Ottoman Janissaries (conscripted soldiers) were divided into 101 ortahs (regiments), each Janissary tattooed a mark on his arm showing his ortah. A crescent was the symbol of the first ortah (the Sultans ortah), the thirty-first ortah which served on board the fleet, was an anchor. The number of Janissaries in each ortah was varied, greater numbers were in the most distinguished; the number in some was extremely large, that of the thirty-fifth, amounting to nearly thirty thousand.

Because of the weakening of the Ottoman Empire conservative Janissaries blocked needed military reform and allowed their state to lose ground to European rivals. Also the weakness in technology included the imperial navy.