Ward of the “Zülüflu” Guards

The Ward of the Zülüflu Guards was formed in the 15th Century for the purpose of introduction into military service.  The corps conducted such duties as cleaning the palace Harem and Selamlık, conducting rapid and confidential communications of the sultan, carrying and re-assembling the throne for the accession and religious holiday ceremonies, moving heavy objects and carrying the funeral bier of the sultan and his family members. The word “zülüflü” (“braided”) stems from the braids hanging down on either side of their conical headgear. Their turned up collars and braids hindered them from observing the surroundings in the Harem while conducting their duties such as carrying in firewood. The Zülüflu Guards Chamberlain was their commander. According to the duties assigned they bore such titles as Chief of the Guard, Keeper of the Council Chamber, Supplier of the Pantry, Captain of the Guards, Officer of Chambers, Producer of Dried Fruits and Nuts, Water Pipeline Builder, and Runner.