European slaves in the slave market of the Ottoman Empire

Published on Oct 23, 2021
The Ottoman penetration into Europe in the 1350s and their capture of Constantinople later in 1453 opened new floodgates for slave-trade from the European front. In their last attempt to overrun Europe in 1683, the Ottoman army, although defeated, returned from the Gates of Vienna with 80,000 captives.874 An immense number of slaves flowed from the Crimea, the Balkans and the steppes of West Asia to Islamic markets. BD Davis laments that the ‘‘Tartars and other Black Sea peoples had sold millions of Ukrainians, Georgians, Circassians, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Slavs and Turks,’’ which received little notice.875 Crimean Tatars enslaved and sold some 1,750,000 Ukrainians, Poles and Russian between 1468 and 1694. 876 According to another estimate, between 1450 and 1700, the Crimean Tatars exported some 10,000 slaves, including some Circassians, annually—that is, some 2,500,000 slaves in all, to the Ottoman Empire.877 The Tatar slave-raiding Khans returned with 18,000 slaves from Poland (1463), 100,000 from Lvov (1498), 60,000 from South Russia (1515), 50,000–100,000 from Galicia (1516), during the ‘harvesting of the steppe.’ Numbers from Moscow (1521), 800,000 were taken and from Valynia (1676), 400,000 were taken. 800,000 from Moscow (1521), 200,000 from South Russia (1555), 100,000 from Moscow (1571), 50,000 from Poland (1612), 60,000 from South Russia (1646), 100,000 from Poland (1648), 300,000 from Ukraine (1654), 400,000 from Valynia (1676) and thousands from Poland (1694). Besides these major catches, they made countless more Jihad raids during the same period, which yielded a few to tens of thousands of slaves.878 These figures of enslavement must be considered in the context that the population of the Tatar Khanate was only about 400,000 at the time. (1463-1694) while sources are incomplete, conservative tabulation of the slave raids against the Eastern European population indicate that at least 7 MILLION European people-men, women, children were enslaved by Muslims.

Sources suggest that in the few years between 1436-1442, some 500,000 people were seized in the Balkans. Many of the captives died in forced marches towards Anatolia (Turkey). Contemporary chronicles note that the Ottomans reduced masses of the inhabitants of Greece, Romania, and the Balkans to slavery eg from Moree (1460)-70,000 and Transylvania (1438) - 60,000-70,000 and 300,000-600,000 from Hungary and 10,000 from Mytilene/Mitilini on Lesbos island (1462) (Bulgaru p 567) and so it continued.

The vicious destruction of Constantinople in 1453 shows the religious zeal of the Muslims, their hatred of Christians, massacres, destruction and pillage and of course, the enslavement of 50,000-60,000 people!

1876: Ottomans’ massacre the Bulgarians: Historians estimate 30,000 murdered, with 3,000 orphaned children, thousands of Bulgarians imprisoned or exiled and 60-80 villages destroyed and another 200 hundred plundered and 300,000 livestock (cattle, sheep, goats) and countle


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