The Ottoman Empire was a major imperial power, controlling most of western Asia, south-eastern Europe and, indirectly, much of north Africa. Akinji were mounted irregulars who were skilled raiders and scouts, while Sipahis were feudal horsemen of Turkish origin who served in provincial armies in exchange of land grants. The latter were often absent from Ottoman armies in north Africa and Arabia where there were few ethnic Turks. Janissaries were elite infantry recruited from European children forcibly converted to Islam. Ghazis were fierce religious zealots while Azabs were locally sourced foot troops specifically recruited for each campaign.