In 1891, the Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid II established an irregular cavalry of Kurds modeled on the Russian Cossacks and named after himself, the Hamidiye. The purpose was to police eastern Anatolia by divide-and-rule policies that would reward loyal Kurdish tribes and make revolt against the government more difficult.
   The Hamidiye were also notoriously used against the Armenians. By the end of the 19th century, there were probably more than 50,000 of these irregulars. Some of the Hamidiye also used their power in lawless assaults on their Kurdish tribal enemies. When the Committee of Union and Progress overthrew the sultan in 1908, it abolished the Hamidiye. However, it was soon reconstituted as Tribal Light Cavalry Regiments and used during wars up through Turkey's War of Independence following World War I. Today's village guards (in Turkey) and josh (in Iraq) are reminiscent.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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