‘Ottoman police’ welcome Turkish prime minister

‘Ottoman police’ welcome Turkish prime minister

‘Ottoman police’ welcome Turkish prime minister

Costumed men representing security officials from Turkish history greet PM Ahmet Davutoğlu. AA Photo

Continuing the new trend of cosplay started at Turkey's new presidential palace where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan resides, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan were welcomed by policemen dressed in Ottoman-era costumes on April 10 in Ankara.

“I hope our security organization, which comes from a glorious tradition, will celebrate many more anniversaries. May God protect them,” Akdoğan said in a tweet on April 10, sharing a photo of the welcoming ceremony at the Police Academy in the Turkish capital.

Erdoğan had initiated the new tradition of historical costume-wearing on Jan. 12, when he met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential palace flanked by actors dressed in the military costumes of 16 states founded throughout history by Turks.

Although Erdoğan’s choice for the unusual welcoming ceremony was based on warriors, the costumed figures who greeted Davutoğlu and Akdoğan highlighted the history of the internal security officials in the country, marking the Turkish Police Force’s 170th anniversary with a special ceremony.

There were a number of different security units in the Ottoman Empire for policing cities and countryside settlements, including the well-known Janissary soldiers. As part of efforts to modernize the army and the police, Sultan Mahmud II abolished the Janissaries in 1826, which was the year when the Ottoman state started to form new security organizations.

Turkey’s current police force traces its roots back to 1845, when the Zaptiye Ministry was established, although this organization was actually abolished a year after the 1908 revolution, when it was replaced by a new, European-inspired one.