Centre-right to Right-wing（before 1913）
Hürriyet, Müsavat, Adalet (Liberty, Equality, Justice)
Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (Ottoman Turkish: İttihad
ve Terakki Cemiyeti إتحاد و ترقى جمیعتی), later
Party of Union and Progress (Ottoman Turkish: İttihad ve Terakki
Fırkası, Turkish: Birlik ve İlerleme Partisi) began as a secret
society established as the "Committee of Ottoman Union" (Ottoman
Turkish: İttihad-ı Osmanî Cemiyeti) in
Istanbul on February 6,
1889 by medical students Ibrahim Temo, Çerkez Mehmed Reşid, Abdullah
Cevdet, İshak Sükuti, Ali Hüseyinzade, Kerim Sebatî, Mekkeli Sabri
Bey, Selanikli Nazım Bey, Şerafettin Mağmumi, Cevdet Osman and
Giritli Şefik.[page needed][page needed] It was
transformed into a political organisation (and later an official
political party) by Behaeddin Shakir, aligning itself with the Young
Turks in 1906, during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman
Empire. In the west, members of the CUP were usually called "Young
Turks" while in the Ottoman Empire, its members were known as
Begun as a liberal reform movement in the Ottoman Empire, the party
was persecuted by the Ottoman imperial government for its calls for
democratisation and reform in the empire. A major influence on the
committee was Meiji-era Japan, a backward state that successfully
modernised itself without sacrificing its identity. The CUP
intended to copy the Japanese example and modernise the Ottoman Empire
to end its status as the perpetual "sick man of Europe". The ultimate
aim of the CUP was to return the
Ottoman Empire to its former status
as one of the world's great powers. Once the party gained power in the
Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution in 1908 and consolidated its power in the 1912
"Election of Clubs" and the 1913 Raid on the Sublime Porte, it grew
increasingly more splintered and volatile (and after attacks on the
empire's Turkish citizens during the
Balkan Wars of 1912–13,
nationalist) as its three leaders, Enver Pasha, Talaat Pasha, and
Cemal Pasha, formed the triumvirate known as the
Three Pashas and
gained de facto rule over the
Ottoman Empire and the party itself.
At the end of World War I, most of its members were court-martialled
by the sultan
Mehmed VI and imprisoned. A few members of the
organisation were executed in
Turkey after trial for the attempted
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1926. Members who survived
continued their political careers in
Turkey as members of the
Republican People's Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP) and
other political parties in Turkey.
2 Revolutionary Era: 1906–08
2.1 Change through revolution
3 The Unionist Vision of the Future
4 Second Constitutional Era: 1908–12
5 Coup and aftermath: 1913–14
6 War and Genocide
9 In popular culture
11 See also
14 External links
İshak Sükuti, Ottoman politician of Jewish origin, who was among the
forerunners in establishing the Committee of Ottoman Union
Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress was an umbrella name for different
underground factions, some of which were generally referred to as the
"Young Turks". The name was officially sanctioned to a specific group
in 1906 by Behaeddin Shakir. The organisation was based upon the
revolutionary Italian Carbonari. In 1902, there occurred a party
congress in Paris, in which two factions clashed. One led by Prince
Sabahaddin favoured a policy of Ottomanism, where all the people of
the multi-ethnic, multi-religious empire would be united by a common
loyalty to the empire regardless of one's ethnicity or religion, and
where power would be devolved down to the provinces. Prince
Saabahaddin believed that the only reason why separatist movements
existed amongst such peoples as the
Armenians was due to the
oppressive policies of Abdulhamid II, and if only the empire would
treat its Armenian minority better, then the
Armenians would become
loyal Ottomans. Another faction, which proved to be the dominant one,
was led by Ahmet Rıza, who while not being opposed to Ottomanism
outright insisted upon a very centralised, unitary state in which
Turks would be the dominant group, arguing that devolving power down
to the groups like the
Armenians would be only the first step towards
the establishment of an Armenian state. Ultimately, Prince
Sabahaddin and his followers ended leaving the CUP over disagreements
over what sort of state the empire should be after the planned
revolution against Sultan Abdulhamid.
Revolutionary Era: 1906–08
The CUP, which always greatly admired
Japan for modernising itself
after the so-called
Meiji Restoration of 1867–68, were much
impressed by Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905, and after the
Russian-Japanese war, the CUP was obsessed with the idea of copying
the Japanese. The
Young Turks were especially impressed with the
way the Japanese had been able to embrace western science and
technology without losing their "Eastern spiritual essence", an
example that was especially inspiring to them because many in the
Ottoman Empire believed that the embrace of western science and
technology were diametrically opposed to Islam. To the CUP, for
whom science was something of a religion, the Japanese example seemed
to show how the
Ottoman Empire could embrace the science of the west
without losing its Islamic identity. The CUP had an obsession with
science, above all the natural sciences (CUP journals devoted much
text to chemistry lessons), and the Unionists often described
themselves as "societal doctors" who would apply modern scientific
ideas and methods to solve all social problems. Alongside the
unbounded faith in science, the CUP embraced social Darwinism and the
völkisch, scientific racism that was so popular at German
universities in the first half of the 20th century. In the words
of the sociologist Ziya Gökalp, the CUP’s chief thinker, the German
racial approach to defining a nation was the "one that happened to
more closely match the condition of ‘Turkishness’, which was
struggling to constitute its own historical and national
identity". The French racist
Arthur de Gobineau
Arthur de Gobineau whose theories had
such a profound impact upon the German völkisch thinkers in the 19th
century was also a major influence upon the CUP. The Turkish
Taner Akçam wrote that the CUP were quite flexible about
mixing pan-Islamic, pan-Turkic and Ottomanist ideas as it suited their
purposes, and the Unionists at various times would emphasise one at
the expense of the others depending upon the exigencies of the
situation. All that mattered in the end to the CUP was that the
Ottoman Empire become great again, and that the Turks be the dominant
group within the empire. Though the Central Committee of the CUP
was made up of intense Turkish nationalists, until the defeat in the
First Balkan war in 1912–13, the CUP did not stress its Turkish
nationalism in public as it would offend the non-Turkish population of
the empire. A further problem for the CUP was that the majority of
the ethnic Turks of the empire did not see themselves as Turks at all,
but rather simply as Sunni Muslims who happened to speak Turkish.
The Turkish historian
Taner Akçam that at the time of the First World
War that "It is even questionable whether the broad mass of Muslims in
Anatolia at the time understood themselves as Turks, or Kurds, rather
than as Muslims". Though the CUP was dedicated to a revolutionary
transformation of Ottoman society by its "science-conscious cadres",
the CUP were conservative revolutionaries who wished to retain the
monarchy and Islam’s status as the state religion as the Young Turks
believed that the sultanate and Islam were an essential part of the
glue holding the
Ottoman Empire together.
The CUP had built an extensive organisation, having a presence in
towns, in the capital, and throughout Europe. Under this umbrella
name, one could find ethnic Albanians, Bulgarians, Arabs, Serbians,
Jews, Greeks, Turks, Kurds, and
Armenians united by the common goal of
changing the Ottoman absolute monarchical regime. The CUP professed to
be fighting for the restoration of the democratic 1876 constitution,
but its internal organisation and methods were intensely authoritarian
with its cadres expected simply to follow orders from the Central
Committee. Joining the CUP was by invitation only, and those who
did join had to keep their membership secret. Those who joined the
CUP had to swear a sacred oath with the Koran in the right hand and a
sword or dagger in the left hand to unconditionally obey all orders
from the CUP Central Committee; to never reveal the CUP’s secrets
and to keep their own membership secret; to be willing to die for the
fatherland and Islam at all times; and to follow orders from the
Central Committee to kill anyone whom the Central Committee wanted to
see killed, including one’s own friends and family. The penalty
for disobeying orders from the Central Committee or attempting to
leave the CUP was death. To enforce its policy, the Unionists had
a select group of especially dedicated
Young Turks known as the
fedâiin, whose job was to assassinate those CUP members who disobeyed
orders, disclosed its secrets or were suspected of being police
informers. Operating as an underground revolutionary group led the
CUP to adopt a paranoid mindset with almost everyone outside of the
CUP being seen as an enemy. The CUP saw themselves as a scientific
elite, whose superior knowledge would save the empire; one Unionist
later recalled the atmosphere as: "Being an Unionist was almost a type
of God-given privilege".
During the early years of the 20th century, and especially from 1906
onwards, the CUP had enjoyed great success in recruiting army
officers, especially from the Third Army based in Macedonia. The
Ottoman region of Macedonia comprised what is now modern northern
Greece, Macedonia, southern Serbia, south-western Bulgaria, Kosovo,
and Albania. The lawless, backward, impoverished, crime-ridden and
very violent region of Macedonia was full of Greek, Serbian and
Bulgarian guerrillas sponsored by their respective national
governments, which when they were not fighting the Ottomans, were busy
fighting each other. In the early 20th century, Macedonia was in a
state of "protracted low-level civil war." In some of the rural
areas of Macedonia, not only was there no Ottoman government, but
there was no government at all, with the rule of the gun reigning in
an atmosphere of anarchy. The atrocities committed against Muslim
civilians in Macedonia, whatever they be Turkish or Albanian by the
anti-Ottoman guerrillas greatly angered the Ottoman officers sent to
suppress them, and gave many of them their first taste of Turkish
nationalism. In turn, the Ottoman forces perpetuated atrocities
against the Christian population, leading to a never-ending cycle of
One of the principal diplomatic problems in 19th century Europe was
the so-called "Eastern Question", which concerned what to do with the
declining Ottoman Empire. In 1897, Russia and Austria, both of whom
had rival designs upon the empire had agreed to put the Eastern
Question "on ice", and agreed to co-operate in the Balkans instead of
competing. In October 1903, the Austrian and Russian governments
announced the Mürzsteg Scheme for reform to settle the Macedonian
Question. The Russians and Austrians announced that the only
reasons for why Macedonia was in such a state of chaos was because the
Ottoman administration was corrupt, brutal, incompetent, nepotistic
and very biased against Christians, and to remedy these problems, the
Sublime Porte was to carry out a set of wide-ranging reforms under the
supervision of "civil agents" appointed by the European Great
Powers. In November 1903, the Ottoman government reluctantly
accepted the Mürzsteg Scheme, something that enraged the CUP which
saw the Mürzsteg Scheme as outrageous western interference in the
internal affairs of the empire. In November 1905, warships of the
British, French, Italian, and Austrian navies threatened to bombard
Salonica unless the Ottoman government agreed to extend the powers of
the European "civil agents" in Macedonia and allow European policemen
to command the local gendarmerie; Abdulhamid again reluctantly bowed
to the demands of the west. After 1905, the gendarmerie in
Macedonia were commanded by British, French, Austrian, Italian and
Russian police officers, something that was widely resented by Ottoman
Muslims, who believed that this was part of a western plot to take
Macedonia away from the empire. In such a context, the officers of
the Third Army believed the Ottoman state needed drastic reforms in
order to survive, and thus made the appeal of a modernising
organisation like the CUP especially seductive to them. The fact
that the Christian population of Macedonia – whatever they be Greek,
Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian or Vlach – were engaged in more or less
constant rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, together with the
revolutionary activities of Armenian nationalists in
Anatolia led many
Ottoman officers to see the entire Christian population of the empire
as disloyal and treasonous. Furthermore, the contrast between the
poverty of almost all the Muslim population of Macedonia vs. the
relative prosperity of the parts of the Christian population made a
considerable impression on the Third Army junior officers, who
complained bitterly in private that the Muslims were falling further
and further behind the
Christians in their own empire, and that
something had to be done about this. Most of the Ottoman officers
serving in the CUP were junior officers, but the widespread belief
that the empire needed reforms led the senior officers of the Third
Army to turn a blind eye to the fact that most of the junior officers
had joined the CUP.
Abdulhamid II persecuted the members of the CUP in an attempt
to hold on to absolute power, but was forced to reinstate the Ottoman
constitution of 1876, which he had originally suspended in 1878, after
threats to overthrow him by the CUP in the 1908 Young Turk Revolution.
The revolution had been sparked by a summit in July 1908 in Reval,
Russia (modern Tallinn, Estonia) between King
Edward VII of Great
Britain and the emperor Nicholas II of Russia. Popular rumour within
Ottoman Empire had it that during the summit a secret
Anglo-Russian deal was signed to partition the Ottoman Empire. Though
this story was not true, the rumour led the CUP (which had many army
officers as its members) to act. From its HQ in
Thessaloniki, Greece), the CUP ordered the Third Army to march on
Constantinople. However, after the meeting of the goal to change the
regime of Abdulhamid, in the absence of this uniting factor, the CUP
and the revolution began to fracture and different allegiances began
to emerge. The first success of the new regime came in September 1908
when the European powers were asked to withdraw their civil agents and
police officers from Macedonia, a request that was promptly agreed
Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution played a significant role in the evolution
Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress from a revolutionary
organisation to a political party.
Change through revolution
The revolution and CUP’s work had a great impact on Muslims in other
countries. The Persian community in
Istanbul founded the Iranian Union
and Progress Committee.
Indian Muslims imitated the CUP oath
administered to recruits of the organisation. The leaders of the Young
Bukhara movement were deeply influenced by the Young Turk Revolution,
and saw it as an example to emulate. Reflecting their intense
Japanophilia, the new regime proclaimed its intention to remake the
Ottoman Empire into the "
Japan of the Near East". In their own
minds, the Central Committee of the CUP saw themselves as playing a
role analogous to that of the oligarchy of Meiji Japan, and the
revolution of 1908 as an event comparable to the brief civil war that
had toppled the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867–68. One Unionist
Colonel Pertev Bey wrote after the revolution of 1908: "We will rise
shortly... with the same brilliance as the Rising Sun of the Far East
did a few years ago! In any case, let us not forget that a nation
always rises from its own strength!" An additional attraction for
Japan as a role model for the Unionists was that the Japanese had
modernised while keeping their women in an extremely subservient
position within their society; the all-male
Young Turks did not wish
for Ottoman women to become anything like the women of the west, and
instead wanted to preserve the traditional roles for women. In an
inversion of western paranoia about the "Yellow Peril", the Young
Turks often fantasised about creating an alliance with
would unite all the peoples of "the East" to wage war against and wipe
out the much hated western nations that dominated the world, a "Yellow
wave" that would wash away European civilisation for good. For the
Young Turks, the term yellow (which was in fact a derogatory western
term for east Asians, based upon their perceived skin colour) stood
for the "Eastern gold", the innate moral superiority of eastern
peoples over the corrupt west. In the eyes of the Unionists, it
was the civilisations of the middle east, the Indian subcontinent, and
the far east that were the superior civilisations to western
civilisation, and it was merely an unfortunate accident of history
that the west had happened to become more economically and
technologically advanced than the Asian civilisations, something that
they were determined to correct.
The Unionists believed that the secret behind the success of the west
was science, and that the more scientifically advanced a nation was,
the more powerful it was. The Turkish historian Handan Nezir
Akmeșe that the essence of the CUP was the "cult of science" and a
strong sense of Turkish nationalism. Strongly influenced by French
intellectuals such as
Auguste Comte and Gustave Le Bon, the Unionists
had embraced the idea of rule by a scientific elite. For the Young
Turks, the basic problem of the
Ottoman Empire was its backward,
impoverished status (today, the
Ottoman Empire would be considered a
third world country) and the fact that most of its Muslim population
were illiterate; thus, most Ottoman Muslims could not learn about
modern science even if they had wanted to. Furthermore, the Young
Turks had embraced
Social Darwinism and pseudo-scientific biological
racism as the basis of their philosophy with history being seen as a
merciless racial struggle with only the strongest "races"
surviving. For the CUP, the Japanese government had ensured that
the "Japanese race" were strongest in east Asia, and it was their duty
to ensure that the "Turkish race" become the strongest in the near
east. For the CUP, just as it was right and natural for the
superior "Japanese race" to dominate "inferior races" like the Koreans
and the Chinese, likewise it would be natural for the superior
"Turkish race" to dominate "inferior races" like
Greeks and the
Armenians. This Social Darwinist perspective explains how the
Unionists were so ferocious in their criticism of western imperialism
(especially if directed against the Ottoman Empire) while being so
supportive of Japanese imperialism in Korea and China. When Japan
annexed Korea in 1910, the
Young Turks supported this move under the
Social Darwinist grounds that the Koreans were a weak people who
deserved to be taken over by the stronger Japanese both for their own
good and the good of the Japanese empire. Along the same lines,
Social Darwinism of the Unionists led them to see the Armenians
and the Greek minorities, who tended to be much better educated,
literate and wealthier then the Turks and who dominated the business
life of the empire as a threat to their plans for a glorious future
for the "Turkish race".
For purposes of enlisting public support from a Turkish public that
was for the most part devoutly Muslim (the Koran says all Muslims are
equal in the eyes of Allah, so the theory of a superior "Turkish race"
might seem blasphemous), and out of the fear of alienating those
Ottoman Muslims who were not Turks like the Arabs, the
the Kurds, the CUP’s pseudo-scientific theories about the "Turkish
race" were usually not publicly proclaimed. Already within the
early years of the 20th century, the Japanese had started to champion
the ideology of Pan-Asianism, under which all of the Asian peoples
were to united under the leadership of Japan, the strongest of the
Asian nations and as the "great Yamato race", the most racially
superior of the Asian peoples as a justification for their
imperialism. The CUP were greatly influenced by Japanese Pan-Asianism,
which served as a template for their ideology of Pan-Islamism, where
all of the world's Muslims were to united in the Ottoman Empire, led
of course by the "Turkish race". An American historian, Sven
Saaler, noted the "important connections" between the Japanese
pan-Asian and the Ottoman pan-Islamist movements in the early 20th
century as well as the "astonishing parallels" between the two
movements. The ultimate aim of the CUP was to modernise the
Ottoman Empire to recapture its former greatness, and just as the
Japan had defeated Russia in 1905, so too would the
modernised Ottoman state defeat the western nations. To help with
their plans for modernisation, the CUP created a number of
semi-official organisations such as the Ottoman Navy League, the
Ottoman Red Crescent Society and the Committee for National Defence
that were intended to engage the Ottoman public with the entire
modernisation project, and to promote their nationalist, militaristic
ways of thinking amongst the public. The CUP planned on taking
back all of the territory that the Ottomans had lost during the course
of the 19th century and under the banner of pan-Turkic nationalism to
acquire new territory in the
Caucasus and central Asia. As part of
its plans to make the
Ottoman Empire great again, the CUP leadership
stated to engage in an "... increasingly radicalized demographic
engineering program aimed at the ethnoreligious homogenization of
Anatolia from 1913 till the end of World War I".
The Chinese Revolution of 1911 and the Russian Revolution of 1917
diverted the attention of world revolutionaries from the Young Turk
In 1909, there was a countercoup by Islamists against the CUP, which
culminated in the 31 March Incident, when reactionaries rebelled
against the restoration of the constitutional system and retook power
Istanbul in support of Sultan Abdulhamid II’s absolute rule.
However, the CUP easily defeated the reactionaries by organising the
"Army of Action" (Turkish: Hareket Ordusu) and taking back Istanbul
within a few days.
During the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Pan-
Islamism had become a
hugely important part of the state ideology as Abdul Hamid had often
stressed his claim to be the caliph. The claim that Abdul Hamid was
the caliph, making him the political and spiritual leader of all
Muslims not only caught on within the Ottoman Empire, but throughout
the entire Dar-al-Islam (the "House of Islam", i.e. the Islamic
world), especially in India. At that time, British India comprised all
of modern-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Despite deposing Abdul
Hamid in 1909, the CUP continued his pan-Islamic policies. For the
CUP, keeping the sultanate-caliphate in being had the effect of not
only reinforcing the loyalty of Ottoman Muslims to the empire, but was
also a useful foreign policy tool. The fact that
Indian Muslims seemed
to have far more enthusiasm for the Ottoman sultan-caliph than they
did for the British king-emperor was a matter of considerable concern
for British decision-makers. The fear that the sultan-caliph might
declare jihad against the British, and thereby plunge India into a
revolt by its Muslims was a constant factor in British policy towards
the Ottoman Empire. On the other side, starting in 1897 Germany had a
Weltpolitik (World Politics), in which the Reich sought to
become the world’s dominant power. As part of its programme of
Weltpolitik, Germany had courted the
Ottoman Empire through a policy
of providing generous loans to the Ottoman state (which had gone
bankrupt in 1881, and which had trouble getting loans as a result),
weapons and German officers to train the Ottoman army. The price of
these loans, weapons and the German military mission to train the army
was that the Ottoman state had to favour German corporations when
awarding railway concessions and other public works, thus pushing the
empire further into the German political and economic sphere of
influence. An official German-Ottoman alliance was not signed until
1914, but from 1898 onwards, there was an unofficial German-Ottoman
alliance. In 1898, the German emperor had visited the empire, in
course of which Wilhelm II had proclaimed himself the "protector of
Islam" before a cheering crowd. A large part of the reason for the
German interest in the Ottomans was the belief by decision-makers in
Berlin that the sultan-caliph could mobilise all of the world's
Muslims to Germany's cause. Beyond that, having the
Ottoman Empire as
an ally would mean that in the event of a war, Russian and especially
British forces that otherwise would be deployed against Germany would
be sent to fight the Ottomans instead. In 1914, the German emperor
Wilhelm II saw a message on the margin on a diplomatic cable from St.
Petersburg reading: "Our consuls in
Turkey and India, our people must
incite the entire Islamic world to a savage revolt against this...
cursed, perfidious, conscience-less nation [Russia].
The Unionist Vision of the Future
In the words of the Turkish historian Handan Nezir Akmeșe, the
commitment of the Unionists to the constitution of 1876 that they
professed to be fighting for was only "skin deep", and was more of a
rallying cry for popular support than anything else. The primary
influences on the Unionists were the French scientist Gustave Le Bon
and the German General Baron Colmar von der Goltz. Le Bon argued
that democracy was only just mindless mob rule and the best form of
the government was a rule by a scientific elite. As a leading
Enver Pasha was to write in 1912:
As a soldier, I believe in the absoluteness of the army. For a
governing system, I believe in a 'mild' system of Constitutionalism.
[However] it is an obligation to get rid of all those who desire to be
part of the ruling body. As a Frenchman [Gustave Le Bon] once said;
'Before the Republic, there used to be only one autocrat in France,
now, there are hundreds of them as all MPs struggle to gain supreme
Equally important given the large number of army officers as Unionists
was the influence of Goltz, who trained an entire generation of
Ottoman officers, the so-called "Goltz generation". Goltz was a
militarist, Social Darwinist and an ultra-nationalist who saw war as
something necessary, desirable and inevitable, writing: "It [war] is
an expression of the energy and self-respect which a nation
possesses... Perpetual peace means perpetual death!". Goltz’s
most important idea, which was to greatly influence the Unionists was
that of the "nation in arms", that henceforward in modern war, the
side that could mobilise best the entire resources of its society
would be the one that would win, and as such the best thing that could
done was to militarise one’s society in peacetime to ensure that it
would be a "nation in arms" when the inevitable war came. Goltz,
who spoke fluent Turkish and was very popular with the officers he had
trained expressed a great deal of admiration for the Turks as a
naturally warlike people, in contrast to his country where he believed
that hedonism was rendering the next generation of young German men
unfit for war. After Goltz published an article praising the Young
Turk Revolution in 1908, one Unionist Major Ali Fuad wrote in
This article written by our Honourable Master should be repeatedly
read by all soldiers from field marshal to lieutenant... it always
should be read... and should be taken as a guide in all our efforts
and initiatives... I assure you, Honourable Master... that we shall
stick exactly to your advice and we shall regard it as our guide.
Goltz was also an intense Anglophobe who believed that the great
struggle of the coming 20th century would be a world war between
Britain and Germany for the mastery of the world; for him it was
self-evident that the world was just too small for the British and
German empires to co-exist, and he urged his protégés in the Ottoman
Army to ensure that the empire fought on the side of his country when
the inevitable Anglo-German war broke out.
However, as great as the influence of Goltz and Le Bon were on the
Unionists, the primary example for the
Young Turks was Japan.
Germany was the role model for the technical and organisational
aspects of modernisation while
Japan was the overall societal
model. The fact that an Asian nation like
Japan had defeated
Russia in 1905, the traditional enemy of the
Ottoman Empire was very
inspiring to the Unionists, and Unionist newspapers all portrayed
Japan’s victory as a triumph not only over Russia, but also over
western values. Influenced by Goltz’s "nation in arms" theory,
the Unionists held that in war the moral state of the nation was just
as important as such aspects as technology and the level of
Young Turks greatly admired the Japanese in they had
embraced the western technology and science while at the same time
rejecting western cultural values. Instead, the Japanese held fast
to their traditional values of bushido ("the way of the warrior"), and
had an educational system designed to indoctrinate every Japanese
young man with the belief that there was no higher duty than to die
for the emperor and every Japanese young woman there was no higher
duty than to bear sons who would die for the emperor. The
Unionists were much impressed with how the Japanese had fought the
Russian-Japanese war, especially at the siege of Port Arthur (modern
Lüshun, China) where the Japanese infantry advanced on the Russian
trenches, only to be mown down time after time by the Russian machine
guns, suffering thousands of dead in each assault, yet the Japanese
soldiers, full of their belief in bushido, were honoured to die for
their Emperor. As such, the Japanese kept on assaulting the
Russian lines at Port Arthur, despite their enormous losses. The
Japanese soldiers indoctrinated since their earliest days into
Japanese ultra-nationalism and bushido had fought fanatically for
their nation, an example the CUP was keen to emulate. By contrast,
the Unionists noted how the Russian soldiers had no idea of what they
were fighting for in
Manchuria or why their country was at war with
Japan, and with nothing to believe in, clung only to their lives and
fought poorly as they had no wish to die for a cause that was
unfathomable to them. Many Unionist officers took the "lesson" of
Port Arthur as being that an army that was fanatically motivated
enough would always win; the power of a properly dug defence, even one
manned by such poorly motivated soldiers such as the Russians at Port
Arthur to inflict terrible casualties on an attacking force made less
of an impression on them.
A major factor in Unionist thinking was the "devaluation of life", the
belief that eastern peoples like the Japanese and the Turks attached
no value to human life including their own, and unlike the westerners
who allegedly clung pathetically to their lives when confronted with
danger, easterners supposedly died willingly and happily for the
cause. The Unionists intended to emulate the Japanese example by
creating a militaristic educational system designed to make every man
a soldier and every woman into essentially a soldier-making machine;
the concept of jihad would play the same role in motivating the
Turkish soldier to fight and die for the caliph (regarded as Allah's
representative on the Earth) as bushido did for the Japanese soldier
to die for his emperor (regarded by the Japanese as a living god).
Ultimately for the Unionists, war was a test of wills, and the side
that had the stronger will and hence lesser fear of death would always
prevail, and as an eastern people who supposedly cared nothing for the
value of human life, the Unionists believed that the Turks had an
innate advantage over the decadent west. It was accepted by the
Unionists that provided that an eastern army had the same level of
training and technology as a western army, the eastern army had the
advantage because of their greater will to win. It was believed by
the Unionists that the combination of German training and weapons
together with the greater willingness to die motivated by their own
superior Islamic and Turkish traditions would make the Ottoman
military invincible in war. Reflecting the Unionists' intense
sense of Turkish nationalism, the Unionist writer proudly argued in a
book that: "We Turks are a first-class warrior nation." Past
Ottoman victories over western nations like those over the Serbs at
Kosovo in 1389, which ended
Serbia as an independent kingdom; over the
French, Hungarian, German and other Christian knights at Nicopolis in
1396, which crushed the crusade proclaimed by Pope Boniface IX; the
fall of Constantinople in 1453 which ended the eastern Roman Empire;
and the battle of Mohacs in 1526 which led to conquest of
used by the Unionists to argue that the Turks were naturally the
greatest soldiers in the world and were much superior to western
soldiers. As it were, the Turks had in the viewpoint of the
Unionists become lazy since those glorious days, and what the Turks
needed now was a series of reforms to allow the Turkish society to
become the "nation in arms".
Second Constitutional Era: 1908–12
Further information: Second Constitutional Era
Prior to World War I,
Enver Pasha was hailed at home as the hero of
The first 1908 election to the Ottoman parliament, the General
Assembly of the Ottoman Empire, after the
Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution netted
Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress only 60 of the 275 seats, despite
its leading role in the revolution. Other parties represented in
parliament at this time included the Armenian nationalist
Hunchak parties (four and two members respectively) and the main
opposition, the Liberty and Entente party, sometimes referred to by
Ottoman historians as the "Liberal Union". The CUP did not take direct
power after the revolution, but chose to monitor the politicians from
the sidelines, ruling indirectly. The Turkish historian Handan
Nezir Akmeșe wrote:
The CUP believed that it could exercise the role of the guardian of
the Revolution most effectively outside the government. It was
numerically weak and was based on a restricted geographical base. A
majority of its members were resident in Macedonia and it had, as yet,
no branch in the capital. More importantly, however, in a society
where rank and age were two important measures of respect and
reliability to govern, the mostly young and relatively inexperienced
members of the CUP lacked the social prestige necessary to wield
authority in the government. Most possibly, the CUP, by becoming a
legitimate political party did not want to compromise its
organisational integrity for in its internal structures, it was an
authoritarian and hierarchical body. Besides, it would be easier to
put the blame on a government in which they did not want an active and
official part, for any wrong doings; they could continue to play the
main role behind the scenes.
On 5 August 1908, the CUP told the government that the current Grand
Mehmed Said Pasha
Mehmed Said Pasha was unacceptable to them, and had Kamil Pasha
appointed Grand Vizier. On 14 February 1909 Kamil who proved too
independent was forced to resign and replaced with Hüseyin Hilmi
Pasha. A sign of how the CUP power worked occurred in February
1909, when Ali Haydar who had just been appointed ambassador to Spain
went to the
Sublime Porte to discuss his new appointment with the
Grand Vizier Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha, only be to be informed by the Grand
Vizier he needed to talk to a man from the Central Committee who was
due to arrive shortly.
On 16 August 1909, the government passed the "Law of Associations",
which banned ethnically based political parties. On 16 September
1909, the government passed the "Law for the Prevention of Brigandage
and Sedition", which created "special pursuit battalions" to hunt down
guerrillas in Macedonia, made it illegal for private citizens to own
firearms and imposed harsh penalties for those who failed to report
the activities of guerrillas. At the same time, the government
expanded the educational system by founding new schools while at the
same time announcing that henceforward Turkish would be the only
language of instruction. From the summer of 1909 onwards the
nature of the rebellions in Macedonia changed. The Christian
communities largely ceased their rebellious activities while the
Albanians, who were 70% Muslim and until that time had been the most
loyal group in Macedonia, now started to rebel against the Ottoman
state. Until that time, it had always been assumed by the
Unionists that Islam would ensure the loyalty of the Muslim Albanians,
so the frequent Albanian revolts came as a surprise. One of the
principal causes of the Albanian rebellions was the decision to impose
Turkish as the language in schools together with another law
announcing that Albanian could only be written in the Arabic alphabet
while the majority of
Albanians had wished to adopt the Latin
alphabet. After crushing one Albanian revolt in 1909, another one
broke out in March 1910. While 40 000 troops were being sent into
Macedonia, an ethnic Albanian deputy representing
Skopje named Necib
Draga stated in parliament in April 1910: "... Is it wise, during the
establishment of a new regime, to pressure immediately with
unprecedented taxes and disciplinary measures a people whose special
conditions have been taken into account for five hundred years,
whether due to maladministration or sagacity? I leave this to your
conscience. I am saying, with courage, in your presence that the
desired outcome will not be obtained through martial law and diverse
pressures." By the autumn of 1910, the uprising had been crushed,
many Albanian nationalists executed and a systematic attempt was being
made to crush Albanian national feeling by banning Albanian newspapers
and private schools. In March 1911, yet another Albanian revolt
broke out, but this time, the government chose negotiation by sending
Mehmed V to visit Macedonia in June 1911 to proclaim an
amnesty for those Albanian rebels who agreed to lay down their
arms. In September 1911, Italy submitted an ultimatum containing
terms clearly meant to inspire rejection, and following its duly
expected rejection, invaded Tripolitania. The Unionist officers in
the Army were determined to resist the Italian aggression, and a great
many of the best Young Turk officers including Enver Pasha, his
younger brother Nuri, the future president Mustafa Kamel, Suleyman
Askeri, Ali Fethi and Yakub Cemil all departed to
Libya to fight the
Italians. With many of the Unionist officers in Libya, this
weakened the power of the CUP.
As a result of the "Law of Associations", which shut down ethnically
based organisations and clubs, by the time of the second general
election in 1912, the smaller ethnic parties had coalesced with the
Liberal Union. Now alarmed at the success of Liberal Union and
increasingly radicalised, the CUP won 269 of the 275 seats through
electoral fraud and violence, which led to the nickname "Election of
Clubs" (Turkish: Sopalı Seçimler). In most republics, this is
the margin required for wholesale transformation of the constitution,
Ottoman Empire was technically a constitutional monarchy,
although it is unlikely Sultan
Mehmed V could have prevented the
revision of the constitution. In April 1912, the
rebelled, and by the end of June much of the ethnic Albanian areas of
Macedonia were in the hands of the insurgents. In May 1912, a
group of anti-Unionist officers in the army calling themselves the
Saviour Officers Group started to openly challenge the authority of
the government. The fraudulent electoral result of the "Election
of Clubs" had badly hurt the popular legitimacy of the CUP, and faced
with widespread opposition, the CUP-backed government of Said Pasha
resigned on 9 July 1912. For the moment, the CUP had been driven
On 5 August 1912, the government shuttered parliament. Just prior to
that, it had succeeded in passing the "Law for the Prevention of
Brigandage and Sedition", a measure ostensibly intended to prevent
insurgency against the central government, which assigned that duty to
newly created paramilitary formations. These later came under the
control of the Teşkilat-i Mahsusa. This parliamentary session was
very short due to the outbreak of the First Balkan War; sensing the
danger, the government won passage of a bill conscripting dhimmis into
the army. This proved too little and too late to salvage the Ottoman
toehold in southeast Europe; the Ottomans lost Albania, Macedonia, and
western Thrace. In the spring and summer of 1912, a Balkan League
uniting Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro was formed. Following
rumours of war, the Grand Vizier
Ahmed Muhtar Pasha
Ahmed Muhtar Pasha ordered a partial
mobilisation. On 30 September, the armies of the Balkan League
mobilised. On 1 October the
Ottoman Empire began to mobilise.
Knowing that war was near, the government made peace with Italy and
Libya in order to pull its troops out of Africa. On October 8,
1912 Montenegro declared war. A week later, the other states of the
Balkan League presented an ultimatum containing terms meant to be
unacceptable such as the end of the Ottoman mobilisation; on 15
October the Ottoman government responded by declaring war on the
states of the Balkan League. Since the Ottoman mobilisation was
only partly completed due to the poor roads and a sparse railway
network in the empire, the result was an utter disaster and by the
beginning of December, the Ottomans had lost almost all their
possessions in Europe with the
Bulgarians at the very gates of
Constantinople by the time an armistice was signed on 3 December
1912. In less than two months, the nearly 600-year-old Ottoman
presence in the Balkans had ended. Rumelia, the Turkish name for the
Balkans was considered to be just as much part of the empire's
heartland as Anatolia, and its loss was keenly felt.
During the war against Italy, the Central Committee had established
Special Organisation to conduct guerrilla operations
against the Italians in Libya. In 1913 in the aftermath of the
Balkan wars, the
Special Organisation was established in
the aim of conducting guerrilla warfare should
Anatolia be occupied by
the armies of the Balkan League. Those who once served as fedâiin
assassins during the years of underground struggle were often assigned
as leaders of the
Special Organisation. The ultra-secretive
Special Organisation answered to the Central Committee, but worked
closely with the War and Interior ministries.
Right from the time of the Young Turk Revolution, the secretive
Committee dominated by its shadowy Central Committee sparked many
dubious conspiracy theories about the CUP. Between 1910 and 1916,
antisemitic Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theories regarding the party were
fuelled within the British government through diplomatic
correspondence from Gerard Lowther (British Ambassador to Istanbul)
Gilbert Clayton (chief of British intelligence in
Egypt). Lowther’s anti-Semitism led him to see the
entire CUP as a creation of the Jews, something that he took for
granted because prior to the Young Turk Revolution, the CUP was based
in Salonica, a city Lowther noted whose population was half
Jewish. Lowther took the viewpoint that because Russia was the
world’s greatest anti-Semitic power, that everything the Jews
supposedly did as part of their alleged plotting was directed against
Russia. Since an informal Anglo-Russian alliance had emerged with
the 1907 Anglo-Russian Entente, Lowther reasoned that the
now also working against the British empire. Lowther’s highly
inaccurate reporting about the CUP as one solid bloc ignored the
existence of factions within the CUP Central Committee, and as such
the British never attempted to play off one faction against
Coup and aftermath: 1913–14
Main article: 1913 Ottoman coup d'état
Enver Bey (centre) talking to the British attaché in Constantinople
immediately after seizing power in the 1913 Raid on the Sublime Porte,
also known as the 1913 Ottoman coup d’état.
In spite of parliamentary elections, non-partisan figures from the
pre-revolutionary period known as the "Old Turks" still dominated the
Ottoman cabinet, known as the Sublime Porte. The Grand Vizier Mehmed
Kamil Pasha and his minister of war, Nazım Pasha, became targets of
the CUP, which overthrew them in a military coup d’état known as
the Raid on the
Sublime Porte on 23 January 1913, which brought the
CUP directly to power. The coup was justified under the grounds that
Kamil Pasha was about to "sell out the nation" by agreeing to a truce
in the First Balkan War. The intention of the new leadership was
to break the truce, and renew the war against Bulgaria. The new
regime was dominated by a triumvirate that comprised Enver Pasha,
Taalat Pasha and Djemal Pasha. The term Pasha was an honorific title
in the Muslim world for especially distinguished men and was not a
surname; the "Three Pashas" were not related. Most Turks in this
period did not have surnames. It was not until 1934 that a law was
passed requiring all Turks to take a surname. The first task of the
new regime was to found the National Defence League on 1 February 1913
which was intended to mobilise the entire resources of the empire for
an all-out effort to turn the tide. On 3 February 1913 the war
resumed. The new government staked all on a daring operation in which
the 10th Army Corps were to make an amphibious landing at the rear of
Şarköy while the Straits Composite Force was to
break out of the
Gallipoli peninsula. The operation failed due to
a lack of co-ordination with heavy losses. Following reports that
the Ottoman army had at most 165 000 troops to oppose the 400 000 of
the Balkan League together with news that morale in the army was poor,
the government agreed to an armistice on 1 April 1913. On 20 July
1913, following the breakout of the Second Balkan War, the Ottomans
attacked Bulgaria and on 21 July 1913
Enver Pasha retook Edirne, which
had been humiliatingly lost to the
Bulgarians in March 1913, making
him a national hero. After taking back Edirne, the Special
Organisation of Unionist fedais and junior officers were sent to
organise the Turkish population of
Thrace to wage guerrilla warfare
against the Bulgarians. By the terms of the Treaty of Bucharest in
September 1913, the Ottomans regained some of the land lost in Thrace
during the First Balkan War.
Enver Pasha, the Minister of War was easily the most charismatic of
the three who ruled, and as a war hero was the one most popular with
the public. The Turkish historian Handan Nezir Akmeșe wrote:
"Within the triumvirate, Enver’s position was unique, thanks to his
absolute control over the army: he could not always override his
colleagues, but they could never override him". A megalomaniac
whose personal heroes were Napoleon and Frederick the Great, Enver
Pasha saw himself as one of history's great men whose destiny was to
not only lead the
Ottoman Empire back to its former greatness, but
also to new heights. Enver had once served as the Ottoman military
attaché to Germany, an experience which left him with a profound love
of German militarism and a firm belief that Germany could never be
defeated in a war. Enver planned to take back all of the Balkan
states which had won their independence from the Ottoman Empire; Egypt
Cyprus from the British;
Algeria and Tunisia from the French;
Libya from the Italians and all of the lands that the Russians had
taken from the Ottomans such as the Ukraine,
Bessarabia and the Crimea
plus the entire
Caucasus region and the
Kuban plain, which had never
been Ottoman. The Volga river was to be the final northern
frontier of the empire. In addition, Enver planned to conquer all
of Russian central Asia, and then to follow it up by invading
annex Chinese Turkestan (the modern
Xinjiang region of China).
Regarding the empire’s arch - enemy Russia – which had defeated
the Ottomans so many times in the wars of the 18th and 19th centuries
– Enver envisioned nothing less than the end of Russia as a great
power. Finally, Enver planned to conquer Persia (modern Iran) and
Afghanistan as the prelude to invading India, which would also be
added to the empire. The Israeli historian Major Efraim Karsh
wrote that these grandiose plans for the empire reflected Enver’s
massive ego just as much as it did his intense Turkish
The front page of the Le Petit Journal magazine in February 1913
depicting the assassination of Minister of War
Nazım Pasha during the
The emerging government could hardly be called constitutional. Indeed,
1913 was a period of government by assassination as Nazım and then
Mahmud Sevket Pasha
Mahmud Sevket Pasha were both slain, Nazım at the very
instant the CUP seized power. The following year, new legislation made
the CUP the Empire’s only legal political party; all provincial and
local officials reported to "Responsible Secretaries" chosen by the
party for each vilayet. Right from the start, the triumvirate which
dominated the CUP did not accept the outcome of the Balkan wars as
final, and a major aim of the new regime was to take back all of the
territory which had been lost.
Enver Pasha made a speech in 1913
in which he said:
How could a person forget the plains, the meadows, watered with the
blood of our forefathers, abandon those places where Turkish raiders
had hidden their steeds for six hundred years, with our mosques, our
tombs, our dervish retreats, our bridges, and our castles, to leave
them to our slaves, to be driven out of
Rumelia to Anatolia, this was
beyond a person's endurance. I am prepared to gladly sacrifice the
remaining years of my life to take revenge on the Bulgarians, the
Greeks and the Montenegrins.
Another Unionist stated that "The people of the Balkans turned Rumelia
into a slaughterhouse of the Turks". He added that the entire
movement was obsessed with taking back
Rumelia (the Ottoman name for
the Balkans), and to have revenge for the humiliating defeat of
1912. A school textbook from 1914 captured the burning desire for
In the year 1330  the Balkan states allied against the Ottoman
government... In the meantime, they shed the blood of many innocent
Muslim and Turkish people. Many women and children were massacred.
Villages were burnt down. Now in the Balkans under every stone, there
lay thousands of dead bodies, with eyes and stomachs carved out,
awaiting revenge... It is our duty to our fatherland, as sons of the
fatherland, to restore our stolen rights, and to work to take revenge
for the many innocent people whose blood were shed in abundance. Then
let us work to instil that sense of revenge, love of fatherland and
sense of sacrifice for it.
The loss of
Rumelia had reduced the need for
Ottomanism while the
defeat in the
First Balkan War
First Balkan War had seemingly showed that the
empire’s Christian population were always disloyal, thus allowing
for a more public display of Turkish nationalism. In the
aftermath of the
First Balkan War
First Balkan War with the humiliating loss of Rumelia
together with thousands of refugees from
Rumelia bearing tales of
atrocities committed by the Greek, Montenegrin, Serb and Bulgarian
forces, a marked anti-Christian and xenophobic mood settled in amongst
many Muslims in Anatolia. Reflecting the decreased importance of
Ottomanism, the new regime started to glorify the "Turkish race" with
particular attention paid to Turan-the mythical homeland of the Turks
that was located north of China. The Turks did indeed originate
China with the first mention of the Turks occurring in AD 585
in a letter to the Chinese emperor Wen where the Turks are described
as a fierce, warlike people living to the north of the Chinese empire
and the Turks had over the centuries migrated across Asia to Anatolia
while adopting Islam. But much of this Turanist history was
Ziya Gökalp complained in a 1913 essay that "the
sword of the Turk and likewise his pen have exalted the Arabs, the
Chinese and the Persians" rather than themselves and that the modern
Turks "needed to turn back to their ancient past". Gökalp argued
it was time for the Turks to start following such great "Turanian"
heroes as Attila, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane the Great and Hulagu
Khan. As such, the Turks needed to become the dominant political
and economic group within the
Ottoman Empire while uniting with all of
the other Turkic peoples in Russia and Persia to create a vast
pan-Turkic state covering much of Asia and Europe. In his poem
"Turan", Gökalp wrote: "The land of the Turks is not Turkey, nor yet
Turkestan. Their country is the eternal land: Turan". The
pan-Turanian propaganda was significant for not being based upon
Islam, but was rather a call for the unity of the Turkic peoples based
upon a shared history and supposed common racial origins together a
pan-Asian message stressing the role of the Turkic peoples as the
fiercest warriors in all of Asia.
The first part of the plan for revenge was to go on a massive
arms-buying spree, buying as many weapons from Germany as possible
while importantly asking for a new German military mission to be sent
to the empire, which would not only train the Ottoman army, but also
command Ottoman troops in the field. In December 1913, the new
German military mission under the command of General Otto Liman von
Sanders arrived to take command of the Ottoman army; in practice,
Enver who was determined to uphold his own power did not allow the
German officers the sort of wide-ranging authority over the Ottoman
army that the German-Ottoman agreement of October 1913 had
envisioned. At the same time, the Unionist government was seeking
allies for the war of revenge it planned to launch as soon as
possible. General Ahmed Izzet Pasha, the Chief of the General Staff
recalled: "... what I expected from an alliance based on defence and
security, while others’ expectations depended upon total attack and
assault. Without doubt, the leaders of the CUP were anxiously looking
for ways to compensate for the pain of the defeats, which the
population blamed on them."
An extensive purge of the army was carried out in January 1914 with
about 1,100 officers including 2 field marshals, 3 generals, 30
lieutenant-generals, 95 major-generals and 184 colonels whom Enver had
considered to be inept or disloyal forced to take early
retirement. Right from the time of the 1913 coup d’état, the
new government planned to wage a total war, and wished to indoctrinate
the entire Turkish population, especially the young people, for
it. In June 1913, the government founded the Turkish Strength
Association, a paramilitary group run by former army officers which
all young Turkish men were encouraged to join. The Turkish
Strength Association featured much physical exercise and military
training intended to let the Turks become the "warlike nation in arms"
and ensure that the current generation of teenagers "who, in order to
save the deteriorating Turkish race from extinction, would learn to be
self-sufficient and ready to die for fatherland, honour and
pride". Besides for engaging in gymnastics, long-distance
walking, running, boxing, tennis, football jumping, swimming,
horse-riding, and shooting practice, the Turkish Strength Association
handed out free medical books, opened dispensaries to treat diseases
like tuberculosis and ran free mobile medical clinics. The chief
ideologue of the CUP,
Ziya Gökalp wrote the anthem of the Turkish
Strength Association, Yeni Atilla, ("New Atilla"). In May 1914,
the Turkish Strength Association was replaced with the Ottoman
Strength Clubs, which were very similar except for the fact that the
Ottoman Strength Clubs were run by the Ministry of War and membership
was compulsory for Turkish males between the ages of 10-17. Even
more so than the Turkish Strength Association, the Ottoman Strength
Clubs were meant to train the nation for war with an ultra-nationalist
propaganda and military training featuring live-fire exercises being
an integral part of its activities. In the aftermath of the First
Balkan War, a much greater emphasis was put on Turkish nationalism
with the Turks being glorified in endless poems, pamphlets, newspaper
articles and speeches as a great warrior nation who needed to
recapture their former glory. Along the same lines was a new
emphasis on the role of women, who had the duty of bearing and raising
the new generation of soldiers, who had to raise their sons to have
"bodies of iron and nerves of steel". Reflecting Goltz’s
influence, especially his "nation in arms" theory, the purpose of the
society under the new regime was to support the military.
Absent the wartime atmosphere, the CUP did not purge minority
religions from political life; at least 23
Christians joined it and
were elected to the third parliament. This is one possible motivation
for the entry into the war, another being the "pan-Turkic" ideology of
the party which emphasised the Empire’s manifest destiny of ruling
Turkic people of central Asia once Russia was driven out of
that region. Notably, two of the "Three Pashas",
Enver Pasha and
Djemal Pasha, would in fact die in the Soviet Union leading Muslim
anti-communist movements years after the Russian Revolution and the
Ottoman defeat in World War I.
In January 1914, Enver had decided to save the empire;
become ethnically Turkish. To that end, the
was deployed in the spring of 1914 to begin a terror campaign against
the Greek population in the Smyrna (modern İzmir) area with the aim
of "cleansing" the area.  The purpose of the campaign was
described in a CUP document:
The [Committee of] Union and Progress made a clear decision. The
source of the trouble in western
Anatolia would be removed, the Greeks
would be cleared out by means of political and economic measures.
Before anything else, it would be necessary to weaken and break the
economically powerful Greeks.
The campaign did not proceed with the same level of brutality as did
the Armenian genocide during 1915 as the Unionists were afraid of a
hostile foreign reaction, but during the "cleansing" operations in the
spring of 1914 carried out by the CUP’s
Special Organisation is
estimated to have caused at the deaths of at least 300,000
thousands more terrified
Greeks fleeing across the Aegean to
Greece. In July 1914, the "cleansing operation" was stopped
following protests from the ambassadors to the Porte with the French
Maurice Bompard speaking especially strongly in defence of
the Greeks. In many ways, the operation against the
1914 was a trial run for the operations that were launched against the
Armenians in 1915.
In the summer of 1914, the German ambassador Hans von Wangenheim
launched a public relations campaign designed to swing public opinion
towards the Reich. Wangenheim on behalf of the German government
secretly purchased Ikdam, the empire’s largest newspaper, which
under the new ownership began to loudly abuse Britain, France and
Russia as Islam's greatest enemies while reminding its readers that
the German emperor was the self-proclaimed "protector" of Islam.
Increasing large numbers of Germans, both civilians and soldiers began
to arrive in Constantinople, who as the American ambassador Henry
Morgenthau, Sr. reported filled all the cafes and marched through the
streets "in the small hours of the morning, howling and singing German
patriotic songs" while German officers were "rushing through the
streets every day in huge automobiles". As the German military
mission to train and lead the Ottoman army expanded, the Ottoman army
changed as Morgenthau described it: "What... had been an
undisciplined, ragged rabble was now parading with the goose step; the
men were clad in German field gray, and they even wore a casque-shaped
head covering, which slightly suggested the German Pickelhaube".
Morgenthau further noted that the German officers "were immensely
proud" because they changed "the wretched Turkish soldiers of January
into these neatly dressed, smartly stepping, splendidly maneuvering
troops". As the German influence increased, diplomats from
Britain, France and Russia became correspondingly very unwelcome in
Constantinople. Morgenthau wrote that the British ambassador Sir Louis
du Pan Mallet had played his hand poorly as he "had not purchased
Turkish officials with money, as had Wagenheim; he had not corrupted
the Turkish press, trampled on every remaining vestige of
international law, fraternized with a gang of political desperadoes,
and conducted a ceaseless campaign of misrepresentations and lies
against his enemy."
On 2 August 1914, the Ottoman and German governments signed a secret
offensive-defensive alliance. The purpose of this alliance was to
bring the Ottomans into World War I. On 4 August 1914, Wangenheim
informed the Ottoman cabinet that the German Mediterranean squadron
was sailing towards the
Ottoman Empire during the famous pursuit of
the Goeben and Breslau, and requested that the Ottomans grant the
squadron sanctuary once it arrived. On 6 August 1914, the grand
Said Halim Pasha
Said Halim Pasha told Wangenheim that the Goeben and Breslau
would only be allowed to enter Ottoman waters if the German government
agreed to back the Ottoman demands made during the negotiations for
the Ottoman-German alliance for German support of Ottoman plans for
expansionism into the Balkans, the
Caucasus and central Asia.
With the British Mediterranean fleet in hot pursuit of the German
ships, Wangenheim agreed to accept the 6-point programme demanded by
the Ottoman government, and on 10 August 1914, the German
Mediterranean squadron sailed into Constantinople. On August 16,
a phony deal was signed with the Ottoman government supposedly buying
the Goeben and Breslau for US$86 million, but with the German officers
and crews remaining aboard; under international law as neutrals the
Ottomans could only allow the warships to remain for 24 hours before
interning them. In practice, the German warships despite
officially becoming part of the Ottoman navy remained part of the
Germany navy, not the least because no money had actually been
exchanged. On 24 September 1914, the commander of the German
Mediterranean squadron, Admiral
Wilhelm Souchon was appointed
commander of the Ottoman navy. On 27 September 1914, the Ottoman
government in defiance of the 1841 treaty regulating the use of the
Turkish straits linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean closed the
Turkish straits to international shipping, which was an immense blow
to the Russian economy as Russian exports from
Odessa were carried by
ships via the Turkish straits. The Finance Minister who was
opposed to entering the war later recalled: "Everything possible was
done at the time to act in a way that would violate our neutrality
towards the Entente countries... German soldiers and officers
continued to arrive in Istanbul, in civilian dress, by way of Rumania
In order to rally public support for the war, the triumvirate wanted
it to appear like the empire was the victim of Allied aggression. To
achieve this goal, the CUP deployed the so-called "Special
Organisation" to stage raids over the border into Russia in
August–September 1914 out of the hope that the Russians would
respond by declaring war. As it was the Russians were fully
engaged with Germany and Austria, and the Russian government chose to
ignore the raids. To further assist with the planned worldwide jihad
against the Allies, in August 1914 Enver established the Central
Office for the Islamic Movement headed by an anti-French Tunisian
émigré Ali Bas Hamba whose task was to encourage rebellion by
Muslims under British, French and Russian rule. In the meantime,
a conflict had arisen between Enver and the Germans. Enver told the
German ambassador Wangenheim that before the
Ottoman Empire went to
war, he needed at least $20 US million in gold (this was in 1914
money; the equivalent sum today would be hundreds of billions) from
Germany to pay for military modernisation; the money had to come from
Germany as the Ottoman state simply did not have the required $20
million. After handing over the requested $20 million in gold,
the Germans were enraged to be told by Enver that he needed at least
another $20 million to pay for his military reforms. As Germany
was doing very well in the opening months of the war, and it appeared
likely to win the war in 1914 with German armies advancing rapidly
onto Paris in August–September 1914, the German government was not
inclined to grant Enver's second request. On 11 October 1914, the
triumvirate met with Wangenheim to inform him quite firmly there was
no chance of the Ottomans entering the war until the gold was handed
over. It was not until October 1914 when it was clear that
Germany was not going to win the war in 1914 that the second $20
million worth of gold was handed over. On 12 October, Wangenheim
told Enver that the gold was on its way from Berlin to
Constantinople. On 21 October, Enver informed the Germans that
his plans for the war were now complete and he was already moving his
troops towards eastern
Anatolia to invade the Russian
Caucasus and to
Palestine to attack the British in Egypt. To provide a pretext
for the war, on 25 October Enver told Souchon to attack the Russian
Black Sea ports in the expectation that Russia would declare war in
response. On 29 October 1914, the German warships SMS Goeben and
SMS Breslau with Ottoman gunboats in support attacked the Russian
Black Sea ports of Odessa, Sebastopol and Novorossiysk. On 30
October 1914, the triumvirate called a special session of the Central
Committee to explain that the time for the empire to enter the war had
now come. On 31 October, the Ottoman cabinet defined the war aim
as: "the destruction of our Muscovite enemy [Russia] in order to
obtain thereby a natural frontier to our empire, which should include
and unite all the branches of our race". Nicholas II did not want
a war with the
Ottoman Empire as his country was already busy fighting
(and losing) the war against Germany, but the very public naval
attacks against his country were a provocation that could not be
ignored. After the act of aggression against his country on 29
October, the Russian Foreign Minister
Sergey Sazonov submitted an
ultimatum to the
Sublime Porte demanding that the Ottomans intern all
of the German military and naval officers in their service; after its
rejection Russia declared war on 2 November 1914. On 5 November,
Britain and France declared war on the empire. On 11 November, the
sultan-caliph issued a declaration of jihad against Russia, Britain
and France, ordering all Muslims everywhere in the world to fight for
the destruction of those nations. The diplomats from the
Auswärtiges Amt who saw the formal declaration of jihad as it was
delivered by sheikh-ul-Islam Mustafa Hayri Bey in a public park and
other imams elsewhere were deeply disturbed by the speeches announcing
the jihad. Even though Germans and Austrians were declared exempt
from the jihad, the speeches announcing the jihad had very marked
xenophobic, anti-western and anti-Christian tones, with many of the
speakers making statements that all Muslims should kill all Christians
everywhere (except for Germans and Austrians).
War and Genocide
Right from the beginning of the war, the Unionist leadership had
envisioned the war as a total war in which the resources of the entire
society were to be engaged, and so the war proved to be. So many
men were conscripted into the war, that the government was forced to
employ hundreds of thousands of women in previously male-dominated
fields, indeed for many Turkish women this was the first time that
they had ever worked. In 1915, the Ottoman Strength Clubs were
renamed as the Ottoman Youth Clubs designed to train the entire
Turkish youth for the war. During the war, the military reforms
of 1913-14 paid off in that the Ottoman Army fought considerably
better than it had done in the
First Balkan War
First Balkan War in 1912, and at the
end of the war, had been defeated, but crucially not destroyed.
At the same time, it required substantial Allied forces to defeat the
Ottomans; by 1918 the British had deployed 1,400,000 British,
Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops to the near east and spent
£750,000,000 to defeat the Ottomans.
Although the CUP had worked with the
Armenians of the Ottoman Empire
to reinstall constitutional monarchy against Abdul Hamid II, factions
in the CUP began to view the
Armenians as a fifth column that would
betray the Ottoman cause after
World War I
World War I with nearby Russia broke
out; these factions gained more power after the 1913 Ottoman coup
d'état. After the
Ottoman Empire entered the war, most Ottoman
Armenians sought to proclaim their loyalty to the empire with prayers
being said in Armenian churches for a swift Ottoman victory; only a
minority worked for a Russian victory. The war began badly for
the Ottomans on 6 November 1914 when British troops seized
began to advance up the Tigris river.
The first major offensive the Turks undertook in
World War I
World War I was an
unsuccessful attempt to drive the Russians from the portion of
partially classic Armenia, which they had retaken in the Russo-Turkish
War of 1877. General Liman von Saunders wanted the Ottomans to invade
Ukraine as a way of drawing away Russian troops that would
otherwise be engaged against Germany, but Enver rejected that plan in
favour of an invasion of the Russian Caucasus. Enver believed
that enough elan and fighting spirit inspired by jihad would give the
elite Ottoman Third Army with its 125,000 troops victory over the mere
8 Russian divisions in the Caucasus, and as such, he staked all on an
invasion of the
Caucasus that began in December 1914, which he
personally took command of. Enver failed to appreciate the
logistical problems imposed by operating out of the underdeveloped
region of eastern Anatolia, by the fact that it was freezing winter
and that mountains always favour the defensive. The Russians were
outnumbered, but they had prepared well-dug defensive lines, and the
Battle of Sarikamish
Battle of Sarikamish was a complete disaster for the Ottomans
with the Third Army suffering 80,000 men dead as the Ottoman infantry
charged the Russian lines in frontal attacks and were mown down by the
Russian machine-guns just as devastatingly as the Japanese infantry
had been cut down at Port Arthur in 1904. Enver's attempts to
emulate the Japanese at Port Arthur were successful in the sense that
he sent his men forward on frontal attacks against the Russian lines
which likewise resulted in the same heavy losses as the Japanese had
suffered at Port Arthur, but there was a crucial lesson that Enver had
failed to learn. Port Arthur fell not so much because of the reckless,
suicidal bravery of the Japanese in assaulting the Russian defences,
but rather because General
Anatoly Stessel lost his nerve. General
Aleksander Myshlayevsky commanding the Russian forces in the Caucasus
by contrast stayed resolute. As the remnants of the Third Army were
sent into a headlong retreat with the Russians in hot pursuit, Enver
was almost captured by a Russian patrol. A humiliated Enver
blamed his defeat on the
Armenians who had supposedly acted as a
Russian fifth column.
After the failure of this expedition, the CUP's leaders (Enver,
Djemal, and Talaat, known collectively as the "Three Pashas") were
involved in ordering the deportations and massacres of between 1 and
Armenians in 1915–1916, known to history as the Armenian
Genocide. The government would have liked to resume the "cleansing
operations" against the Greek minority in western Anatolia, but this
was vetoed by Wangenheim, who informed the
Sublime Porte if the
operations against the
Greeks resumed, then Germany would cease the
supply of arms. As the
Ottoman Empire had almost no modern industry,
the empire was almost entirely dependent upon weapons from Germany to
fight the war. In Greece public opinion was badly split between
pro-German and pro-Allied factions, the Greek King Constantine I was
married to the sister of Wilhelm II, and the Greek royal family were
receiving bribes from the Auswärtiges Amt, and so for all these
reasons, it was seen as quite possible to bring Greece into the war on
the side of the Central Powers. Seen from the perspective of Berlin,
it would be undesirable to have the Reich’s ally the Ottoman empire
to send thousands more ethnic Greek refugees fleeing into Greece. In
December 1914, General
Djemal Pasha encouraged by his anti-Semitic
subordinate Baha el-Din ordered the deportation of all the
in the southern part of
Ottoman Syria known as the Mutasarrifate of
Jerusalem (roughly what is now Israel) under the supposed grounds that
most of the
Jews came from the Russian Empire, but in reality because
the CUP feared the Zionist movement as a threat to the Ottoman
state. The deportation order was vetoed by Wangenheim; Germany's
leaders believed that the
Jews had vast secret powers, and if the
Reich were to assist the
Jews in the war, the
Jews in their turn would
assist the Reich. The
Jews in the Yishuv were not deported, but
the Ottoman authorities harassed the
Jews in various ways. Djemal
Pasha told one Zionist: "I have no trust in your loyalty; had you had
no conspiratorial designs you would not have come to live here, in
this desolate land, among the savage
Arabs who hate you so intensely.
We, the Young Turks, deem the Zionists deserving of hanging, but I am
tired of hangings. Hence, we will disperse you throughout the Turkish
state and will not allow you to congregate in any one place".
In late 1914, Enver ordered that all
Armenians serving in the Ottoman
Army be disarmed and sent to labour battalions. In early 1915,
Enver ordered that all 200,000 Ottoman Armenian soldiers, now disarmed
in the labour battalions be killed. The decision to enter the war
and the decision to begin the genocide were part and parcel of the
same progress as the war held out the promise of national greatness
once the Allies were defeated while the
Armenians were seen as an
inner enemy holding the Turks back from the national glory that was
the dream of the Unionist central committee. Furthermore, the
war-time radicalising atmosphere of emergency and national crisis made
it possible to pursue policies that would be seen as unacceptable in
peace-time. Since Britain and France were the principal liberal
states in Europe and the
Armenians as a minority the principal
advocates of liberalism within the Ottoman Empire, the government
linked the external enemy with the alleged internal enemy as
liberalism everywhere was portrayed as the enemy of the Ottoman state;
since the German government portrayed the war in similar terms as an
ideological battle between the forces of "German order" vs.
Anglo-French liberalism and democracy, it is not surprising that the
Unionists should choose Germany as their ally. Finally, the war
was intended to lead to the Ottoman state becoming greater and more
powerful than had ever been; in the world envisioned by the Unionist
leaders, Ottoman society was to become exclusively Turkish and Muslim;
there was no place for the Christian
Armenians in this society.
Further increasing the sense of crisis was the beginning of the
Gallipoli campaign in March 1915, when British and French warships
tried to force the Dardanelles, only to be prevented by sea mines in
the Dardanelles and by the Ottoman howitzers on Gallipoli, which
prevented minesweepers from clearing the minefields.
Constantinople was not only the empire's capital, largest city and the
economic heart of the empire, it was also the place where the weapons
from Germany essential to sustaining the war arrived. If
Constantinople fell, the empire was doomed. For many, the landings of
British, Australian, New Zealand and French troops on
April 1915 seemed to mark the harbinger of the empire's destruction
and a sense of extreme national crisis emerged amongst the Ottoman
population. Owing to the importance of Constantinople, the CUP regime
made desperate efforts to win the Battle of Gallipoli, which was a
bloodbath right from the start with extremely heavy losses on both
sides; one Ottoman officer called
Gallipoli an "inferno" and "a ritual
of fire and death".
Special Organisation played a key role in the Armenian genocide.
Special Organisation, which was made of especially fanatical
Unionist cadres was expanded from August 1914 onwards. Talaat
Pasha, the Interior Minister gave orders that all of the prisoners
convicted of the worse crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, etc.
could have their freedom if they agreed to join the Special
Organisation to kill
Armenians and loot their property. Besides
the hardened career criminals who joined in large numbers to have
their freedom, the rank and file of the
Special Organisation killing
units comprised Kurdish tribesmen attracted by the prospect of plunder
and refugees from Rumelia, who were thirsting for the prospect of
Christians after having been forced to flee from the
Balkans in 1912. The recruitment of thuggish career criminals
straight from the prison system into the
Special Organisation explains
the very high incidence of rape during the Armenian genocide. As
explained in the key indictment at the trial (in absentia) of the
Three Pashas, the
Armenian Genocide massacres were spearheaded by the
Special Organisation (Ottoman Turkish: تشکیلات مخصوصه,
translit. Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa) under its leader, the Turkish
physician Dr. Behaeddin Shakir. The
Special Organisation was much
feared by all and were by all accounts the ones responsible for the
worse violence against the Armenians. The American historian
Gerard Libaridian wrote about the lethal combination in the Special
Organisation of fanatical Unionist cadres commanding convicts newly
released from prison: "The release of the vilest, unbridled animal
passions served well the government's purpose of ensuring
extermination in the most humiliating, dehumanizing fashion. The
torture of thousands of women and children became a source of
satisfaction for hundreds who sought and found official sanction from
government officials as well as Muslim clergymen, since the murder of
Armenians was characterized, like the war against the Entente, as a
jihad or holy war. Human imagination labored to devise new ways of
mutilating, burning and killing". To prevent ordinary Muslims,
whatever they be Turks,
Arabs from saving the lives of the
Armenians, a decree declaring the penalty for sheltering
death by hanging and the destruction of one's home was passed; despite
this decree, a number of ordinary Turks,
Arabs did shelter
Armenians from the fury of the
Special Organisation. Other
Arabs did assist the army, the gendarmes and
Special Organisation in the deportations and killings, motivated
by the desire to loot Armenian property, to have Armenian women and
girls as sex slaves or because of incitements by Muslim clergymen
saying that the genocide was an act of jihad. As the gendarmes
rounded up the
Armenians for deportation, it was common for slave
markets to be established where for the right price a Muslim man could
buy Armenian women and/or girls to use as his sex slaves. Besides
genocide against the Armenians, the CUP regime waged the Assyrian
genocide against the Assyrian minority and the Pontic Greek genocide
against the Pontic
Greeks in Pontus.
On 24 May 1915, after learning of the "Great Crime" as
the Armenian genocide, the British, French and Russian governments
issued a joint statement accusing the Ottoman government of "crimes
against humanity", the first time in history that this term had been
used. The British, French and Russians further promised that once
the war was won they would put the Ottoman leaders responsible for the
Armenian genocide on trial for crimes against humanity. However,
with the Anglo-Australian-New Zealand-Indian-French forces stalemated
in the bloody Battle of
Gallipoli and another Anglo-Indian expedition
slowly advancing on Baghdad, the CUP's leaders were not threatened by
the Allied threat to bring them to trial. On 22–23 November
1915, General Sir Charles Townshend was defeated in the Battle of
Ctesiphon by General
Nureddin Pasha and Goltz, thus ending the British
advance on Baghdad. On 3 December 1915, what was left of
Townshend's force was besieged in
Kut al-Amara. In January 1916,
Gallipoli ended in an Ottoman victory with the withdrawal of the
Allied forces; this victory did much to boost the prestige of the CUP
regime. After Gallipoli, Enver proudly announced in a speech that
the empire had been saved while the mighty British empire had just
been humiliated in an unprecedented defeat. On 28 April 1916, another
Ottoman victory occurred at
Kut with the surrender of Townshend's
starving, disease-ridden troops to General Halil Kut. The
Anglo-Indian troops at Kut-already in broken health-were forced on a
brutal march to POW camps in Anatolia, where most of them died.
Only 30% of the British and Indian soldiers taken prisoner at Kut
survived the next two years of captivity.
In March 1917,
Djemal Pasha ordered the deportation of the
Jaffa, and after the discovery of the
Nili spy network headed by the
Aaron Aaronsohn who spied for the British out of the fear
that Unionists would inflict the same fate on the
Jews as they did
upon the Armenians, ordered the deportation of all the Jews.
However, the British victories over the Ottomans in the autumn of 1917
with Field Marshal Allenby taking Jerusalem on 9 December 1917 saved
Jews of Palestine from being deported. Dubjel was arrested in
Vilnus in 1919, tried and in 1925 was executed.
Further information: Turkish courts-martial of 1919–20
The dissolution of the CUP was achieved through military trials.
As the military position of the Central Powers disintegrated in
October 1918, the government resigned. A new Grand Vizier, Ahmed Izzet
Pasha, negotiated the
Armistice of Mudros
Armistice of Mudros at the end of the month. The
position of the CUP was now untenable, and its top leaders fled three
British forces occupied various points throughout the Empire, and
High Commissioner Somerset Calthorpe, demanded that
those members of the leadership who had not fled be put on trial, a
policy also demanded by Part VII of the
Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Sèvres formally
ending hostilities between the Allies and the Empire. The British
carried off 60 Turks thought to be responsible for atrocities to
Malta, where trials were planned. The new government obligingly
arrested over 100 party and military officials by April 1919 and began
a series of trials. These were initially promising, with one district
governor, Mehmed Kemal, being hanged on April 10.
Any possibility of a general effort at truth, reconciliation, or
democratisation was, however, lost when Greece, which had sought to
remain neutral through most of World War I, was invited by France,
Britain, and the United States to occupy western
Anatolia in May 1919.
Turkish nationalist leader Mustafa Kemal rallied the
Turkish people to
resist. Two additional organisers of the genocide were hanged, but
while a few others were convicted, none completed their prison terms.
The CUP and other Turkish prisoners held on
Malta were eventually
traded for almost 30 British prisoners held by Nationalist forces,
obliging the British to give up their plans for international trials.
Much of the Unionist leadership was assassinated between 1920-22 in
Operation Nemesis. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation
(Dashnaktsutyun) sent out assassins to hunt down and kill the
Unionists responsible for the Armenian genocide. Talaat Pasha, the
Interior Minister in 1915 and a member of the ruling triumvirate was
gunned down in Berlin by a
Dashnak on 15 March 1921. Said Halim Pasha,
the Grand Vizier who signed the deportation orders in 1915 was killed
in Rome on 5 December 1921. Dr. Behaeddin Shakir, the commander of the
Special Organisation was killed in Berlin on 17 April
1922 by a
Dashnak gunman. Another member of the ruling triumvirate,
Djemal Pasha was killed on 21 July 1922 in Tbilisi by the Dashnaks.
The final member of the Three Pashas, General
Enver Pasha was killed
while fighting against the Red Army in
Central Asia first.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2011)
(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Further information: Turkish National Movement
As the defeat loomed in 1918, the CUP founded an underground group
known as the Karakol (guard) and set up secret arms depots to wage
guerrilla war against the Allies when they reached Anatolia. The
Karakol constituted the core of the post-war Turkish National
Movement. After its dissolving itself in 1918, many former
Unionists were actively engaged in the Turkish national movement that
emerged in 1919, usually from their work within the Karakol
group. The Turkish historian Handan Nezir Akmeșe wrote about the
legacy of a decade of Unionist government in 2005:
The War of Independence proved to be the total war which Enver and
other nationalist officers had envisaged over many years: one which
would secure the independence of the Turkish population of the Empire
and prove the ultimate stimulus to, and the test of, their loyalty and
devotion to their fatherland. Its successful outcome reflected the
involvement and mobilisation of all sections of society, and the
military victory resulted in the foundation of a new and independent
Turkish state. Critics have blamed the Unionists, and Enver in
particular, for wantonly involving the
Ottoman Empire in the First
World War and so ensuring its destruction. However, it can equally be
argued that if the nationalist officers had not identified the army
with civilian Turkish society, secured the restoration of the
constitution in 1908, engaged in a fundamental reevaluation of Ottoman
ideology, seen the army as the school of the nation and defender of
the rights of the people, and consequently assumed the responsibility
for infusing their own particular martial and moral values into
society as a whole, as well as achieving technical reforms that
enabled the Ottoman armies to perform so remarkably well in the First
World War, neither the Ottoman army nor the Ottoman society of 1918
would have been ready to wage the War of Independence. In other words,
if it had not been for the Unionist officers there would have been no
— Handan Nezir Akmeșe
The CUP has at times been identified with the two opposition parties
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk attempted to introduce into Turkish
politics against his own party in order to help jump-start multiparty
democracy in Turkey, namely the Progressive Republican Party and the
Liberal Republican Party. While neither of these parties was primarily
made up of persons indicted for genocidal activities, they were
eventually taken over (or at least exploited) by persons who wished to
restore the Ottoman caliphate. Consequently, both parties were
required to be outlawed, although Kazim Karabekir, founder of the PRP,
was eventually rehabilitated after the death of Atatürk and even
served as speaker of the Grand National Assembly of
It was also Karabekir who crystallised the modern Turkish position on
the controversial Armenian Genocide, telling Soviet peace
commissioners that the return of any
Armenians to territory controlled
by Turks was out of the question, as the
Armenians had perished in a
rebellion of their own making. Historian Taner Akçam
has identified four definitions of
Turkey which have been handed down
by the first Republican generation to modern Turks, of which the
second is "
Turkey is a society without ethnic minorities or
cultures." While the postwar reconstruction of eastern Europe was
generally dominated by
Wilsonian ideas of national self-determination,
Turkey probably came closer than most of the new countries to ethnic
homogeneity due to the subsequent population exchanges with
neighbouring countries (e.g. population exchange between Greece and
Atatürk was particularly eager that
Islamism be marginalised, leading
to the tradition of secularism in Turkey. This idea was culminated by
the CUP in its more liberal heyday, as it was one of the first mass
movements in Turkish history that abandoned political Islam.
In popular culture
In the 2010 alternate history novel Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, the
Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution in 1908 fails, igniting a new revolution at the
start of World War I.
party list votes
60 / 288
269 / 275
275 / 275
List of parties in Ottoman Empire
Second Constitutional Era
Second Constitutional Era (Ottoman Empire)
^ a b c http://www.turkeyswar.com/prelude/cup.html
^ a b
^ پاره، دولت اعليه، قوسطنطنيه، رشاد، (in
Turkish), 1908 ۲۰
^ İpekçi, Vahit (2006), Dr. Nâzım Bey’in Siyasal Yaşamı (in
Turkish), İstanbul: Yeditepe Üniversitesi Atatürk İlkeleri ve
İnkılap Tarihi Enstitüsü .
^ Bayat, Ali Haydar (1998), Hüseyinzade Ali Bey (in Turkish) .
^ Dergiler (PDF) (in Turkish), Ankara University .
^ Worringer 2014, pp. 21–22.
^ Layiktez, Celil, The History of Freemasonry in Turkey, Freemasons
& freemasonry .
^ a b Akçam 2007, p. 62.
^ a b Worringer 2014, pp. 53–54.
^ Worringer 2004, pp. 210–11.
^ Worringer 2004, pp. 210–11, 222.
^ a b Akçam 2007, p. 57.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 52–53.
^ a b c Akçam 2007, p. 53.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 53–54.
^ a b Akçam 2007, pp. 51–52.
^ Akçam 2007, p. xxiv.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 59, 67–68.
^ a b c Akçam 2007, p. 58.
^ a b c Akmeșe 2005, p. 53.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 57–58.
^ Akçam 2007, p. 59.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, pp. 50–51.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 52.
^ a b c d e f Akmeșe 2005, p. 47.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 50–52.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 47–48.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 52–53.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 58.
^ Worringer 2004, p. 208.
^ Worringer 2004, p. 213.
^ Worringer 2004, pp. 207–30.
^ Worringer 2014, p. 186.
^ Worringer 2014, pp. 54–55.
^ Worringer 2014, pp. 55–56.
^ a b c d Worringer 2004, p. 216.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 34.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 35.
^ Worringer 2014, pp. 193.
^ Worringer 2014, p. 257.
^ Akçam 2007, p. 150.
^ Worringer 2014, pp. 41, 53, 69, 81–82, 188, 224–27,
^ Saaler, Sven (Fall 2008), "Review of The Politics of Anti-Westernism
in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought
by Cemil Aydin", Pacific Affairs, 81 (3): 442 .
^ Worringer 2004, p. 222.
^ Özbek, Nadi̇r (September 2007), "Defining the Public Sphere during
the Late Ottoman Empire: War, Mass Mobilization and the Young Turk
Regime (1908–18)", Middle Eastern Studies, 43 (5): 796–97,
^ Karsh, Efraim (June 2001), "Review of The Rise of the Young Turks:
Politics, the Military, and Ottoman Collapse by M. Naim Turfan", The
International History Review, 23 (2): 440 .
^ Schull, Kent (December 2014), "Review of The Young Turks' Crime
against Humanity: The
Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the
Ottoman Empire by Taner Akçam", The Journal of Modern History, 86
(4): 975, doi:10.1086/678755 .
^ Mombauer, Annika (2001), Helmuth Von Moltke and the Origins of the
First World War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
p. 120 .
^ Akçam 2007, p. 113.
^ a b c d Akmeșe 2005, p. 40.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 22–24.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 22.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 26–27.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 66.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 27.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 72.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 68.
^ a b c d Akmeșe 2005, p. 32.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 68–72.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 74–75.
^ a b c Akmeșe 2005, pp. 76–77.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 76–78.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 77–78.
^ a b c Akmeșe 2005, p. 79.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, pp. 78–79.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 57, 87.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 57.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 87–88.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 89.
^ a b c Akmeșe 2005, p. 96.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, pp. 96–97.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 97.
^ a b c d Akmeșe 2005, p. 99.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 98.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 100.
^ Kayalı, Hasan (1995), "Elections and the Electoral Process in the
Ottoman Empire, 1876–1919" (PDF), International Journal of Middle
East Studies, 27 (3): 265–86, doi:10.1017/s0020743800062085 .
^ a b c Akmeșe 2005, p. 102.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 124.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 125.
^ a b Akçam 2007, p. 94.
^ Akçam 2007, p. 95–96.
^ Friedman, Isaiah, Germany, Turkey, and Zionism 1897–1918
^ Kansu, Aykut, The revolution of 1908 in Turkey, p. 136 .
^ Hinsley, Francis Harry, British foreign policy under Sir Edward
Grey, p. 149
^ Kédourie, Elie, Arabic political memoirs and other studies,
p. 244 .
^ Fromkin 1989, p. 41.
^ a b Fromkin 1989, pp. 41–42.
^ Fromkin 1989, p. 42.
^ a b c Akmeșe 2005, p. 135.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 136.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 138.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 140.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 159.
^ a b c Graber 1996, pp. 16–17.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 161.
^ a b c d e Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 138.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 163.
^ a b c d Akçam 2007, p. 118.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 163–64.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 140–41.
^ a b Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 100.
^ a b c d Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 100-101.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 155–56.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 161–62.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 164.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 166–67.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 168–69.
^ a b c Akmeșe 2005, p. 169.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, pp. 169–70.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 144–46.
^ a b Akmeșe 2005, p. 165.
^ a b Akçam 2007, pp. 102–3.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 103–4.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 103–6.
^ a b Akçam 2007, pp. 105–6.
^ a b c Balakian 2003, p. 168.
^ Balakian 2003, pp. 168–69.
^ Balakian 2003, p. 169.
^ Balakian 2003, p. 199.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 114.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 114–15.
^ a b Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 115.
^ a b c d Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 116.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 132.
^ a b c Akçam 2007, p. 126.
^ Akçam 2007, p. 123.
^ McKale, Donald War by Revolution, Kent: Kent State Press, 1998 page
^ a b c Graber 1996, p. 64.
^ a b c d e f Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 117.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 169.
^ Balakian 2003, pp. 169–70.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 185–86.
^ a b c d Akmeșe 2005, p. 187.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 186.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 166-248.
^ Üngör, Uğur Ümit (2008), "Geographies of Nationalism and
Violence: Rethinking Young Turk 'Social Engineering'", European
Journal of Turkish Studies, 7 .
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 153.
^ a b c Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 145.
^ a b Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 140.
^ a b Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 140-141.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 166-167.
^ a b Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 167.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 168.
^ a b Libaridian, Gerard J: "The Ultimate Repression: The Genocide of
the Armenians, 1915-1917" pages 203-236 in Walliman, Isidor;
Dobkowski, Michael N (ed.) (2000). Genocide and the Modern Age.
Syracuse, New York. pp. 203–236.
ISBN 0-8156-2828-5. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list
^ a b c Libaridian, Gerard J: "The Ultimate Repression: The Genocide
of the Armenians, 1915-1917" page 223 in Walliman, Isidor; Dobkowski,
Michael N (ed.) (2000). Genocide and the Modern Age. Syracuse, New
York. p. 223. ISBN 0-8156-2828-5. CS1 maint: Extra
text: authors list (link)
^ Libaridian, Gerard J: "The Ultimate Repression: The Genocide of the
Armenians, 1915-1917" page 224 in Walliman, Isidor; Dobkowski, Michael
N (ed.) (2000). Genocide and the Modern Age. Syracuse, New York.
pp. 203–236. ISBN 0-8156-2828-5. CS1 maint: Extra
text: authors list (link)
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 133–34.
^ Akçam 2007, p. 135.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 134–35.
^ Akçam 2007, pp. 145–46.
^ a b c Libaridian, Gerard J: "The Ultimate Repression: The Genocide
of the Armenians, 1915-1917" page 205 in Walliman, Isidor; Dobkowski,
Michael N (ed.) (2000). Genocide and the Modern Age. Syracuse, New
York. pp. 203–236. ISBN 0-8156-2828-5. CS1 maint:
Extra text: authors list (link)
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 157.
^ a b Akçam 2007, p. 2.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 144-146.
^ a b Karsh & Karsh 1999, p. 147.
^ Galbraith, John "No Man's Child: The Campaign in Mesopotamia,
1914-1916" pages 358-385 from The International History Review, Volume
6, Issue # 3, August 984 page 358.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 168-169.
^ Karsh & Karsh 1999, pp. 169-170.
^ Akmeșe 2005, pp. 188–90.
^ Akmeșe 2005, p. 190.
^ Balakian, Peter (2003). The Burning Tigris. New York. p. 375.
Akçam, Taner (2007), A Shameful Act, London: Macmillan .
Akmeșe, Handan Nezir (2005), The Birth of Modern Turkey: The Ottoman
Military and the March to World I, London: IB Tauris .
Akşin, Sina (1987), Jön Türkler ve İttihat ve Terakki (in
Turkish), İstanbul .
Balakian, Peter (2004), The Burning Tigris, Harper Collins,
p. 375, ISBN 978-0-06-055870-3 .
Campos, Michelle (2010). Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and
Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine. Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press. ISBN 978-0-80477678-3.
Fromkin, David (1989), The Peace to End All Peace, New York: Henry
Graber, CS (1996), Caravans to Oblivion: The Armenian Genocide, 1915,
New York: Wiley .
Karsh, Efraim; Karsh, Inari (1999), Empires of Sand (hardback),
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-67425152-6 .
Mardin, Şerif (1992) , Jön Türklerin Siyasi Fikirleri,
1895–1908 (in Turkish), Istanbul: Iletisim, pp. 221–50,
archived from the original on 2011-07-17 .
——— (1969), Continuity and Change in the Ideas of the Young
Turks (expanded text of a lecture), School of Business Administration
and Economics Robert College, pp. 13–27 .
Hanioğlu, M. Şükrü (1981), Bir siyasal düşünür olarak Doktor
Abdullah Cevdet ve Dönemi (in Turkish), Istanbul .
——— (1986), Bir siyasal örgüt olarak Osmanlı Ittihad ve
Terakki Cemiyeti ve Jon Türklük (in Turkish), Istanbul .
——— (1995), The
Young Turks in Opposition, Oxford University
Press, ISBN 0-19-509115-9 .
——— (2001), Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks
1902–1908, Oxford University Press .
Tunaya, Tarık Zafer (1989), Türkiye'de Siyasal Partiler (in
Turkish), İstanbul .
Worringer, Renée (May 2004), "'Sick Man of Europe' or '
Japan of the
near East'?: Constructing Ottoman Modernity in the Hamidian and Young
Turk Eras", International Journal of Middle East Studies, 36
——— (2014), Ottomans Imagining Japan: East, Middle East, and
Non-Western Modernity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, London:
Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress
Turkey in the First World War website
Sun Language Theory
Atatürk personality cult
Youth Union of Turkey
Turkish Revenge Brigade
Turkish Resistance Organisation
Young Turks (Ottoman Empire)
Committee of Union and Progress
Committee of Union and Progress (Ottoman Empire)
Republican People's Party (1923–1944)
Nation Party (1948)
Republican Villagers Nation Party
Nation Party (1962)
Nationalist Movement Party
Nation Party (1992)
Workers' Party (left-wing)
Great Union Party
People's Ascent Party
Nationalist and Conservative Party
Rights and Equality Party
Patriotic Party (left-wing)
Ötüken Union Party
Mehmet Emin Yurdakul
Zeki Velidi Togan
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu
Elza Niego affair
2005 exhibition assault
Assassination of Kemal Türkler
Assassination of Hrant Dink
Armenian Genocide Memorial Bombings
Murder of Sevag Balıkçı
Geographical name changes
Animal name changes
1934 Resettlement Law
The Twenty Classes
Citizen, speak Turkish!
Confiscation of Armenian property
Ne mutlu Türküm diyene
Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the Nation
Armenian Genocide denial
Political parties in the Ottoman Empire
Committee of Union and Progress
Freedom and Accord Party
Socialist Workers' Federation
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Armenakan Party (reformed as Democratic Liberal Party)
People's Federative Party
Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs
Ottoman Socialist Party
Ottoman Democratic Party
Ottoman Committee of Alliance
Ottoman Liberal People's Party
League of private Initiative and Decentralization
List of political parties
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
Bayazıt Massacre (1877) (ru; hy; uk)
Hamidian massacres (1894–96)
Ottoman Bank (1896)
Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution (1908)
Congress at Erzurum
Foreign aid and relief
Near East Foundation
National Armenian Relief Committee
Committee of Union and Progress
"I Apologize" campaign
Witnesses and testimonies
Contemporaneous press coverage
Prominent visitors to Tsitsernakaberd
Armenian Genocide Memorial bombings