Bashi-bazouk

A bashi-bazouk (Ottoman Turkish: باشی بوزوق başıbozuk, IPA: [baʃɯboˈzuk], lit. ’one whose head is turned, damaged head, crazy-head’, roughly “leaderless” or “disorderly”) was an irregular soldier of the Ottoman army, raised in times of war. The army chiefly recruited Albanians and Circassians as bashi-bazouks, but recruits came from all ethnic groups of the Ottoman Empire including slaves from Europe or Africa. They had a reputation for bravery, but also as an undisciplined group, notorious for looting and preying on civilians as a result of a lack of regulation.