Bostandji Bachi, official of the Sublime Gate.
Historical Ottoman Empire officials and ethnic groups.
THIS officer is the chief of the very numerous body of men, called Bostandjis, whose employment is much more extensive and various than their name imports, as it literally means “Gardeners.” Their number amounts to several thousands, and out of them is formed the body-guard of the Sultan.
They superintend all his gardens and palaces, and always accompany him in his sea excursions. They are, indeed, most excellent rowers, and are always employed as such in the Sultan’s caique, or barge, which is steered by the Bostandji Bachi.
This officer possesses considerable power. Besides having such a multitude of men under his command, he exercises his authority over all the police of the capital, and on the water as far as the entrance to the Black Sea. He has also the civil jurisdiction of the Seraglio. The Bostandjis are all Mussulmen, they receive considerable pay, and are almost all married.