This is a list of titles and appellations used in the Ottoman Empire. In place of surnames, Muslims in the Empire carried titles such as "Sultan", "Paşa", "Ağa", "Hoca", "Bey", "Hanım", "Efendi", etc. These titles either defined their formal profession (such as Pasha, Hoca, etc.) or their informal status within the society (such as Bey, Agha, Hanım, Efendi, etc.). Later, family surnames were made mandatory in Turkey by the 1934 Surname Law.
Usage by Ottoman royalty
The sovereigns' main titles were Sultan, Padishah (Emperor) and Khan; which were of Arabic, Persian and Turkish/Mongolian origin, respectively. His full style was the result of a long historical accumulation of titles expressing the empire's rights and claims as successor to the various states it annexed or subdued. Beside these imperial titles, Caesar of Rome (Kayser-i Rûm) was among the important titles claimed by Sultan Mehmed II after the conquest of Constantinople. The title sultan (سلطان), originally meaning "authority" or "dominion", used in an ungendered manner to encompass the whole imperial family, men and women, reflected the Ottoman conception of sovereign power as a "family prerogative". Male dynasty member carrying the title before their given name, with female member carrying it after. Nevertheless, when used to refer to female dynasty members and relatives, title sultan often translated to sultana in to outside Ottoman, possibly to distinguish them from the Ottoman ruler. Hadrah or Hazretleri is honorific Arabic title; a literal translation of Hadrah is "Presence", which is often translated as "Your Highness".
The emperors' formal title consisted of Sultan together with Khan (in Turkish language the word became Han). This dual title symbolized the Ottomans' dual legitimating heritage, Islamic and Central Asian. Formal titles and styles:
- Short: Sultan (given name) Han Hazretleri, with the style of hünkarım (my sovereign, equivalent with "Your Imperial Majesty"), padişah efendim (my master emperor), or sultanım (my sultan)
- The full style of the Ottoman sultan once the empire's frontiers had stabilized became:
"Sultan (given name) Han, Sovereign of The Sublime House of Osman, Sultan us-Selatin (Sultan of Sultans), Hakan (Khan of Khans), Commander of the faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe, Custodian of the Holy Cities of Mecca, Medina and Kouds (Jerusalem), Padishah (Emperor) of The Three Cities of Istanbul (Constantinople), Edirne (Adrianople) and Bursa, and of the Cities of Châm (Damascus) and Cairo (Egypt), of all Azerbaijan, of the Maghreb, of Barkah, of Kairouan, of Alep, of the Arab and Persian Iraq, of Basra, of El Hasa strip, of Raqqa, of Mosul, of Parthia, of Diyâr-ı Bekr, of Cilicia, of the provinces of Erzurum, of Sivas, of Adana, of Karaman, of Van, of Barbaria, of Habech (Abyssinia), of Tunisia, of Tripoli, of Châm (Syria), of Cyprus, of Rhodes, of Crete, of the province of Morea (Peloponnese), of Bahr-i Sefid (Mediterranean Sea), of Bahr-i Siyah (Black Sea), of Anatolia, of Rumelia (the European part of the Empire), of Bagdad, of Kurdistan, of Greece, of Turkestan, of Tartary, of Circassia, of the two regions of Kabarda, of Gorjestan (Georgia), of the steppe of Kipchaks, of the whole country of the Tatars, of Kefa (Theodosia) and of all the neighbouring regions, of Bosnia, of the City and Fort of Belgrade, of the province of Sirbistan (Serbia), with all the castles and cities, of all Arnaut, of all Eflak (Wallachia) and Bogdania (Moldavia), as well as all the dependencies and borders, and many others countries and cities."
Male descendants of a sovereign in the male line.
- Gentleman (çelebi, چلبى). Used before the reign of Mehmed II. Format style: "(given name) Çelebi".
- Sultan Imperial Prince (şehzade sultan), or simply Imperial Prince (şehzade, شاهزاده). Format titles and styles:
- Short: "Şehzade Sultan (given name)", i.e. Sultan Imperial Prince (given name) or "Şehzade (given name)", i.e. Imperial Prince (given name), with the style of şehzadem (my imperial prince) or efendim (my master).
- Full: Devletlû Najabatlu Şehzade Sultan (given name) Hazretleri Efendi
- Crown Prince (vali ahad). Full titles and styles: Devletlû Najabatlu Valiahd-i Saltanat Şehzade-i Javanbahd (given name) Efendi Hazretleri.
Female descendants of a sovereign in the male line.
- Lady (hatun, خاتون). Used before 16th century and also used for sultan's mothers and consorts. In the 16th century, title sultan carried by prominent members of the imperial family and hatun carried by lesser female member.
- Format style: "(given name) Hatun", i.e. Lady (given name)
- Sultana (sultan, سلطان). Used after 16th century. Formal title:
- Short: "(given name) Sultana", i.e. Sultana (given name), with the style of sultanım (my sultan(a)) or efendim (my mistress).
- Full: Devletlû İsmetlu (given name) Sultân Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri
Sons and daughters of sultana
- Prince Sultan (sultanzade, سلطانزاده). Sons of sultanas (imperial princes).
- Sultana madam (hanımsultan, خانم سلطان). Daughters of sultanas (imperial princesses).
- Formal title: "(given name) Hanımsultan", i.e. Sultana madam (given name)
Relative of dynasty member
Mothers of the reigning sultans
- Lady mother (valide hatun). Used before 16th century. Formal style: "(given name) Valide Hatun" or "Valide (given name) Hatun", i.e. Lady mother (given name).
- Sultana mother or Queen mother (valide sultan, والدة السلطان). Used after 16th century. Formal titles and styles:
- Short: "(given name) Valide Sultan" or "Valide (given name) Sultan", i.e. Sultana mother (given name), with the style of sultanım (my sultan(a)) or validem (my mother).
- Full: Devletlû İsmetlû (given name) Vâlide Sultân Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri
- Sultana grandmother or Grand Sultana mother (büyük valide sultan). Grandmothers of the reigning sultans. Used by Kösem Sultan during the reign of her grandson Mehmed IV, And Safiye Sultan, during the reigns of his grandsons and great-grandson.
Imperial female consort
Consorts of the sultans and imperial princes.
- Sultana consort or Imperial Consort (haseki sultan, خاصکى سلطان). Title for the chief consort of the sultan in the 16th century. In later periods, the meaning of the title began to change to something more general like an "Empress consort" for Hurrem Sultan and then Imperial or Principal Consort for Nurbanu Sultan and Safiye Sultan and later for Mahpeyker Kösem Sultan it became title used for the "mother of the imperial princes". This title was only used until around the 17th century. Formal title:
- Short: "(given name) Haseki Sultan" or "Haseki (given name) Sultan", i.e. Sultana consort or Empress Consort
- (given name), with the style of sultanım (my sultan(a)) or efendim (my mistress).
- Full: Devletlû İsmetlu (given name) Haseki Sultân Aliyyetü'ş-Şân Hazretleri
- Lady consort (haseki kadın). Title for sultan's consort who became mother of the imperial princes. This title was used around 17th century.
- Lady (hatun, خاتون). Also used for imperial princesses and sultans' mothers. In the 16th century, the title sultan was carried by prominent members of the imperial family and hatun was carried by lesser female members.
- Format style: "(given name) Hatun", i.e. Lady (given name)
- Lady (kadınefendi, قادين افندی). Title given to main imperial consort of Ottoman sultan from the 17th century. The title was a replacement of the early title Hatun.
- Format style: "(given name) Kadınefendi", i.e. Lady (given name)
- Full titles and styles: Devletlu İsmetlu (given name) (rank) Kadınefendi Hazretleri
- Madam (hanımefendi, خانم آفندی). Title given to the imperial consort of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from the 17th century, who came below the rank of kadınefendi. The title was also given to the official consorts of the imperial princes.
Imperial male consort
Husbands of the sultana.
- Prince consort (damad, داماد). Full titles and styles: Damat-i Shahriyari (given name) Bey Efendi.
During the time of Suleiman
Titles and appellations in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, from Albert Howe Lybyer's book "The government of the Ottoman Empire in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent":
- Agha (Ottoman Turkish: آغا, Turkish: ağa): a general officer.
- Ajem-oghlan (Ottoman Turkish: عجمی اوغلان, Turkish: acemi oğlan): a cadet or apprentice Janissary.
- Akinji (Ottoman Turkish: آقنجى, Turkish: akıncı): the irregular cavalry.
- Ashji-bashi (Commons) Ottoman Turkish: آشجی باشی, Turkish: aşcıbaşı): a chief cook
- Azab (Ottoman Turkish: عزب, Turkish: azap): the irregular infantry.
- Bashi (Ottoman Turkish: باشی, Turkish: -başı): The Head or Chief of an organization.
- Berat-emini (Ottoman Turkish: برات امینی): a distributor of ordinances.
- Boluk-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: بولق باشی, Turkish: bölükbaşı): a captain of the Janissaries.
- Bostanji (Ottoman Turkish: بوستانجی, Turkish: bostancı): a gardener; a euphemism for the Sultan's palace guard.
- Bostanji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: بوستانجی باشی, Turkish: bostancıbaşı): The "chief gardener" and head of the palace guard. Equivalent to the rank of pasha.
- Chakirji (Ottoman Turkish: چاقرجی, Turkish: çakırcı): a falconer.
- Chasneji (Ottoman Turkish: چشنیجی, Turkish: çeşnici): a taster.
- Chasneji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: چشنیجی باشی, Turkish: çeşnicibaşı): the chief taster.
- Tchaoush or Chaush (Ottoman Turkish: چاووش, Turkish: çavuş): an usher.
- Çavuşbaşı or Chaush-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: چاووش باشی, Turkish: çavuşbaşı): chief of the Chaushes, and a high court official. Equivalent to the rank of pasha.
- Chelebi (Ottoman Turkish: چلبى, Turkish: çelebi): a gentleman.
- Cheri-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: چری باشی, Turkish: çeribaşı): a petty officer of feudal cavalry.
- Danishmend (Ottoman Turkish: دانشمند, Turkish: danişmend): a master of arts.
- Defterdar (Ottoman Turkish: دفتردار, Modern Turkish: defterdar): a treasurer.
- Defter-emini (Ottoman Turkish: دفتر امینی): a recorder of fiefs.
- Deli (Ottoman Turkish: دلی, Modern Turkish: deli): appellation of a scout or a captain of the Akinji.
- Dervish (Ottoman Turkish: درویش, Modern Turkish: derviş): a member of a Muslim religious order.
- Deveji (Ottoman Turkish: دوه جی, Modern Turkish: deveci): a camel-driver.
- Emin (Ottoman Turkish: آمین, Modern Turkish: emin): an intendant.
- Emir (Ottoman Turkish: امیر, Modern Turkish: emir): a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.; a commander, a governor.
- Emir al-Akhor (Ottoman Turkish: امير الآخر, Modern Turkish: ahır bakıcısı): a grand equerry.
- Ghurabâ (Ottoman Turkish: غربا, Modern Turkish: guraba): a member of the lowest corps of the standing cavalry.
- Gonnullu (Ottoman Turkish: گوڭـللو, Modern Turkish: gönüllü): a volunteer soldier or sailor.
- Hekim-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: حکیم باشی, Modern Turkish: hekimbaşı): a chief physician.
- Helvaji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: حلواجی باشی, Modern Turkish: helvacıbaşı): a chief confectioner.
- Hoja (Ottoman Turkish: خواجه, Modern Turkish: hoca): a teacher; the Sultan's adviser.
- Ikinji Kapu-oghlan (Ottoman Turkish: ایکنجی قاپی اوغلان, Modern Turkish: ikinci kapıoğlan): a white eunuch in charge of the second gate of the palace.
- Imam (Ottoman Turkish: امام, Modern Turkish: imam) the Caliph or lawful successor of Mohammed; a leader of daily prayers.
- Iskemleji (Ottoman Turkish: اسکمله جی, Modern Turkish: iskemleci): a page of high rank.
- Itch-oghlan (Ottoman Turkish: ایچ اوغلان, Modern Turkish: içoğlan): a page in one of the Sultan's palaces.
- Jebeji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: جيب جي باشي, Modern Turkish: cebecibaşı): a chief armorer.
- Jerrah-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: جراح باشی, Modern Turkish: cerrahbaşı): a chief surgeon.
- Kâim (Ottoman Turkish: قائم, Modern Turkish: kaim): a caretaker of a mosque.
- Kanuni (Ottoman Turkish: قانونی, Modern Turkish: kanuni): legislator.
- Kapu Aghasi (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی آغاسی, Modern Turkish: kapıağası): the white eunuch in charge of the principal palace.
- Kapudan Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: کاپیتان پاشا, Modern Turkish: kaptan paşa) an admiral.
- Kapuji (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی جی, Modern Turkish: kapıcı): a gatekeeper.
- Kapuji-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی جی باشی, Modern Turkish: kapıcıbaşı): literally "head gatekeeper"; master of ceremonies.
- Kapujilar-kiayasi (Ottoman Turkish: قاپی جی لر قایاسی, Modern Turkish: kapıcılar kâhyası): a grand chamberlain.
- Katib (Modern Turkish: Kâtib): scribe or secretary
- Kazi or Kadi (Ottoman Turkish: قاضی, Modern Turkish: kadı): a judge.
- Kazasker (Ottoman Turkish: قاضيعسكر, Modern Turkish: kadıasker): one of the two chief judges of the Ottoman Empire, entrusted with military matters.
- Kharaji (Carzeri, Caragi), a non-Muslim who pays the kharij.
- Khatib, a leader of Friday prayers.
- Khazinehdar-bashi (Ottoman Turkish: خزانه دار باشی, Modern Turkish: hazinedarbaşı), a treasurer-in-chief.
- Khazineh-odassi (chamber of the treasury), the second chamber of pages.
- Khojagan, a chief of a treasury bureau.
- Kiaya (Cacaia, Cahaia, Caia, Checaya, Chechessi, Chiccaia, Chietcudasci, Gachaia, Ketkhuda, Quaia, Queaya) (common form of ketkhuda), a steward or lieutenant.
- Kiaya-bey, the lieutenant of the grand vizier.
- Kiaya Katibi, a private secretary of the Kiaya-bey.
- Kilerji-bashi, a chief of the sultan's pantry.
- Kizlar Aghasi (general of the girls), the black eunuch in charge of the palace of the harem.
- Kul, a slave; one of the sultan's slave-family.
- Masraf-shehriyari (imperial steward), substitute for the intendant of kitchen.
- Mektubji, a private secretary of the grand vizier.
- Mihter (Mecter), a tent-pitcher; a musician.
- Mihter-bashi, the chief tent-pitcher.
- Mir Alem, the imperial standard bearer.
- Molla, a judge of high rank.
- Mosellem, a fief holder by ancient tenure.
- Muderis, a professor in a Medresseh.
- Muezzin, one who calls Muslims to prayer.
- Mufettish, a special judge dealing with endowments.
- Mufti, a Muslim legal authority; in particular, the Sheik ul-Islam.
- Muhtesib, a lieutenant of police.
- Mujtahid, a doctor of the Sacred Law.
- Mulazim (candidate), a graduate of the higher Medressehs.
- Munejim-bashi, a chief astrologer.
- Muste emin, a resident foreigner.
- Mutbakh-emini, intendant of the kitchen.
- Muteveli, an administrator of an endowment.
- Naib, an inferior judge.
- Nakib ol-Eshraf, the Chief of the Seids or descendants of Muhammad.
- Nazir, an inspector of an endowment.
- Nishanji, a chancellor.
- Nizam al-mulk, basis of the order of the kingdom (title of a vizier of Melek Shah).
- Oda-bashi (head of chamber), the page of highest rank; a corporal of the Janissaries.
- Papuji, a page of high rank.
- Pasha (Bascia, Bassa), a very high official.
- Peik, a member of the body-guard of halbardiers.
- Reis Effendi, or Reis ul-Khuttab, a recording secretary; a recording secretary of the Divan, later an important minister of state.
- Rekiab-Aghalari (generals of the stirrup), a group of high officers of the outside service of the palace.
- Rusnamehji, a chief book-keeper of the Treasury.
- Sakka, a water-carrier.
- Sanjak-bey, a high officer of feudal, cavalry and governor of a Sanjak.
- Sarraf, a banker.
- Segban-bashi (Seymen-bashi) (master of the hounds), the second officer of the corps of Janissaries.
- Seid, a descendant of the Muhammad.
- Seraskier, a commander-in-chief.
- Serraj, saddlers.
- Shahinji, a falconer.
- Sharabdar (Seracter) (drink-bearer), a page of high rank.
- Shehr-emini (Saremin), intendant of imperial buildings.
- Sheik, a preacher; a head of a religious community.
- Sheik ul-Islam, the Mufti of Constantinople and head of the Muslim Institution.
- Sherif, a descendant of the Muhammad.
- Silahdar (Silahtar, Selicter, Sillictar, Suiastrus, Suluphtar) (sword-bearer), a member of the second corps of standing cavalry; the page who carried the sultan's arms.
- Sofi, woolen; a dervish (an appellation of the Shah of Persia).
- Softa (Sukhta), an undergraduate in a Medresseh.
- Solak (left-handed), a janissary bowman of the sultan's personal guard.
- Sipahi (Sipah, Sipahi, Spachi, Spai), a cavalry soldier; a member of the standing or feudal cavalry.
- Spahi-oghlan (Spacoillain) (cavalry youth), a member of the highest corps of the standing cavalry.
- Subashi, a captain of the feudal cavalry and governor of a town.
- Sultan (سلطان), is a word Arabic origin, originally meaning "authority" or "dominion". By the beginning of the 16th century, this title, carried by both men and women of the Ottoman dynasty, was replacing other titles by which prominent members of the imperial family had been known (notably hatun for women and bey for men), with emperor and imperial princes (Şehzade) carrying the title before their given name, with sultan's mother, imperial princesses, and main imperial consort carrying it after. This usage underlines the Ottoman conception of sovereign power as family prerogative.
- Tahvil Kalemi, a bureau of the Chancery.
- Terjuman, an interpreter (dragoman).
- Terjuman Divani Humayun, a chief interpreter of the sultan.
- Teshrifatji, a master of ceremonies.
- Teskereji, a master of petitions.
- Teskereji-bashi (chief of document-writers), the Nishanji.
- Timarji, the holder of a Timar.
- Ulufaji (Ouloufedgis, Allophase, Holofagi) (paid troops), a member of the third corps of the sultan's standing cavalry.
- Veznedar, an official weigher of money.
- Vizier (burden-bearer), a minister of state.
- Voivode (Slavic), an officer, a governor.
- Yaya, a fief holder by ancient tenure, owing infantry service.
- Yaziji (laxagi), a scribe or secretary.
- Zagarji-bashi (master of the harriers), a high officer of the Janissaries.
- Zanijiler (Italianized), lancers or Voinaks (?).
- Zarabkhane-emini, intendant of mints and mines.
- Ziam, the holder of a Ziamet.