Kaza

A kaza (Arabic: قضاء‎, qaḍāʾ, pronounced [qɑˈd̪ˤɑːʔ], plural: أقضية, aqḍiyah, pronounced [ˈɑqd̪ˤijɑ]; Ottoman Turkish: kazâ[1][note 1]) is an administrative division historically used in the Ottoman Empire and currently used in several of its successor states. The term is from Ottoman Turkish and means "jurisdiction"; it is often translated "district",[3] "sub-district"[4] (though this also applies to a nahiye), or "juridical district".[5]

In the Ottoman Empire, a kaza was originally a "geographical area subject to the legal and administrative jurisdiction of a kadı.[1] With the first Tanzimat reforms of 1839, the administrative duties of the kadı were transferred to a governor (kaymakam), with the kadıs acting as judges of Islamic law.[6] In the Tanzimat era, the kaza became an administrative district with the 1864 Provincial Reform Law, which was implemented over the following decade.[5] A kaza unified the jurisdiction of a governor (kaymakam) appointed by the Ministry of the Interior,[7] a treasurer (chief finance officer), and a judge (kadı) in a single administrative unit.[5] It was part of efforts of the Porte to establish uniform, rational administration across the empire.[5]

The kaza was a subdivision of a sanjak[1] and corresponded roughly to a city with its surrounding villages. Kazas, in turn, were divided into nahiyes (governed by müdürs and mütesellims) and villages (karye, governed by muhtars).[7] The 1871 revisions to the administrative law established the nahiye (still governing a müdür), as an intermediate level between the kaza and the village.[7]

The early Republic of Turkey continued to use the term kaza until it renamed them ilçe in the 1920s.

The kaza was also formerly a second-level administrative division in Syria, but it is now called a mintaqah.