The Ottoman Empire was a great place to be a criminal. Were you a veteran who couldn't find gainful employment? No problem! Plenty of bandit networks were willing to hire you and they offered great pay in the form of plundering opportunities. There was little the central government could do to stop you, especially if you escaped to the mountainous Balkan regions. In fact, some bandit networks were so powerful (especially those controlled by the notorious Kara Feyzi in the early 1800s) that the government thought it better to co-opt the leaders by offering them official positions rather that fight them with their armies.
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