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Young Turks

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  • Young Turks

    Young Turks
    This article refers to the Turkish patriotic constitutionalist society. For other uses, please see Young Turks (disambiguation).
    The Young Turks were a Turkish patriotic constitutionalist society, officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) — in Turkish the Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti — whose leaders led a rebellion against Sultan Abdul Hamid II (who was officially deposed and exiled in 1909). They ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1908 until the end of World War I in November 1918.


    History
    The Young Turks had their origins in secret societies of progressive university students and military cadets, driven underground along with all political dissent after the constitution was abrogated by the Sultan. Like their European forerunners, such as the carbonari of the Italian Risorgimento, they typically formed cells, of which only one member might be connected to another cell. From the spontaneous bloodless revolution in Saloniki that led to the old pasha's resignation, the CUP was a force to be reckoned with.

    In 1913, as the government was losing the Second Balkan War, the CUP seized power. The CUP-led government was headed by the minister of the interior/Grand Vizier, Mehmed Talat Pasha (1874–1921). Working with him were the minister of war Ismail Enver, (1881–1922) and the minister of the navy Ahmed Djemal, (1872–1922). Until German archives were opened, historians treated the CUP government as a dictatorial triumvirate; now it appears that the party was riven by internal dissent and loosely guided by a large directorate of the party's central committee. Ottoman territory was splintering away at the edges: Bosnia-Herzegovina annexed by Austria-Hungary (1908), Libya and the island of Rhodes by Italy (1912), a rebellion in Albania, and rumors of French designs on Syria. With the example of Egypt as a warning, the Young Turks needed to modernize the Empire's communications and transportation networks (which still relied on camel caravans), without putting themselves in the hands of European conglomerates and non-Muslim bankers. Europeans already owned the paltry railroad system (5,991 km of single-track railroads in the whole of the Ottoman dominions in 1914) and since 1881 administration of the defaulted Ottoman foreign debt had been in European hands. The Ottomon Empire was virtually an economic colony.

    Rebuffed elsewhere by the major European powers, the Young Turks, through highly secret diplomatic negotiations, led the Ottoman Empire to ally herself with Berlin during World War I. The Empire's role as an ally of the Central Powers is part of the history of that war. With the collapse of Bulgaria and Germany's capitulation, the Ottomon Empire was isolated. On October 13, 1918, Talat and the CUP ministry resigned, and an armistice was signed aboard a British battleship in the Aegean Sea at the end of the month. On November 2, Enver, Talat and Cemal, with their German allies, escaped from Constantinople into exile.

    Public assurances of equal treatment for the Empire's non-Muslim minorities that had been given in 1908 evaporated once the Young Turks were in power. Even among the Islamic majority, the Turkish-speaking segment of the Empire quickly emerged pre-eminent. In 1915 the Young Turks executed a number of Arab nationalist intellectuals in Damascus and Beirut, as well as commencing the savage persecution of the Armenian minority, which ran until at least 1918 (see Armenian Genocide for details). Soghomon Tehlirian, whose family had been killed in the Armenian genocide, assassinated the exiled Talat in Berlin and was subsequently acquitted after a jury trial. Cemal was similarly killed by Stepan Dzaghikian, Bedros Der Boghosian and Ardashes Kevorkian in Tbilisi, Georgia. Enver too, was ironically killed in combat against an Armenian batallion of the Red Army near Baldzhuan in Tajikistan (then Turkistan).

    Since 1908, "Young Turks" has become a nickname for any brash group of young usurpers and subsequently passed into general usage: eg. "Ash were the Young Turks of the Britpop scene". The term's association with the Armenian genocide, as details of the massacres eventually surfaced, has caused it to fall out of favor.


    Ideology
    Until 1902, the CUP was an umbrella organization composed of loosely affliated factions.


    Liberalism and Constitutionalism
    Although the European public and many scholars commonly labeled the Young Turks as liberals and constitutionalists, these traits were never aspects of the Young Turk philosophy. A detailed analysis of their ideas reveals that the Young Turks did not adopt liberal ideas, and under the influence of the theories of Gustave Le Bon, who became their idol, they devalued parliaments as hazardous bodies. Although a rhetoric promoting constitutionalism was implemented by the Young Turks, this scheme was merely a device to stave off any intervention by the Great Powers in the domestic politics of the Empire. The Young Turks followed the principle of developing an intellectual elite to govern the Empire, never envisioning participation of the masses in policy-making or administration.


    Materialism and Posivitism
    Another guiding principle for the Young Turks was the transformation of their society into one in which religion played no consequential role. In this materialistic structure, science was to replace religion. However Young Turks soon recognized the difficulty of spreading this idea and began to work at developing claims that Islam itself was materialism. As compared with later intellectual activities by Muslim intellectuals, such as the attempt to reconcile Islam and socialism, this was an extremely difficult thought. Although some former members of the CUP continued to make efforts in this field after the revolution of 1908, they were severely denounced by the ulema, who accused them of 'trying to change Islam into another form and create a new religion while calling it Islam'.

    Positivism, with its claim of being a religion of science, deeply impressed Young Turks, who believed it could be more easily reconneciled with Islam than could popular materialistic theories. Name of the society, Union and Progress, is believed to be inspired by leading positivist Auguste Comte's motto "Order and Progress". Positivism also served as a base for desired strong government.


    Strong government
    During the late Ottoman Empire, all the intellectuals were state officials. All Young Turks earned money as state officials. Their participation in the government apparently had led them to value state. They were reluctant to approach theories against the state, such as Marxism or anarchism.

    Another result of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution was the gradual creation of a new governing elite, which had consolidated and cemented its control over the Ottoman civil and military administration by 1913.

    As empire-savers the Young Turks always viewed the problems confronting the Ottoman Empire from the standpoint of the state, placing little if any emphasis on the people's will. Thus the Young Turks' inclination toward authoritarian theories was by no means a coincedence. All the theories that the Young Turks developed and took particular interest in, such as Biological materialism, positivism, Social Darwinism, and Gustave Le Bon's elitism, defended an enlighment from above and opposed the idea of a supposed equality among fellow-citizens.


    Nationalism
    As regards nationalism, the CUP underwent a gradual transformation. With many Muslim but non-Turkish members participating at the outset, the CUP embraced the official state ideology - Ottomanism. However Ottoman patriotism jarred many non-Turkish Ottoman intellectuals because of its exclusive use of Turkish symbols. Turkish nationalists gradually gained the upper hand in the CUP, and following the Congress of 1902, a stronger focus on nationalism developed. It was no coincidence that at this time Ahmet Riza chose to replace the term 'Ottoman' with 'Turk'. However, it was not until 1904 that nationalism came to be based on a 'scientific' theory, and following the Japanese victory over Russia, they Young Turks began to base their nationalism on the 'scientific' race theories of Europe.


    Impact on modern Turkey
    The Young Turks were members of insurgent groups that defied the absolutism of Ottoman rule during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These groups built a rich tradition of dissent that shaped the intellectual and political life of the late Ottoman period and laid foundation for Atatürk's revolution. Their principles were admirable, but most of their leaders believed instinctively that the state, not popular will, was the instrument by which social and political change would be achieved. They bequeathed to Atatürk the conviction that Turkish reformers should seize state power and then use it ruthlessly for their own ends, not to democratize society in ways that would weaken the centralized state.

    A thorough examination of the Weltanschauung of the Young Turks between 1889 and 1902 leaves no doubt that, except for the shift in focus on nationalism, the official ideology of the early modern Turkish state was shaped during this period. The Young Turks who lived long enough to witness the coming into being of the Turkish republic saw many of their dreams fullfilled - it was a regime based on a popular materialistic-positivist ideology and nationalism. The new regime worked to be included in western culture while exerting an anti-imperialist rhetoric and convened a parliament composed not of elected politicians but of virtually selected intellectuals working on behalf of the people without cooperating in any capacity with the 'ignorant' masses. The impact of the Young Turks on shaping the official ideology of early modern Turkey went far beyond the political changes they effected.

    The ideology that still constitutes the background to political and social life in contemporary Turkey acquired its dominance through the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, with its strong aspiration to reshape society. Despite subsequently adjusting itself to the circumstances of a nation-state, the century-old ideology has not undergone drastic change. It has been sanctified and transmitted from one generation to the next through various forms of socialization for almost a hundred years, and is so deeply rooted that its main theses have acquired the force of natural laws. It compels Turkish society to confront the problems of the twenty-first century with a world view made up of a collection of theses that were dominant in the intellectual circles of Western Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century.


    Revolution and CUP as a model
    The Young Turk Revolution played a significant role in the reshaping of the Middle East and the Balkans. In direct consequence, an area stretching from Scutari in Albania to Basra became acquainted with political parties, nationalist clubs, elections, and the idea of constitutional rights. Immediately after the revolution, for example, some Greek newspapers encouraged the Greek military to carry out a similar revolution.

    The revolution and CUP's work made a stronger impact on Muslims. The Persian community in Istanbul founded the Iranian Union and Progress Committee. Indian Muslims imitated the CUP oath for joining the organization. The leaders of the Young Bukhara movement were deeply influenced by the Young Turk Revolution, and saw it as an example to emulate.

    The real reason for the popularity of the CUP among Muslims throughout the world was its simultaneous espousal of the establishment of a modern state and the struggle against imperialism. While the CUP's attempt to build a modern state via its political philosophy impressed Muslim intellectuals world-wide, it was its strong anti-imperialism that made it an icon of the Muslim populations under European rule.

    The Chinese Revolution of 1911 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 diverted the attention of world revolutionaries from the Young Turk Revolution
    [COLOR="Red"]A TANGO BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN[/COLOR]

  • #2
    The 1908 Young Turk Revolution even though a popular constitutional movement, was a watershed in the history of the late Ottoman Empire. It not only put an end to Hamidian regime, but also identified an ancient regime in Ottoman politics in the strongest terms and attempted to replace old institutions and policies with the new ones. Abdülhamid II's carefully created regime, refined and revamped by its founder over more than three decades, simply vanished from the scene, and no one who possessed any weight in politics, even among the opponents of Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), either defended it or yearned for its return.

    The Young Turk Revolution not only established a new power center in Ottoman politics, namely CUP, but also gave rise to a dynamic opposition that disputed the political program of the CUP.

    Another result of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution was the gradual creation of a new governing elite, which had consolidated and cemented its control over the Ottoman civil and military administration by 1913.

    Besides making the CUP the dominant actor in Ottoman politics, the 1908 Young Turk Revolution marked a strong shift in the organization of the elites of many ethnic and religious gruops in the Ottoman Empire. For instance, the Dashnaktsutiun replaced the pre-1908 Armenian elite, which had been composed of merchants, artisans, and clerics who saw their future in obtaining more privilidges within the boundaries of the state's version of Ottomanism.

    The loyal Muslim Albanian elite, who had greatly benefited from the Hamidian regime in return for their fidelity to the sultan, was replaced by an intellectual-nationalist elite, with members such as Bajram Curri, Nexhib Draga, and Myfit Libohova; all of these aimed at uniting Albanians of three different faiths under the flag of Skenderbeu and called for reforms for the benefit of all Albanians.

    In some communities, such as the Jewish one (see more at Jews in Islamic Europe and North Africa and History of Jews in Turkey), reformist groups emulating the Young Turks ousted the conservative ruling elite and replaced them with a new reformist one.

    The Young Turks and the expatriate organizations of the various ethnic groups had not been ableto find common ground during their years in opposition. After the revolution their disagreements grew in importance, since they gained the upper hand in in the administration of the empire and of community affairs.

    The CUP's adoption of an aggressive Ottomanism, which its opponents considered tantamount to Turkification, strained relations even more.
    [COLOR="Red"]A TANGO BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN[/COLOR]

    Comment


    • #3
      Here is Young turks who planned and made AG
      [COLOR="Red"]A TANGO BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN[/COLOR]

      Comment


      • #4
        These are more interesting posts Rudo. If you keep posting like this you may both learn something yourself (in researching such things and perhaps following up with your own thoughts and questions) and materially contribute here. You should - however - source the data if this is an exact lift from somewhere as it seems to be. Please provide the source if your would.
        Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
        Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)

        Comment


        • #5
          It's quite clear that this is the Wikipedia article.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 1.5 million
            These are more interesting posts Rudo. If you keep posting like this you may both learn something yourself (in researching such things and perhaps following up with your own thoughts and questions) and materially contribute here. You should - however - source the data if this is an exact lift from somewhere as it seems to be. Please provide the source if your would.

            Tell us all about your recommended reading list, specifically Rafael De Nogales.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kharpert
              It's quite clear that this is the Wikipedia article.
              LOL.You are right.I wanted to talk about Young Turks.So I took information from there.
              [COLOR="Red"]A TANGO BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN[/COLOR]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Krunchy
                Tell us all about your recommended reading list, specifically Rafael De Nogales.
                Havern't you already been banned from this forum under a previous guise?
                Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
                Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RUDO
                  LOL.You are right.I wanted to talk about Young Turks.So I took information from there.
                  While the information in the article you posted seems good on the surface some of what is stated in the article is conjecture and other statements are generalizations and such. You should be aware that much in Wikipedia is factualy questionable - with some articles being much better then others. The page on the Holocaust is very well done for instane - while that on the Armenian Genocide (while for the most part factual) is quite lacking in other respects. I would not want to base my knowledge on any particular issue on what can be gleened from Wikipedia. That being said the article you posted made some good points and overall wasn't so bad. I just wanted to let you know - for future reference - that there are many concernins regarding the completeness, factuality and presentation of many Wikipedia articles.
                  Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
                  Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 1.5 million
                    While the information in the article you posted seems good on the surface some of what is stated in the article is conjecture and other statements are generalizations and such. You should be aware that much in Wikipedia is factualy questionable - with some articles being much better then others. The page on the Holocaust is very well done for instane - while that on the Armenian Genocide (while for the most part factual) is quite lacking in other respects. I would not want to base my knowledge on any particular issue on what can be gleened from Wikipedia. That being said the article you posted made some good points and overall wasn't so bad. I just wanted to let you know - for future reference - that there are many concernins regarding the completeness, factuality and presentation of many Wikipedia articles.
                    Ok.I will consider your opinion next time while finding article.Thanks
                    [COLOR="Red"]A TANGO BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN[/COLOR]

                    Comment

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