Young Turk Revolution
|Young Turk Revolution|
|Part of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire|
Declaration of the Young Turk Revolution by the leaders of the Ottoman millets
|Young Turks||Ottoman government|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Sultan Abdul Hamid II|
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 reversed the 1878 suspension of the Ottoman parliament, the General Assembly, by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. A landmark in the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Revolution arose from an unlikely union of reform-minded pluralists, Turkish nationalists, Western-oriented secularists, minorities such as Ottoman Armenians and Greeks, and indeed anyone who accorded the Sultan political blame for the harried state of the Empire.
The Revolution restored the parliament and the Ottoman constitution of 1876, both of which had been suspended by Abdul Hamid in 1878, effectively ending the short-lived First Constitutional Era. However, the process of supplanting the monarchic institutions with constitutional institutions and electoral policies was neither as simple nor as bloodless as the regime change. The periphery of the Empire continued to splinter under the pressures of local revolutions, including an attempted reactionary Islamist and monarchist countercoup against the Revolution in 1909. This culminated in the 31 March Incident, where the Young Turks defeated the countercoup and regained power, chiefly led by their new political umbrella organization, the Committee of Union and Progress.
...Then the onward march on Constantinople, of the Army of Liberty, the 3rd Army Corps of Salonica, still faithful to the Committee of Union and Progress. Volunteers were called for, and Armenians, Jews, Greeks, Bulgarians, Koords and Lazes, all flocked to the Turkish standard. For the first time in the history of the world, Christian stood shoulder to shoulder with Muslim in a triumphant onslaught for the recovery of liberty and the reinstatement of the Constitution. Constantinople was besieged. Sultan Hamid 's own guard and the officerless Constantinople Army Corps he had bribed were conquered. Hamid was dethroned and Mohamed V., subordinate to the Constitution and the Committee of Union and Progress, reigned in his stead.— Chambers, Robert, Liberty and The Ottoman.
The revolt began in mid-April 1908 under Young Turk leadership. That year the Third Army in Macedonia marched against Constantinople. Major Ahmed Niyazi, fearing discovery of his political moves by an investigatory committee sent from the capital, decamped from Resen on July 3, 1908, with 200 followers demanding restoration of the constitution. The sultan's attempt to suppress this uprising failed due to the popularity of the movement among the troops themselves. Rebellion spread rapidly due to the ideology of Ottomanism. On July 24, sultan Abdul Hamid II capitulated and announced restoration of the 1876 constitution.
Significant results of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution included:
- The gradual creation of a new governing elite.
- Indirectly led to the deposition of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in favor of Mehmed V the following year.
- Opening a path for consolidation over the Ottoman civil and military administration, Coup of 1913.
- Young Turks, small organizations, consolidated under the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP).
- Committee of Union and Progress became the new power center in Ottoman politics.
- Armenian Revolutionary Federation, previously outlawed, became the main representative of the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire, replacing the pre-1908 Armenian elite, which had been composed of merchants, artisans, and clerics who had seen their future in obtaining more privileges within the boundaries of the state's version of Ottomanism.
- In some communities, such as the Jewish (cf. Jews in Islamic Europe and North Africa and History of the Jews in Turkey), reformist groups emulating the Young Turks ousted the conservative ruling elite and replaced them with a new reformist one.
- Hanioğlu, M Şükrü (2001), Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902–1908, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-513463-X.
- Benbassa, Esther (1990), Un grand rabbin sepharde en politique, 1892‐1923 [A great sephardic Rabbi in politics, 1892–1923] (in French), Paris, pp. 27–28.
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