31 March Incident
The 31 March Incident (Turkish: 31 Mart Vakası or 31 Mart Olayı or 31 Mart Hadisesi or 31 Mart İsyanı) was a 1909 rebellion of conservative reactionaries in Constantinople against the restoration of the constitutional system that had taken place in 1908 through the Young Turk Revolution. It took place on 13 April 1909 (31 March on the Rumi calendar in use at the time in the Ottoman Empire for official timekeeping), and was a culmination of the stirring Ottoman countercoup of 1909. The countercoup attempted to put an end to the nascent Second Constitutional Era in the Ottoman Empire and to the newly established influence of the Committee of Union and Progress, in order to re-affirm the position of the Sultan (at the time Abdul Hamid II) as absolute monarch.
Soon after the countercoup, however, the Committee of Union and Progress organized the Army of Action (Turkish: Hareket Ordusu) and regained control from the reactionaries.
On the other hand, some Turkish writers have accused the British, led by Sir Gerald Fitzmaurice (1865–1939), as the hidden hand behind this reactionary religious uprising. The British government had already supported actions against constitutionalists in an attempt to mute the effect of increasing German sympathizers in Ottoman Empire since the 1880s. Also according to these sources, this counter-coup was made against the Committee of Union and Progress's Selanik branch, which outmatched the British sympathizer Bitola Branch.
Dervish Vahdeti and supporters were put down by the Hareket Ordusu ("Army of Action"), constituted in urgency with troops stationed in the Balkans and which rapidly departed from Salonica, commanded by Mahmud Shevket Pasha. Among the officers who entered the capital was Mustafa Kemal.
A few weeks after the re-establishment of order, Sultan Abdul Hamid II himself was deposed and sent to exile in Salonica, and replaced by his brother Mehmed V Reşad.
- Muammer Kaylan. The Kemalists: Islamic Revival and the Fate of Secular Turkey. Prometheus Books, Publishers. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-61592-897-2.
- G R Berridge,"Gerald Fitzmaurice (1865-1939) Chief Dragoman of the British Embassy in Turkey" Published by Martinus Nijhoff
- Bardakci, Murat (16 April 2007). "Askerin siyasete yerleşmesi 31 Mart isyanıyla başladı". Sabah (in Turkish). Retrieved 28 December 2008.
- Şeriatçı bir ayaklanma (A fundamentalist uprising) by Sina Akşin with particular emphasis on British involvement.