- Central Prisons (Hapishane-i Umumi) in Istanbul and Izmir in the Late Ottoman Empire: In-Between Ideal and Reality
- Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 4, Number 1, May 2017
- pp. 73-94
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- Additional Information
The promulgation of a series of criminal codes during the Tanzimat period not only paved the way for the shift from corporal punishment to imprisonment but also resulted in the construction of purposefully built prisons in the major cities of the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. The criminal codes, regulations, ordinances, and reports penned by inspectors shaped the framework of Ottoman prison reform aiming to standardize prisons in terms of architecture, spatial distribution, personnel, and living conditions of prisoners. This article analyzes the slow and irregular process of Ottoman prison reform in the late Ottoman Empire by focusing on the central prisons (hapishane-i umumi) in Istanbul and Izmir, examining sustenance, health and hygiene, and prison work. This study attempts to offer both central and peripheral views of the history of Ottoman prisons by examining the role of model prisons built in the second half of the nineteenth century.