Young Turk Revolution By Abi, Ceren
The Young Turk Revolution refers to the events that occurred in 1908 under the initiative of the Committee of Union and Progress (İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti) (CUP) and that were carried out in Macedonia by young Ottoman army officers, who restored the constitution shelved in 1878 by the sultan Abdülhamit II. (There remains some disagreement about describing these events as a ‘revolution’). The uprising led to elections and a reconvening of the parliament, which the Committee hoped would enable the survival of the Ottoman Empire against rival imperial powers (Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia). The CUP, a secret society that later became a political organization, did not overthrow the sultan at first, preferring to rule behind the scenes. The uprising can be considered a continuation of the constitutionalist movements of the nineteenth century, but it also heralded changes to sociopolitical life, such as the rise of a new élite, the increasing involvement of the army in government, and the emergence of party politics. The revolution was enthusiastically received for a time, and a vibrant sociopolitical life emerged with the dismantling of many of Abdülhamit’s authoritarian policies.