These titles were borne by commoners. And, because the government and military were staffed almost entirely by Muslims, very few of the titles could be applied to non-Muslims.

Female Titles

Outside of the court, there were few titles for women.

Hatun: A term of respect that could be applied to any free Muslim woman. It was probably reserved for adult women–that is, women who had been married or had been a concubine. Apart from that detail, Hatun is roughly equivalent to the Tudor “Mistress.”

Hacı: Literally “pilgrim,” this could be borne by any Muslim who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Christians and Jews who had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem could also call themselves Hacı, though it was spelled slightly differently. Unlike most other titles, Hacı precedes the personal name.

While Hacıs of both sexes and all classes could be found, the pilgrimage was costly. Former pilgrims were likely to be well-off or older (to give them more time to save up), and were overwhelmingly male. However, slaves and servants who made the pilgrimage with their masters could also take the title, and the small number of female Hacıs were probably women who accompanied their husbands.

Male Titles

These are the titles most commonly found in the records:

Ağa: A title borne by a confusing array of military, court, and administrative officials.

Beğ, Bey: A military title borne by certain high-ranking army and navy officers.

Çelebi: Gentleman.

Hacı: Identical to the female title. Confusingly, it was occasionally used as a male given name.

Reis, Re’is: Naval captain. Istanbul, a major military and shipping center, was full of captains.

Less Common Male Titles

Government and military titles are their own field of study.

Baba: Probably an informal term meaning “grandfather.”

Bostancı: Literally “gardener,” this title was borne by members of the palace guard.

Çavuş: A high-ranking military messenger.

Danişmend: A master of arts.

Emir: Commander or governor. Also a personal name.

Fakih: Islamic jurist.

Kethüda: A deputy, often to an ağa or reis. Used in both the military and the civil administration.