DEY (an adaptation of the Turk. dai, a maternal uncle), an honorary title formerly bestowed by the Turks on elderly men, and appropriated by the janissaries as the designation of their commanding officers. In Algeria the deys of the janissaries became in the 17th century rulers of that country (see Algeria: History). From the middle of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century the ruler of Tunisia was also called dey, a title frequently used during the same period by the sovereigns of Tripoli.
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