Victims of the privateering war, military slaves or Mamluks often formed elite military units in their new homeland.
Slaves obtained in raids along the Mediterranean coasts of Europe and put to military service in the Islamic world were referred to as Western Christian Mamluks. Those bought for the same purpose at Ottoman markets in the eastern Mediterranean, especially in Constantinople, came mostly from Central Asia or Eastern Europe. These slaves – Circassians, Georgians and Greeks among them – became known as Eastern Mamluks. Military slaves were trained at the courts of their overlords for whom they provided protection. Although separated from their roots and homeland, they could rise through the ranks and even strengthen their bonds with the ruling family through adoption or marriage. The Mamluk system continued in Islamic countries such as Egypt and Tunisia until the mid-19th century. After that, armies recruited the sons of the local population.