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Vaka-I Hayriye


Turkish for "the beneficial event"; the end of the janis-sary corps in 1826.

The term vaka-i hayriye has been used by Turkish historians to describe the government-ordered destruction of the Ottoman Empire's military unit, the janissary corps, on 15 June 1826. This momentous event resulted in considerable bloodshed (6,000 dead, according to conservative estimates) and was received with dismay and mixed emotions by large segments of the populace. In an attempt to gain public approval, Mahmud II's regime, using the services of the ulama (Islamic scholars), presented the incident as unavoidable and necessary to protect the very survival of Islam and the Ottoman Empire. Immediately following the destruction of the janissary corps, Mahmud II ordered the court chronicler, Mehmet Esad Efendi (c. 17891848), to record the official version of events, Üss-i Zafer (Foundation of victory), which was printed in Istanbul in 1828 and served as the main source for every other Ottoman account of this period.

see also janissaries; mahmud ii.


Levy, Avigdor. "The Ottoman Ulama and the Military Reforms of Sultan Mahmud II." Asian and African Studies 7 (1971): 1339.

avigdor levy
updated by eric hooglund

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