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"For His Correction and as a Deterrent Example For Others" Mehmed Alī's First Criminal Legislation (1829-1830)

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Until now, the first criminal legislation promulgated by Mehmed Alī has been available only in an unreliable Arabic summary. In this essay, I edit and translate the original Ottoman Turkish text, as found in the Egyptian National Archive. The edition and translation are preceded by an analysis of the code in which I argue (1) that this code is best regarded as an expression of Mehmed Alī's attempt to centralize and rationalize the governmental apparatus and the administration of justice, in order to tighten his control over Egypt; and (2) that the document can be read as an articulation of the perceived social distance between the Turkish-speaking ruling class and other groups in Egyptian society.


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