mortally wounded by a dagger, making his way through the enemy ranks, the brave Serbian knight Milos Obilic, whom the Turks then chopped to pieces. The Turkish source illuminates this event
XVI century. From the work of Czech Václav Bratislava “Adventures”
The Janissaries recruit from the children those Christian peoples who live under Turkish rule. They recruit… small children… The best people are recruited to serve the Turkish sultan, others are dismantled by pashas and other Turkish bosses. The rest… are sold… to Anatolia and to Asia until a certain time… And they live there… in the cold and hunger, under the scorching sun, naked, and they treat them like dogs… When they will be about 20 years old… they are all sent to Istanbul. Here, the strongest and harshest are recorded in younger janissaries and given under the command of elders. Under their supervision, the younger learn to shoot, cut with sabers, throw javelins, jump over ditches, climb walls and perform any work that the older one will give them… In battle or during the assault they go first and everyone tries to show themselves… Then those of the young people, who will show their courage, take to the rank of senior janissaries… Of all the Turkish soldiers, they are the most ruthless to Christians. And the soldiers are the most indomitable, of which the Turkish sultan has a reliable security.
In 1402 the hordes of Timur fell upon the Turks. Gradually, Timur conquered Central Asia. Under his powerful blow, the Golden Horde disintegrated. Then his soldiers subdued Iran, Afghanistan, Great Steppe, Caucasus, Delhi Sultanate, Baghdad Caliphate of Arabs, Ottoman State, Mongolia and China. He did not dare to go to war with Russia.
Timur devastated Asia Minor. Sultan became his prisoner and soon died. Therefore, the Turks continued to conquer the Balkans only in the 20-30-ies. XV century, when a little came to their senses. They conquered Macedonia, Greece, Albania and Serbia. The Turkish army acquired firearms – cannons and squeaks. Its fighting capacity was not inferior to the European armies and, moreover, was more numerous.
Wars made the poor even poorer, and the rich are even richer. The population was divided into aristocrats and “herd” – dependent commoners. The peasants were taxed with taxes and taxes in favor of the state, but they did not persecute the corvee, as the grandees were short of salaries and military booty, and they did not keep their farms. Non-Muslims paid compensation to the state for not attracting them to military service.
Pasha is the title of the highest government in Sultan Turkey.