|The REFORM DECLARATION (Tanzimat Fermani)|
As known, since the virtuous judgements of the Koran and the shariah rules had been obeyed completely, ever since the foundation of our state, the strength of our country and our subjects' welfare and happiness was at its peak. But in the last 150 years, as shariah and majestic rules were not obeyed due to the disorders pursuing each other and some other reasons, former power and welfare turned into weakness and poverty. It is absolutely impossible for a country not ruled by the shariah rules, to survive.
Since the delighted day, we ascended the throne all our endeavours were to develop our country and to enrich our subjects and the poor. If necessary enterprises are undertaken by considering the geographical position, fertile lands of the countries under our rule and the capacity of the people in these countries, it is certain that we by the help of the God will develop in few years.
We decided to issue some new laws to govern our sublime state and our country through the mercy of God and guidance of our Prophet. The leading laws are related to security, protection of chastity, honesty and private property, taxation, recruitment and the duration of active military service. Because; soul, chastity and honesty are the most precious things in this world. When these things were being threatened, everybody would try to protect them. It is obvious that it would harm the state and the society. Nonetheless, if a person in security he would not abandon loyalty and honesty and he would take part in favour of his state and his society. If no preservation of private property in a place, no one could like his state and society, would be interested in his country's development, always would he be unhappy and in fear. Nevertheless if his property were in security he would work on his own and he would try to develop his own labour. His devotion to his country would develop.
As for taxation, any state needs troops and any other expenses.
They are covered through money. As it is obtained by the taxation, it should be collected in a fair way.
"Iltizam", which has been a troublesome way of tax collecting and never been beneficial, is still in use though our country fortunately was saved from "yed-i vahit". This means that you surrender the political and financial affairs of the country to someone's arbitration and even his compulsion and cruelty. If this man is not well behaved and reliable, he thinks only of his own advantage, he intends to oppression and malignancy. Therefore for each of our citizens a quantity of tax should be aimed in view of their income and no more taxes should be demanded. The expenses of our state on land, on sea and elsewhere should be determined and limited, and application should be performed according to the limitations.
Military service, as mentioned above, is an important issue, too. To supply troops to secure the homelands is the chief duty of our citizens. But, more recruitment from a family than they can tolerate, while recruiting less from another one, by ignoring current population, as performed so far, causes both violation and interruption in agricultural, commercial and public works; lifelong military service causes disgust and decrease in population. Hence, a suitable way for recruitment from each country should be determined and for 4 or 5 year-military service, rotation method should be introduced. Otherwise, it is impossible for our state to develop and to ensure peace and security. The basis of these matters is explained above.
Thus and so, henceforth nobody shall be visibly or invisibly executed or poisoned not so long as criminals' position would be examined and decided. Nobody shall attack on any other's chastity and honesty. Everyone shall totally possess his property, use it freely, not disturbed by the bureaucrats. When a citizen's guilt has been clear, his heirs shall not be deprived of inheritance right by confiscating the criminal’s property, because his heirs are not related to that crime.
All Muslim or non-Muslim subjects shall benefit from these rights.
Everyone's soul, chastity, honesty and property is under the guarantee of the state according to the Shariah laws. To come to a conclusion concerning the other issues the number of "Meclis-i Ahkam-i Adliye"(Judicial Court) members shall be increased. The ministers and other bureaucrats of our state shall come together in particular days in that assembly and shall express their ideas without hesitation. Laws concerning taxation and the security of soul and property shall be issued in this manner. After laws concerning military service shall be discussed in "Bab-i Askeri Dar-i Surasi"(Military Court), they shall be sent to my high office to be ratified so that they shall be fulfilled forever.
As the laws shall be issued to develop the state, religion, country and the peoples, we swear that we will obey these laws. In "Hirka-i Serif" room there will be a ceremony of affirmation in which the ulema (Islamic scientists) and the ministers will be participated.
A criminal code shall be issued to punish the guilty ulema members and viziers in view of their crime ignoring their ranks and considerations.
Officers started to be paid enough salary and insufficient salaries will be determined. Thus, bribery that has been against the sharia law and has been the first reason for the regression will be destroyed through such a strong law.
This decree will be announced to the residents of Istanbul and to the citizens of our country for the reason that all mentioned above shall be the replacement of the previous judgements. Moreover, all embassies in Istanbul shall be notified about the decree so that they shall witness the everlasting application of the rules.
May God make us victorious, may God damn the people who do not obey the rules and may they remain unrest till their death. Amen.
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