Criminal Law Practices in Turfan Uigurs
A. Melek Özyetgi̇n
Keywords: Old Turkic, Turfan-Uigurs, Uigur civil documents, Old Turkic Law, Criminal law
In the Turfan-Uigur community, which is the strongest representative of the Middle Period sedentary Turkic culture, an interesting aspect of the legal processes between the state and persons that we are able today to evidence through many civil documents, is criminal law practices. Criminal sanctions oriented to protect contract's provisions depending on the type of the contract have been found in civil documents containing various procedures such as commercial, administrative, socialand familial affairs and affairs related to obligations towards state. The most striking peculiarity in practices such as death, flogging, money, commodity or legal penalties imposed depending on the characteristic of crime committed, is the fact that the state has monopoly over punishment. In such states where central authority is powerful, punishment has always been under state's monopoly. Rules and codes, which are the fundamental sources of Uigur criminal law, are not extant. However, it is possible to detect in civil documents of Uigurs some clues related to official and common law on which criminal law is based. In this article, through laying out the systematics of criminal practices found in documents and touching on Uigur criminal law sources on the basis of other simultaneous Turkic and foreign sources (Chinese, Mongolian), the functioning of legal process at the level of state and society and the abundance in the language of concepts caused by such functioning will be considered.