The Turkish military forces are organized on the territorial system, the whole empire being divided into seven territorial districts. By the recruiting law all Mussulmans are liable to military service. Christians and certain sects pay an exemption tax. The nomad Arabs, although liable to service by law, furnish no recruits, and many Kurds evade service. The conscription therefore falls somewhat heavily on the Osmanlis, or Turks proper.

The men liable to service are divided into -

(1) Nizam, or regular army, and its reserve;

(2) Redif, corresponding to Landwehr; and

(3) Mustahfiz, or Landsturm. There are also 660 Ilaveh battalions, mostly skeleton formations, in which men supplementary to the establishments are enrolled. Liability to service until recently commenced at twenty years of age, and lasted for twenty years - i.e., with colors of the Nizam, four years; in the reserve of the Nizam, two years; in the Redif, four years in first class and four years in second class; and in the Mustahfiz, six years. An Irade issued in November, 1903, increases the total Nizam service to nine years and the Redif service to nine years, it being estimated that this will add 250,000 men to the army. The cavalry are set down at 55,300; the artillery (174 field and 22 mountain batteries) at 54,720 - 1,356 guns; the engineers at 7,400; infantry, 583,200; total, 700,620. The Nizam has 320 battalions, 203 squadrons, and 248 batteries, and the Redif 374 battalions, 666 supplementary battalions (incomplete), and 48 squadrons. An irregular "Hamidieh" cavalry has been raised among the Kurds, and has 266 squadrons.

The total war strength is estimated to be: 46,400 officers, 1,531,600 men, 1,530 guns, and 109,900 horses. The Ottoman army has been trained and reorganized largely by German officers, and is composed of the best fighting material, as the war with Greece proved.