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The MILITARY COSTUME OF TURKEY.
PUBLISHED BY THOMAS McLEAN JANUARY 1, 1813
From drawings by Octavien Dalvimart (d'Alvimart), engraved by F.H. Clark
Bostangi from the NYPL
The literal meaning of the word Bostangis, is gardeners, is not sufficiently indicative of the employments of those who bear it, which are of a very diversified nature.
The Bostangis are a very numerous body of men at Constantinople, amounting to several thousands; they compose the first, or outer guard of the seraglio, and a detachment, selected from them and called Assequis, forms a part of the Sultan's body-guard, whom they always accompany, armed with sabres, which they wear slung over their shoulders, and carrying white staves, to indicate that they are the executors of his commands.
The Bostangis, likewise, have the superintendance of all the palaces and gardens belonging to the Sultan, whom they also accompany as rowers in his barge, when he goes on the water, on which occasion he is steered by their chief, the Bostangi Bachi, who is an officer of considerable power, as in addition to the command of such a large body of men, and the civil jurisdiction of the seraglio, his authority extends over all the police of the capital, and on the water as far as the entrance to the Black Sea.
The dress of ceremony of the Bostangis, consists of red habits, and bonnets of the same colour.
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