Turkish ruling party deputy says ‘the Ottomans are back,’ but ‘janissaries’ protest AKP
A group of angry public servants protested the government in the northwestern province of Bursa on Jan. 15 - dressed as Ottoman janissary soldiers.A deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently declared that “the Ottoman Empire has returned,” but the government has since faced its own “janissary rebellion," when public servants dressed as Ottoman janissary soldiers protested in front of a local AKP headquarters.
Tülay Babuşçu, a deputy representing the western Turkish province of Balıkesir, praised the unprecedented welcoming ceremony hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Jan. 14 in a Twitter message: “Magnificent wisdom... The wisdom of our esteemed president. The 90-year-long commercial break of a 600-year-old empire is now over.”
The protesting members of Kamu-Sen, a union of public servants, burned their payrolls in front of the provincial headquarters of the AKP, claiming that the rise in their salaries was lower than the inflation rate.
Speaking in front of the costumed “janissaries,” Kamu-Sen provincial representative Selçuk Türkoğlu said their rights had been “usurped.”
“They are building palaces, but they say there is no money for public servants,” Türkoğlu added, referring to the controversial 1,150-room presidential palace in Ankara that was recently opened on the order of Erdoğan.
As the elite infantry units of the empire, the Janissary Corps formed the core of the Ottoman military for centuries. The janisseries revolted for higher salaries on several occasions throughout in history, starting in 1449, and began to turn from a source of power to a liability for various Ottoman sultans. After many previous failed attempts to take on the janisseries, Mahmud II was finally able to abolish the Janissary Corps in a bloody operation in 1826.
(Click here to read more about the Janissary corps or their dresses in HDN articles written by Niki Gamm )