- For other uses of the term 'Aga', see Aga. For other uses of the term 'Agha', see Agha.
Agha, also Aga (from Turkish: ağa "chief, master, lord"), as a title for a civil or military officer, or often part of such title, was placed after the name of certain military functionaries in the Ottoman Empire. At the same time some Court functionaries were entitled to the agha title.
In the Ottoman Empire
, commanders of the different branches of military services were called the aghas e.g. azap agha, besli agha, janissary agha: the commanders of azaps
, and janissaries
This designation was given to commanders of smaller military units too, for instance the beuluk agha, odzsak agha: the commander of a beuluk and odzsak both meaning troops.
- Aga is used for grandfather by Turks in the west Balkans and in Turkmenistan.
- Agha is both title and family name in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and Afghanistan.
- Aga is a family name in Norway.
- In Romanian, the Turkish title, spelled Aga, was used for the chief of an agie, a law enforcement office
- In Persian, agha is normally used to refer to a male superior, similar to Mister.
- In Tunisia, during the Ottoman Empire, Agha was the ruler of a region (for example Gabes). The name persists as a family name.
- Agha is also used as a first name in some cases. e.g Agha Ganda or Agha Gunda.
's former President Yahya Khan
also had Agha
as the hereditary title. In usage, the title followed the given name. Although the word serves as a non-hereditary title, English-speakers have commonly used Agha
as if it formed part of a personal name, as for instance in Mohammad Agha.
The word agha
, and the Turkish word comes from the Old Turkic aqa
, meaning "elder brother". Ultimately the Old Turkic word, along with its Mongolian
, has its origins in the proto-Altaic word "ák'v".