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Dey
Turkish: dayı
Arabic: dāy



Hussein bin Hassan, last dey of Algiers (1818-1830)

Rulers of Algiers, used from 1687 until 1830. It really coexisted with the title "pasha" from 1535 until 1830. It was at times even used for the rulers of Tripolitania. From 1574 until 1705, Tunisia also was ruled by deys, before having this changed into "bey."
The title "Dey" did not designate anything special from pasha or bey, it was one of several options for naming a local ruler who officially answered to the Ottoman sultan. It comes from Turkish, meaning "maternal uncle". The confusion related to this, is that by actual meaning, "bey" which means "prince" is more flattering, yet, when the Algerian dey appointed provincial governors, these were called "bey."
The dey of Algiers was elected by a body consisting of local civilian, military and pirate leaders. Under the dey, an administration known as a diwan operated. It consisted of the chiefs of the army, the navy, shipping, treasury and tax collection. The lands of Algiers were divided into three provinces, Constantine, Titteri and Mascara.
While nominally under the Ottoman sultan, the dey was in reality an autonomous leader of his country.




By Tore Kjeilen