1. Arabs and Arab Provinces in the Evolution of the Young Turk Movement
Islamic cultural and political traditions with a strong Arab imprint had guided the Ottoman state since its foundation in western Anatolia in the thirteenth century and during its subsequent expansion into southeastern Europe. The Arabs themselves, however, entered the stage of Ottoman history in the sixteenth century, first with Sultan Selim I’s (r. 1512–20) conquest of Egypt and Syria in 1516–17, and then with Sultan Süleyman’s (r. 1520–66) campaigns to Mesopotamia starting in 1534, followed by his establishment of Ottoman suzerainty over most of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The extension of Ottoman rule to the Arab lands may have had a greater impact on the conquerors than the conquered. For the Arabs, the conquest signified the replacement of one Muslim dynasty by another and the superimposition of imperial authority over local authority. For the Ottoman state, however, it meant a role as a world empire, dominating intercontinental trade routes and coming into contact with new imperial rivals, the Portuguese in the southern seas and the Safavids to the east in Iran.
The conquest of the historic heartlands of Islam and the symbolic establishment of suzerainty over the Muslim holy places in Arabia reinforced the religious ideological underpinnings of the Ottoman state, now ruling over a predominantly Muslim realm. The Arab lands became an integral, though not entirely well-integrated, part of a Muslim Ottoman imperial system. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with regional variations, local families or provincial potentates maintained local authority, but often they recognized the sultan’s overlordship and sought his protection against rivals or external foes. Even as territorial losses occurred in Europe at this time, Ottoman suzerainty prevailed in the Arab world despite sporadic challenges.
In the nineteenth century Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808–39) undertook a set of institutional changes to forestall domestic and international threats to the integrity of the Ottoman state. Mahmud’s policies gave renewed emphasis to centralization and entailed a conscious commitment to restructure Ottoman institutions on a Western pattern. In the late 1830s a series of institutional changes collectively known as the Tanzimat[ 3] accelerated the processes of centralization and Westernization in the empire, as a reform-minded group of high-level officials took the reins of government in İstanbul. They endeavored to concentrate all political, financial, and military power in a refurbished bureaucracy. Centralization, they hoped, would arrest the demands for autonomy and bring all imperial possessions under İstanbul’s direct rule for firmer political and economic control. Enhanced European involvement in the empire’s economy, as ensured with trade treaties after 1838, reinforced Western interests in Ottoman territorial integrity above and beyond those dictated by balance-of-power considerations.
Tanzimat Centralization, Arabs, and Ottomanism
The Gülhane Decree of 1839 gave the empire’s non-Muslims legal status equal to Muslims, and Ottoman statesmen expected—in vain—that this concession would reinforce the loyalty of the traditionally autonomous non-Muslim communities to the state. Instead, the Western powers quickly made use of their newly strengthened extraterritorial rights, known as the capitulations, to promote Christian merchants as their protégés and secure for them tax exemptions and immunity from the due process of Ottoman law. In the predominantly Christian-populated Balkan Peninsula the centralizing measures of the Tanzimat, particularly in the sphere of taxation, contributed to social unrest and nationalist movements.
In the Muslim areas of the empire, including the Arab provinces, the political and economic dislocations that centralization and Western economic penetration caused did not have immediate nationalist or separatist implications. The Tanzimat policies expedited the integration of the provinces into the central administration. In the Asian provinces, as in the Balkans, the local notables who controlled the land resented the Tanzimat regulations. However, they found ways of promoting their interests in the newly founded provincial councils. The predominance of local power continued within a centralizing administrative system that in the beginning provided for the appointment of provincial governors with limited powers. Even as the 1838 treaty hurt Muslim trade, and secular Westernizing reforms (along with the enhanced status of non-Muslim groups) reflected negatively on the sultan’s image as the binding force of an Islamic empire, Muslims questioned neither the unity of the empire nor Islam as its source of legitimacy. In 1864 a more confident leadership in İstanbul reorganized the provincial administration to strengthen the provincial governors, and the notables lost some of their political prerogatives and autonomy. When in the 1880s Sultan Abdülhamid (r. 1876–1909) imposed his personal authority on the government and further reinforced centralization, many local notables were forced to seek new ways of preserving or recovering their power and prestige by linking it to the central administration.
In contrast to the gradual transformation in the provinces, the bureaucratic machinery in İstanbul underwent fundamental reorganization early in the Tanzimat. The balance of power within the ruling elite resolved itself in favor of a group of reformist high-level bureaucrats, who made use of resources at hand in staffing the expanding bureaucracy. The imperial capital had long been a cosmopolis where people of various ethnic and religious backgrounds intermingled and assimilated into the Ottoman imperial culture. Its population, educationally more advanced compared with the rest of the empire, was exposed to European political, economic, and cultural influences, and thus provided the human resources needed for an expanding bureaucracy committed to Westernization. Most Tanzimat men were İstanbul-born, and many were sons of prominent officials, even if the families derived from elsewhere. The more prominent statesmen started their careers in the Translation Bureau, a creation of Mahmud II and a breeding ground for reformers, where they received their language training and basic experience in government service.
Despite diminishing opportunities for mobility, it was theoretically possible for any Ottoman with some formal education to join and rise in the ranks of the civil service. Social position was helpful to the extent that it facilitated access to the dispensers of patronage, but those on the lower rungs of the social ladder were not categorically denied opportunities for advancement. A difference in education and training more than social background set the Tanzimat men apart from the members of the pre-Tanzimat ruling elite and distanced them further from the common people.
Arabs were conspicuously absent in top government positions throughout Ottoman history, and the processes of elite recruitment during the Tanzimat reproduced the preexisting trend. According to Danişmend, of 215 Ottoman grand viziers (prime ministers) none is known to be Arab, although 3 “may have been,” as compared to seventy-eight Turks and thirty-one Albanians. The roster of kaptan-ı deryas (admirals of the fleet) includes no Arabs, that of başdefterdars (chief finance officers) one, and that of reisülküttabs (chief secretary–foreign ministers) four. Although Muslim Arabs were traditionally prominent in the judicial administration of the empire, the upper echelons of this religious hierarchy, too, were occupied by those trained in İstanbul and connected to high offices. Moreover, the gradual secularization of the legal system starting with the Tanzimat undermined the role of the ulema, the religious scholars and officials, though many ulema proved to be resilient in the face of these changes, and those close to government gave their imprimatur to new laws.
It is impossible to appraise the degree of representation of the various Muslim ethnic groups in the Ottoman bureaucracy. Official sources do not indicate the ethnic background of Muslim government functionaries, as the ethnicity of a Muslim had no pertinence in the Ottoman polity. Reliable means of ascertaining ethnic roots of Muslim officials do not exist; and even where there is ample biographical information, the criteria used in classification tend to be subjective. Danişmend’s classification is no exception. For example, he apparently does not view the two grand viziers of the second constitutional period, Mahmud Shawkat Pasha and Sa‘id Halim Pasha, as Arabs. Both men were Ottomans with a principal Arab cultural affinity. Mahmud Shawkat was the scion of a Georgian family who had settled in Baghdad, and Sa‘id Halim was a grandson of the Egyptian khedive Muhammad ‘Ali. The ambiguity in the following authoritative description of as celebrated a personality in Arab history as Muhammad ‘Ali points to the extraneousness of queries pertaining to ethnicity: “an obscure Turk from the city of Kavala [in Albania] (although some believe he was a Kurd).”
Inferences from scant data and educated guesses about the ethnic background of Muslim government officials in the Ottoman service run the risk of imputing to the Ottoman political elite a prejudice of which it was not conscious. If the Tanzimat leaders did at all address themselves to the concept of equality of opportunity, what they had in mind was equality in rights and duties between Muslims and non-Muslims only. Arab underrepresentation in the Ottoman central bureaucracy may be explained by historical factors such as the relatively late incorporation of the Arab provinces into the empire; the effective closure of one avenue of elite integration due to the gradual obsolescence of the tımar system by the time of the conquests of Arab lands; the distance of the Arab regions from the capital; and the continuation of autonomous rule, particularly in tribal areas.
While the Tanzimat created a central bureaucratic elite keenly aware of its interests as a group and increasingly more independent of royal power, the provinces felt the impact of the reorganization only gradually. Many regions of the empire, including wide areas inhabited by Arabs, were not touched by İstanbul’s reform measures until the second half of the nineteenth century. Yet, it was not solely via İstanbul that the provinces opened up to Western influences and ideas of reform. European merchants had penetrated some Arab lands long before the Tanzimat reformers. Syria had already experienced a period of reform under Egyptian rule. The region’s early contacts with the West later affected the cultural and political life of the province. Trade, missionary activity, and emigration had exposed Mediterranean Arab towns to European culture and modern political ideals and brought about a climate of opinion sympathetic to what the Tanzimat stood for.
Cairo, autonomous under Muhammad ‘Ali since the first decade of the nineteenth century, had a head start on İstanbul in acquiring a firsthand knowledge of European ideas, administrative ways, and technological advances. It implemented its own version of Tanzimat, as thinkers like Rafi‘ al-Tahtawi gave ideological expression to political and social change brought about by Muhammad ‘Ali’s policies. Further west in Tunis, a semiautonomous province of the empire closely linked to Europe, a Tunisian high-level bureaucrat took a keen interest in modernization. Khayr al-Din Pasha, who was Circassian by origin but culturally an Arab, praised and emulated the Tanzimat policies and statesmen before actually entering the service of the central government.
The Tanzimat also had adherents in Arab provinces under the direct control of İstanbul. Yusuf al-Khalidi has been described as “a Palestinian representative of the Tanzimat.” He was born in 1842 to the Khalidi family, one of the oldest notable families in Palestine. Yusuf went to İstanbul to attend the medical school and the newly founded American Robert College before he returned to Jerusalem at the age of twenty-four. He secured a decree from the vali (governor) of Syria to set up a secular Tanzimat-style rüşdiye (middle school) in Jerusalem. After a nine-year career as president of the reorganized municipality of Jerusalem, he was appointed to the Translation Bureau. He served as consul in the Russian town of Poti before he returned to Jerusalem in 1875. In İstanbul, both Yusuf and his brother Yasin had close links with the Ottoman reformers, particularly Foreign Minister Raşid Pasha, who was born and raised in Egypt; and the Khalidi family acquired a reputation as adherents of the “reform party.” A contemporary of Yusuf al-Khalidi was Khalil Ghanem, a Maronite Christian Arab from Beirut. As an employee in Beirut’s provincial administration, Ghanem attracted Governor Esat Pasha’s attention. Esat’s patronage won Ghanem a job as translator at the grand vizierate, after Esat’s promotion to that office. He assisted Midhat Pasha in drafting the constitution. Like Yusuf al-Khalidi, Khalil Ghanem was elected to the First Parliament in 1877. He was later to play a crucial role in the incipient Young Turk movement.
Neither Khalidi nor Ghanem nor any other bureaucrats of Arab descent, however, could break into the inner circle of the Tanzimat leadership, which remained restricted to a small group of İstanbul officials of an older generation. Like most political aspirants of their generation in İstanbul, these Arab functionaries were relegated to secondary positions by high-level bureaucrats who had consolidated their power at the critical juncture after Sultan Mahmud’s death. Thus, it came as no surprise that Yusuf al-Khalidi and Khalil Ghanem later distinguished themselves in the Parliament of 1877–78 by their strong criticism of the government and opposition to senior statesmen.
A literary and political group that coalesced in the capital under the name of New Ottomans (better known as Young Ottomans) in 1867 embodied the main organized opposition to the Tanzimat regime. This group came into existence as the decline of Muslim trade and onerous foreign loans brought the Ottoman economy to the brink of collapse. Its grievances centered on the personal rule of a small bureaucratic elite, excessive foreign interference in the political and economic affairs of the empire, and European cultural domination. The Young Ottomans shared the Western orientation and social and professional background of the Tanzimat leaders. They criticized, however, the oligarchic Tanzimat elite for adopting only the superficial aspects of Western culture instead of its political institutions and principles.
The Young Ottomans insisted that reforms had to be consistent with the precepts of Islamic law (şeriat or sharia). They advocated the establishment of constitutional government in the Ottoman Empire and argued that Islam, with its emphasis on consultation (meşveret), not only justified but called for parliamentary government. The Young Ottomans wrote profusely on constitutionalism, freedom, and patriotism, both in İstanbul and in European exile, where the London-based newspaper Hürriyet (Liberty) was their principal organ. While their liberal ideas reached only few in the provinces, sympathetic provincial officials assigned from İstanbul gradually transmitted and promoted their teachings. Due to the absence of a cohesive political organization, the potential of the Young Ottoman movement remained unfulfilled until its ideas found sympathizers among a new generation of statesmen in the Tanzimat tradition.
Later in the nineteenth century, some Arab intellectuals stressed Islamic ideas in a different modernist vein. Their forerunner Muhammad ‘Abduh and his disciples, many from the ulema (unlike the prominent Young Ottomans), addressed more systematically the compatibility of liberal ideas with Islam. ‘Abduh’s Islamic modernism (salafiyya) developed in response to similar social, economic, and political grievances that had nourished Young Ottoman thought (though Young Ottoman influences on this Arab movement have not been established). The salafiyya modernism flourished in Egypt and Syria in the post-Tanzimat period, thus also addressing the political and social malaise of the Ha midian period and intersecting with the later phase of the liberal movement against Abdülhamid.
In addition to the Islamic modernist trend, the Tanzimat engendered the growth of a secular movement in Syria led by Christian intellectuals under the auspices of the Syrian Scientific Society, founded in 1857, and hailed by Antonius as “the first outward manifestation of a collective national consciousness” and “the cradle of a new political movement.” The society exalted the Arab race and language, possibly inspired by the romantic nationalist current in Europe. One of its Christian leaders, Butrus Bustani, gave expression to the notion of a Syrian fatherland, but the society did not seek to rally the Syrian people around a sociopolitical platform, nor did it espouse secessionist aims, despite its criticism of the government. It remained as a secular literary society until the civil conflict of 1860 brought an end to its activities.
Antonius also suggests that missionary schools, which many Christian leaders of the Syrian Scientific Society attended, promoted an interest in the Arabic language and thus helped kindle the flame of Arab nationalism. Arabic was emphasized in the missionary curriculum in order to attract students from different segments of Syrian society, but this effort had little success in attracting Muslims until later in the century. Muslims preferred to send their children to new government schools that competed with the missionary secondary schools and offered instruction in Ottoman.
The state schools represented a social institution that contributed to the beginnings of a civic allegiance. The Tanzimat principle of political equality begot the concept of Ottomanism, a common allegiance of all subjects in equal status to the Ottoman dynasty. Tanzimat Ottomanism was premised on a reciprocity between the subject and the state but was not upheld by integrative political institutions. Nevertheless, formal equality before the law, coupled with secular restructuring of social institutions and centralization, provided the framework upon which an identification with country and people that transcended the immediate corporate group could be built by stressing the powerful symbol of the dynasty of a historical political entity.
The Young Ottomans infused the Tanzimat notion of Ottomanism with an ideological component that was intended to strengthen the relationship of the subject to the state. Indeed, in 1869 a citizenship law was passed that posited Ottoman subjects as Ottoman citizens. The Young Ottomans also promoted the concepts of legal representation and popular sovereignty that would erode the intercommunal divisions within the empire and focus the loyalty of Muslim and Christian alike on a geographical fatherland comprising Ottoman territories as well as on the ruling Ottoman dynasty. Having provided an Islamic basis to their ideas, the Young Ottomans believed that their vision of the Ottoman state would be readily acceptable to Turks and Arabs, while non-Muslim groups would be “bound by common interests to the common fatherland.” The constitution of 1876 was a consummation, as well as a test, of the Young Ottomans’ notion of Ottomanism.
The Constitution, Parliament, and Arab Representation
As domestic and international crises intensified in the mid-1870s, a group of high-level bureaucrats, influenced by Young Ottoman thought and led by former grand vizier and president of the State Council, Midhat Pasha, saw a constitutional regime as the new hope for reform, revival, and indeed survival. Emboldened by their ability to manipulate the sultans in the crisis of succession in 1876, they prevailed upon the new sultan Abdülhamid to approve a constitution that called for a parliament.
The new charter was not the product of a popularly elected representative assembly. The members of the First Parliament, which convened in March 1877, were determined, as stipulated in the provisional electoral regulations, by previously elected provincial administrative councils instead of popular suffrage. Once Parliament opened, the outbreak of war with Russia and the defeats incurred paralyzed the government machinery and also required that caution and restraint be exercised in parliamentary proceedings. The constitution had left Parliament at the mercy of the sultan, and the war provided him with the excuse to prorogue the assembly in 1878.
Despite its shortcomings, the constitutional experiment of 1876–78 was a landmark in late Ottoman history. It whetted appetites for constitutional rule that Abdülhamid could neither satisfy nor successfully suppress. Until 1908 the demand for the restoration of the constitution and Parliament served as a focal point that crystallized and unified the liberal opposition to the sultan.
The Parliament of 1877–78 deserves attention on the basis of its own merits, notwithstanding its short life and lack of concrete achievements. It served as a forum in which the Ottomanist ideal found expression. Elite and upper-middle-class provincial representatives from diverse parts of the empire came together for the first time to discuss issues varying from the appropriate official language of the empire to provincial reorganization, freedom of the press, tax collection, and Westernization. Blocs not tied to religious and ethnic lines emerged. It was the scene of sophisticated deliberations on imperial and local issues in which government policy could be criticized—at times vehemently. The deputies from the Arab provinces were some of the most vocal, and often critical, in the Chamber of Deputies.
Parliamentary government inducted the Arab provincial elites into the political vicissitudes of the capital. This first rudimentary experiment with participatory politics provides a reference point to situate the Arab provinces and Arabs in the imperial context toward the end of the nineteenth century.
Of the 232 incumbencies during the two terms of the First Parliament, 32 belonged to Arabs. The Arab provinces of Aleppo and Syria, historically better incorporated into the empire because of their proximity to the center and their commercial importance, were slightly overrepresented in relation to their respective populations. In contrast, Baghdad, Basra, and Tripoli (Libya) were underrepresented. The sancak (subprovince) of Lebanon was invited to send deputies, but declined to do so to underscore the special autonomous status (mümtaz mutasarrıflık) that it had obtained in the aftermath of the civil strife of 1860–61. There is no evidence that any of the Muslim deputies from the Arab provinces were not Arab, although at least one of the Christian deputies representing the Arab provinces was not.
The Arab deputies were among the youngest members of the Chamber. This suggests that the Arab notables in the provinces viewed parliamentary government as an experimental venture, one for which local position should not be sacrificed. The choices of administrative councils fell on younger members of leading families, who often had a modern education and familiarity with the new order in İstanbul. At the beginning of the second session in December 1877, Nafi‘ al-Jabiri of Aleppo was twenty-nine; Khalil Ghanem, now a deputy from Beirut, was thirty-two; and Ziya al-Khalidi, who had left his position as the head of the Jerusalem municipality to come to İstanbul, was thirty-five. Khalidi vehemently attacked in one of the earliest meetings of the Chamber the principle of seniority so entrenched in the Ottoman social and political tradition. He argued that the ablest rather than the oldest should be brought to leadership positions within Parliament, and he added that the young were better educated and more predisposed to liberal and constitutional ideas than the old, who held on to outmoded ones.
Khalidi’s young, urban, professional outburst took the assembly by surprise and set the tone of his radicalism in the Chamber. Nafi‘, and in the second session Khalil Ghanem, joined him. The three emerged as the staunchest supporters of the new parliamentary regime and sought to strengthen the position of the Chamber of Deputies vis-à-vis the cabinet. Yusuf Ziya proposed that an absolute majority replace the stipulated two-thirds majority to enable the Chamber to interpellate a minister. He declared that the cabinet circumvented the constitution in appealing to the sultan in the case of a disagreement between it and the Chamber. He also criticized the censorship of the minutes.
Khalil Ghanem, in turn, attacked the government for using the war with Russia to temper its parliamentary opposition. In his early speeches, Ghanem exposed the contradiction in the government’s foreign policy when he inquired why the ostensible allies of the Ottoman state, namely England and France, were not coming to its aid. On a later occasion, he pointed to procedural bottlenecks and complained that Parliament’s procrastination in passing reform legislation brought the interference and pressure of foreign powers upon the state. Khalil Ghanem did not refrain from attacking the government, and indirectly the sultan, on the sensitive issues of the banishment of Midhat Pasha and the imposition of the state of siege. He argued that the emergency powers only served the government to neutralize its domestic opposition.
Nafi‘, the only deputy elected to both the 1877 and 1908 Parliaments, was from the prominent religious family of the Jabiris and the son of the müftü of Aleppo. He thus differed in background and outlook from the other two. He was in agreement with Ghanem on most issues but was less vituperative in his criticism. He condemned the government with regard to the state of siege, disapproved of the arbitrary banishment of religious students, but made no mention of Midhat. Nafi‘ became the first deputy to offer an interpellation in Parliament when he called on the minister of finance to provide an explanation of the general conditions and the prospects of the government’s finances. In December 1877, when the Russian fleet seized an Ottoman commercial vessel in the Black Sea, Nafi‘ offered a second interpellation and took the minister of the navy to task. He displayed a militant position on the subject of interpellations, arguing that ministers should not be informed about the subject matter of the interpellation prior to their appearance in the assembly. Meanwhile, he defended the rulings of the şeriat, opposed any criticism of the sultan, and disapproved of the secularization of regulations governing property ownership, inheritance, and disposal.
While Yusuf Ziya al-Khalidi, Khalil Ghanem, and Nafi‘ al-Jabiri were among the most active and outspoken deputies in Parliament, several other deputies from the Arab provinces distinguished themselves by their extensive participation. They were Sa‘di and Manuk of Aleppo; ‘Abd al-Razzaq of Baghdad; and Nikula Naqqash, Nawfal, and ‘Abd al-Rahim Badran of Syria. It was not uncommon for the Arab deputies to dominate the floor, even in discussions that did not directly or exclusively concern the Arab provinces. The Arab representatives did not act as a bloc, but the deputies from Aleppo and from Syria taken as a group participated in the proceedings more actively than perhaps any other provincial contingent. Even the Hijazi deputies, unlike their counterparts thirty years later, expressed themselves frequently.
The deputies representing the Arab provinces articulated local concerns regularly and elaborately. A petition submitted by Manuk Karaja shows the specific nature of the demands that were made for reform in a province: the opening of a bank in Aleppo, the building of a road between two locations in the province, the elimination of swamp lands in Alexandretta, the setting up of a commercial court in the same town, and even the transportation of a broken bridge from İstanbul’s Galata district to Birecik (near Aleppo) for installation over the Euphrates. On different occasions the Iraqi deputies pointed to the exceptional land regime of Iraq and questioned the applicability of land reforms in their province. Further appeals of Arab deputies for their constituencies often applied to other provinces as well. For instance, Nawfal voiced the Syrians’ concern about personal security after the mobilization of the police forces for the war effort and asked for a local militia to be formed as a security force. Badran referred to the same problem, asserting that the common people were indifferent to most legislative issues, such as the press law then before Parliament, but were first and foremost worried about their security.
There were no clear common interests or an “Arab idea” that unified and distinguished the Arab deputies. They seemed to perceive themselves as the representatives of the empire in its entirety, and beyond that their interest was for their immediate constituencies. The issue of the creation of a new province of Beirut underscored the primacy of parochial rather than “Arab” or regional (e.g., Syrian) concerns. Beirut’s deputies demanded the carving out of a province, with its center in Beirut, from the existing province of Syria (Suriye or Şam [Damascus]), pointing to the commercial and diplomatic importance of the city and to its distance and separation from Damascus, the Syrian provincial center. The remainder of the deputies of the province of Syria and Aleppo’s deputies indicated that the creation of a new administrative center, sought by the Beiruti delegates in the expectation of boosting local commerce, would be costly for the imperial treasury. They also played down the distance between the two cities, especially now that the two were telegraphically linked. Parliament closed without resolving Beirut’s bid, as it had with most matters that had come before it.
After Abdülhamid prorogued Parliament in the spring of 1878, ten deputies regarded as dangerous were ordered to leave İstanbul for their hometowns. Half of these were from the Arab provinces: Yusuf Ziya (Jerusalem), Ghanem (Syria), Nafi‘ (Aleppo), Manuk (Aleppo), and Ba dran (Syria). None of the ten were charged with a specific offense. The Council of Ministers sent a note to the sultan containing vague accusations about these deputies’ actions against the state and the sultan. Yusuf Ziya complained about the arbitrary action taken against him and the other deputies in a letter that he wrote to the grand vizier and former president of Parliament, Ahmed Vefik Pasha. He sent a copy of the letter to the Levant Herald with a postscript: “As you can see half of the [implicated] including myself are Arabs,” suggesting the action taken had something to do with their ethnic affiliation.
There is no indication that these deputies were regarded as dangerous because it was feared that they would foment ethnic divisiveness among Arabs. The Arab deputies did not express their criticism in Parliament in ethnic or national terms, either individually or as a group, nor did they hint at autonomist aspirations. They did at times voice regional grievances, as did deputies from other regions and provinces. The initiative coming from the Arab contingent to separate Beirut as a new provincial center could have only furthered the fragmentation of the administrative unity of Syria. In any case, Abdülhamid could hardly be accused of an anti-Arab bias. One Arab deputy, ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Qudsi, representing the rival faction to the Jabiris in Aleppo, entered the sultan’s service after the closure of Parliament and subsequently became his second secretary.
Such regional and local grievances, however, if couched in strong terms, could be perceived as harmful to the integrity of the state. Indeed, such an outburst was probably responsible for the inclusion of ‘Abd al-Rahim Badran in the ranks of the banished. In January 1878 Badran began his speech on conditions in Syria by saying that the liberties guaranteed by the constitution were meaningless unless accompanied by equality, which, he claimed, existed only on paper. When he asked rhetorically, “Has anyone from Syria attained in the last six hundred years the office of the grand vizier, şeyhülislam, or minister of finance?” he was stopped by the president and accused of encouraging divisiveness.
Abdülhamid prorogued Parliament in order to eliminate political opposition to his rule. It is unlikely that he felt intimidated by the threat of separatism in the Arab provinces. The deputies had proved to be more independent and daring than he was prepared to tolerate, and he took action against the most outspoken. The Arabs among them had posed a threat, not because of any links with a potentially subversive or divisive Arab cause, but because they were articulate in their criticism of government policy at all levels. The fact that the government sent these deputies back to Syria at a time when it knew that there was a movement with separatist tendencies afoot in Beirut also demonstrates that the government regarded their presence in İstanbul to be more troublesome than their presence in Syria.
Parliament, on the whole, functioned in the spirit that the Young Ottomans had envisaged. The deputies were not submissive, as Abdülhamid no doubt had hoped that they would be once he had secured extensive royal prerogatives in the constitution; nor did they use the Chamber as a forum to pursue particularistic or separatist aims. Instead, the deputies concerned themselves with broad issues and expressed opinions on the workings of the state machinery, sharply criticizing the government, and indirectly the sultan. They pressed for legislative rights that the constitution did not accord to them and impeached ministers, in one case forcing the sultan to dismiss the grand vizier, Ahmed Hamdi Pasha.
Russian belligerence and the apparent international isolation of the empire in the aftermath of the crisis of the 1870s were partly responsible for the energy, courage, and patriotism of the deputies. Ironically, it was the war with Russia that offered Abdülhamid the pretext to prorogue the Parliament. Having disposed of it, the sultan was ready to establish his personal rule.
The Hamidian Era: Continuity and Change
Many Muslims were unmoved by the Tanzimat expression of Ottomanism that upheld the political equality of all subjects and robbed them of the psychological crutch that “Muslim superiority” provided. The Young Ottoman opposition did not bear fruits that assured most Muslims. The essence of the Young Ottoman political agenda, justified on Muslim religious grounds, was a constitutional government based on some form of popular representation. While the constitution was eventually achieved, it granted disproportionately high representation to non-Muslims in an attempt to defuse Christian separatism and satisfy the European protectors of the empire’s Christians.
Abdülhamid envisaged a different relationship with his subjects, one based on the newly forged aura of the institution of the caliphate rather than on a contractual agreement inspired by Europe. He knew that most Muslim Ottomans were indifferent to a parliamentary regime. He attracted many provincial notables to the capital in order to co-opt them into his centralized rule, and he upheld their economic and sociopolitical interests only in return for their support of his centralizing policy. Meanwhile, he checked the power of the high-level bureaucrats by diffusing and circumscribing their authority and keeping them under the close surveillance of the Palace and the police.
The Ottomanism of the Young Ottomans was a belated ideology that failed to curb or forestall the dismemberment of Ottoman territories. Abdülhamid placed a new emphasis on Islam and his personal religious role as caliph. Yet his Islamism neither negated nor superseded Ottomanism. In Hamidian Islamism as well as in Ottomanism, as it emerged and underwent transformation since the Tanzimat, the focus of loyalty was the Ottoman sultan. Both ideologies stressed the notion of a “fatherland,” the geographic expression of which was the territories under the sultan’s jurisdiction.
Abdülhamid’s Islamism was Ottomanism equipped with ideological embellishment deriving from Islam. It served to justify autocratic rule and contributed to foreign policy objectives. It has been described as a pragmatic policy that availed of Islamic symbols and upheld the Ottoman state’s Islamic identity and the Muslim subjects’ morale following losses in war. After the Balkan secessions in the 1870s, Muslims constituted a greater percentage of the Ottoman population. The new demographic situation and the subsequent loss of further Muslim-populated Ottoman provinces to imperialism made it politic to emphasize the religious overtones of Ottomanism. Hamidian Islamism was not expansionist, despite what the term (and particularly the expression pan-Islamism, often used interchangeably with Islamism) suggests. It did not entail a novel definition of the fatherland; nor did it jeopardize the legal status and rights that the non-Muslims had gained under the secular Ottomanism of the preceding decades, though clearly Hamidian ideology was exclusionary from a social and psychological point of view with respect to non-Muslims. What makes Islamism politically important was that it gained ascendancy in opposition to the political interests of the European powers that traditionally had abetted Ottoman territorial integrity. Indeed, Islamism was the child of changing international and economic relations in Europe and the position that the Ottoman Empire acquired in the neoimperialist status quo. It had wide domestic implications which were strongly felt in the Arab provinces of the empire.
The ground had already been laid during the Tanzimat for a forward policy in the Arab regions. In the general scheme of provincial reform and reorganization, the Arab provinces had received special attention for several reasons. The government was interested in exercising direct control over the international commercial centers of Aleppo and Damascus and the port cities of the eastern Mediterranean. Ottoman positions in Syria and the Arabian Peninsula needed to be strengthened militarily against possible aggression from Egypt. Moreover, the administration of the provinces of the Fertile Crescent had to be improved to preclude the possibility of European aggression with the pretext of intervening on behalf of any of the non-Muslim communities.
The distance of the Arab provinces from the administrative center of the empire, and their large nomadic populations, posed difficulties in the implementation of the centralizing policies. Therefore, İstanbul sent some of its ablest administrators to the Fertile Crescent as governors. Also during the Tanzimat, the state enhanced its military presence in the Arab provinces. The reorganization of the Ottoman army allotted major army corps to Syria and Baghdad and separate units to Yemen and Libya, though the attempts to recruit local Arabs for the regular armies had only limited success. While the strength of Ottoman military force fluctuated during the Tanzimat, the armies served as a deterrent to local, especially Beduin, insurrection and raiding and assured more efficient tax collection.
The army also helped to bring some of the outlying areas of the Arabian Peninsula under direct Ottoman rule, aided by the extension of the telegraph to Baghdad in 1861. Before Abdülhamid ascended the throne, both al-Hasa in eastern Arabia and the Yemen had been occupied by the Ottoman forces. Sultan Abdülhamid continued the extension of Ottoman authority into Arabia and surpassed his predecessors in expanding communications. The Arab provinces were now designated as first rank and listed ahead of European or Anatolian provinces in official registers, and their governors were granted higher salaries. The sultan built the Hijaz Railway, which connected the holy city of Medina with Damascus, and extended telegraphic communication parallel to the railway, ensuring the organization of the pilgrimage under his close supervision and thus adding to his prestige as leader of Islam.
The flourishing diplomatic connection with Germany, to which the sultan had turned to provide a counterweight to the neoimperialist aggressiveness of Britain and France, induced further attention to the East. The İstanbul-Baghdad railway scheme, prompted by Germany’s economic and strategic interests, fit in with Abdülhamid’s policy of leading a more active policy near the Persian Gulf, especially now that Britain was acquiring footholds in the area. Germany favored and pressed for an even greater emphasis by the empire on Eastern policy than Abdülhamid envisaged. The head of the German military mission in İstanbul, Colmar von der Goltz, suggested in 1897 that the Ottoman capital should be moved to central Anatolia or possibly even further south so that the government could exercise equal influence “over the two chief components of the Ottoman population.” This was a theme that would reemerge after 1908. According to von der Goltz, “a true reconciliation of the Arabs to the Ottoman caliphate was of much greater importance to Turkey than the loss of a piece of Macedonia.”
Centers of opposition in Syria, and the accompanying autonomist and revolutionary rhetoric, sensitized the sultan early in his reign to the need to co-opt local Arab leaders to his rule. These opposition groups have received the close attention of several scholars since George Antonius described one of them as the “first organized effort in the Arab national movement.” There were at least two secret groups in Syria with alleged or declared separatist aims. First, a society led by Faris Nimr was active between 1875 and 1883. It was composed of young Christians who attempted to rally both Christians and Muslims around an antigovernment and anti-Turkish program, with emphasis on a literary-cultural Arab identity and, in Antonius’s words, embodying a new “conception…of a politically independent state resting on a truly national basis.”[ 90] Second, an organization of Muslim notables was formed in early 1878 representing distinguished religious, landowning, or commercial families, some with strong links to the Ottoman state. Midhat Pasha’s exile as governor in Syria coincided with this period of organizational activity, and his alleged involvement in the subversive agitation made the study of the ferment in Syria more compelling.
Antonius attributed to the first group the authorship of certain revolutionary placards that were distributed in Syria in 1880. Zeine Zeine has convincingly argued that these initiatives remained restricted to a small group and did not constitute the basis of an Arab movement. Jacob Landau’s later argument that one such leaflet, dated March 1881 and signed “The Society for the Maintenance of the Rights of the Arab Nation,” had Muslim authorship and sought independence for Arabs does not challenge Zeine’s conclusion. One of the main grievances expressed by this group was that Arabs were not appointed to high military office. The parallel with the proclamations of ‘Urabi, whose revolt in Egypt at this time was motivated by similar professional grievances, is striking. Midhat Pasha was also implicated in the drafting and distribution of the placards. It appears far-fetched that Midhat nurtured ambitions of separating Syria from the empire by declaring himself a semi-independent viceroy similar to the Egyptian khedive. Almost forty years later similar designs were ascribed to Cemal Pasha when he assumed the civil and military control of Syria. It is more likely that Midhat Pasha “regarded Syria as a springboard for restoring his position in İstanbul, not as a power base from which to launch an attack designed to dismember the empire.”
As for the second group, its members were primarily concerned about the future of Syria in the event the war with Russia caused the collapse of the Ottoman state. They contacted Arab leaders throughout Syria and resolved to seek independence if faced with the danger of foreign occupation, even though they would continue to recognize the caliph. Their call went unheeded, and the government discovered the group and suppressed its activities. The lenient treatment of the leaders indicates that İstanbul did not feel a threat from the notables’ movement. The two societies’ activities do not constitute milestones in the evolution of an Arab political movement, but they do point to two of its distinct features as it crystallized later: the articulation of autonomist-separatist agendas in times of imperial crisis and the Syrian focus of Arab political activity.
From the 1850s to 1916 the weakening of the empire due to international complications encouraged some within it to embrace the idea of independence in the hope of mitigating the impact of probable foreign hegemony. As early as 1858, in the aftermath of the Crimean War that led to great suffering and took a toll on the empire’s economy, the British consul in Aleppo reported to London regarding the separatist tendencies in that city. Notions of independence and the denunciation of İstanbul’s rule were not encountered for the first or last time during Abdülhamid’s reign. They failed to develop into ideological movements and to rally popular support.
The political ferment did not extend beyond Syria. The activity of the Christians was further restricted to the coastal areas of the province; even in Damascus they failed to induce Muslim notables to common action. That a few prominent Syrian Arabs entertained the notion of separation from the Ottoman state if it foundered as a result of the Russian War had little to do with a nationalist program. Not surprisingly, when Abdülhamid consolidated his power he was able to conciliate and even co-opt important segments of the Muslim Arab notability.
By emphasizing his role as caliph, Abdülhamid generated support from Arabs, as well as from other Muslims within and outside the Ottoman Empire, at a time when the world of Islam was under Christian imperialist domination. He also won over with money, deference, and benevolent concern many a tribal leader who was out of the Ottoman fold in order to strengthen his position against the same powers. The notables of the more developed Arab regions, however, adhered to the Hamidian regime for reasons that were not entirely of Abdülhamid’s making and that had little to do with his Islamist ideology.
Changes in the politics of Syrian notables preceded the Hamidian rule and were due, first, to the emergence of large landholding families after the promulgation of the Ottoman Land Code of 1858 and, second, to the failure of the Muslim leadership to preserve social order in the civil strife of 1860. As the influence of the established religious “ulema families” waned, the secular landowning families acquired posts in the local administration aided by their recently acquired wealth and established similar patronage relations with the local people. Abdülhamid did not reverse the Tanzimat’s secularizing policies that had jeopardized the ulema’s legal and educational functions. While the more prominent religious families adapted to changing circumstances and managed to retain their land and administrative positions, the diversification of the bureaucracy and the rapidly increasing number of provincial administrative posts enabled the secular landowning families to obtain the new posts and to enhance their influence. In order to keep pace with the bureaucratization and the secular trend, the religious families had to compromise. Like the new landholding families, they sent their sons to the secular schools in İstanbul and increasingly married them into these families. Thus, during Abdülhamid’s reign a new coalition of provincial urban leadership emerged which “openly identified with and defended the interests of the Ottoman state.” This linkage of the merged Ottomanist leadership to İstanbul was greatly facilitated by Abdülhamid’s drastic modernization of communications, which was implemented in the spirit of Tanzimat centralization and with extensive Western participation.
Under Abdülhamid the West continued to be a model. The empire became further integrated into the world political and economic system. Western civilization, it was stressed, was built on borrowings from Islamic civilization, and therefore it was acceptable to borrow from the West. Unlike the Young Ottomans, Abdülhamid exalted medieval Islamic civilization. Most Muslim Ottomans had little trouble identifying with an Arab past. In the 1878 Parliament Abdul Bey, a deputy from Janina, Albania, displayed the self-view so characteristic of most Ottomans at this time when he remarked: “We [Ottomans?] are a millet [i.e., community] that has originated from the Arab millet.… Just as we took civilization from the Greeks, Europe has taken it from us.” Identifying with the Arabo-Islamic heritage served to legitimate and reinforce the Ottoman claim to the caliphate, particularly because the Ottoman sultans’ adoption of the title had remained tentative, if not controversial.
Nevertheless, Abdülhamid’s appropriation of the Arab past was not immune to challenge. Arab intellectuals grew increasingly more conscious of their ancestors’ role in the origin of Islam and in early Islamic civilization. Just as they gave credit to the Ottoman rulers for their military prowess, which reunited the Islamic realm, they held them responsible for the empire’s subsequent regression and ascribed the decline to their deviation from true Islam. Muhammad ‘Abduh and some of his salafi adherents looked to the distant, glorious past of Islam, explored the sources of its early success, and in the process identified precedents for social, economic, and political principles that now rendered Europe strong and superior to Islam. As a one-time comrade of Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the renowned activist for the political unity of Islam, ‘Abduh’s concern for the perpetuity, stability, and independence of the Islamic umma (religious community) was paramount; and to that end he was ready to support Abdülhamid, although he found the sultan’s claim to the caliphate exceptionable. Abdülhamid’s pragmatic motives in emphasizing his role as caliph corresponded with those of the Arab intellectuals in tolerating the very claim.
However, the special importance and consideration that Arabs received as the carriers of the Islamic faith and agents of a great civilization nourished an Arab identity with strong Islamic overtones. ‘Abduh’s salafi followers gradually instilled political content into this Arab identity. ‘Abduh’s disciple Rashid Rida outwardly respected the sultan’s title as caliph, although, unlike his mentor, he actively opposed Hamidian absolutism. ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi, another student of ‘Abduh, argued that the office of the caliphate be restored to the Arabs. This viewpoint is significant in associating the Arab self-consciousness engendered by salafi thought with a political agenda, but it was not one to which most Arab reformists readily subscribed. Nevertheless, an association of Islamic glory with “Arabness” fostered a more powerful Arab ethnic consciousness than did the earlier secular agendas. Arabic as the language of the Quran, bestowed by God specifically on the Arabs, imparted a new potentiality to linguistic self-identification.
Parallel to the currents in the Arab world, the awareness of a Turkish identity was on the rise in İstanbul, also with language playing the principal role. The Turkist current preceded the Hamidian period and was largely exogenous. European linguistic and philological studies that established links between central Asian, Anatolian, and eastern European peoples aroused Ottoman awareness of the Turks outside the empire and restored their pride at a time (in the 1860s and 1870s) when the empire’s prestige was rapidly declining. The Young Ottomans favored the simplification of Ottoman Turkish so that it could be a more effective instrument in propagating Ottomanist ideas, but viewed as chauvinism the idea of racial, and certainly political, unity of all Turks.
During the Hamidian period some intellectuals in İstanbul became interested in Turkishness as an ethnic and linguistic expression. The subsumption of Turkist concerns (particularly with regard to Russian expansion in Central Asia) under pan-Islamism reinforced Abdülhamid’s anti-imperialist ideology; he therefore tolerated discussions of Turkism until the early years of the twentieth century. But Turkism had no cultural heroes, was outward-looking, and had no perceptible effect on most Turks, who continued to see themselves first and foremost as Muslims, and it had no political appeal to the intellectuals who propagated it. For the Turkish-speaking people of the empire, their language was a weak basis for a broad communality, in part because they, more so than the Arabs, for example, inhabited linguistically heterogeneous regions of the empire. They failed to understand the elite’s Ottoman Turkish, much less feel pride in it. While the sultan seems to have encouraged Turkist literary endeavors as a safe substitute to political writing, he grew suspicious of Arabic literary activity. An Arab cultural revival might have contributed to an exclusive ethnic Arab appropriation of medieval Islam and subvert his claim to the caliphate. This may be the reason why Abdülhamid decided against adopting Arabic as an official state language, which he had contemplated.
Arabist and Turkist currents followed separate lines of development. Arabist identity matured earlier and had stronger appeal. The close association of Arabic language and Islam provided a basis for Arab selfhood, which the salafi movement strengthened. Both currents, however, remained insignificant as political agendas. Under Abdülhamid officially sponsored Islamism overshadowed both Arabism and Turkism. For most Muslims the Ottoman sultanate continued to be the focus of political loyalty. While it would take longer for Arabism and Turkism to find political expression, a meaningful synthesis of the two under a redefined Ottomanism (such as the Young Turks would attempt) was prejudiced by the modes of expression of the two trends. For instance, the Arab intellectuals perceived the Turkist attempts to simplify Ottoman by eliminating Arabic grammatical elements as offensive to Arab culture if not to Islam, while the Turkists cannot have ignored some Arabists’ singling out of Turkish dynastic rule as the dark period of Islamic history.
Yet few called for the political separation of Arabs and Turks on a national basis. In 1904 Yusuf Akçura, a Turk from the Russian empire, wrote from his exile in İstanbul that pan-Islamism and Ottomanism were not viable political alternatives for the Turkish-speaking peoples of the empire and that Turkism provided the suitable alternative. Nagib Azoury, a Syrian Christian, wrote from Paris in the same year and called for an independent Arab state of Muslims and Christians. Both authors were motivated by a distrust of Islamic and Ottomanist solutions, yet both failed to find an audience for their alternative schemes.
The Young Turk Opposition and the Arabs
It is common practice to describe the liberal opposition prior to Abdülhamid’s reign as the Young Ottoman movement and to that during his rule as the Young Turk movement. These terms, of European origin and sometimes used interchangeably, do not reflect a change in the self-image of the liberal opposition. In the Ottoman context their use becomes misleading on two counts. First, the transition from Young Ottoman to Young Turk implies an ungrounded narrowing of interests toward a more ethnically Turkish emphasis in the liberal currents. Second, it suggests that the ideological content, means of expression, and set of actors in the opposition underwent a distinctive transformation after the 1870s.
During the Hamidian period the different manifestations of political opposition featured an unprecedented ethnic, religious, and geographical diversity. Thus, the Young Turk movement was unmistakably more “Ottoman” than its Young Ottoman antecedent, which was a movement of Turcophone İstanbul officials. As for substantive continuity between the two movements, the set of ideas formulated by the Young Ottomans provided the basis of Young Turk propaganda, notwithstanding a turnover and diversification in the membership. Only gradually did modern currents in European social and political thought, on the one hand, and the broadening of the social base of the opposition, on the other, introduce new elements and emphases to political concepts and ideals first articulated by the Young Ottomans.
For more than a decade following the closing of Parliament in 1878, Abdülhamid encountered little domestic political opposition. The main reason for this was his heavy-handed rule and centralized security apparatus. Once the parliamentary regime failed, hopes faded. Frenzied attempts to topple Abdülhamid with a palace coup were aborted. Liberal ideas, though, did not cease to be passed on. Fugitives in Europe continued the struggle against Abdülhamid. In general, these efforts were individualistic, unorganized, and therefore short-lived.
The First Phase (1878–1895)
Though it is customary to view the beginnings of dissent from Hamidian rule as of the mid-1890s, the conspiratorial ventures of that decade and the continuities in the liberal movement can be understood best against the background of political exertions occurring mostly outside the empire in which émigré Arab intellectuals played the major role.
Literary and journalistic activity was intensifying among Syrian intellectuals when Abdülhamid came to power. The sultan’s strict press censorship forced many journalists to emigrate to Europe or to Egypt. The historical and cultural links of the Syrian Christian communities with European countries facilitated the exiles’ stay in European cities such as London, Paris, and Naples, where they were often backed by friendly governments (which sought to exploit the anti-Hamidian posture of the intellectuals for their own national and imperial interests), individuals, and church groups, but had no coordination amongst themselves.
Only in 1894 Salim Faris, the son of the publisher (Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq) of an Arabic journal in İstanbul called Al-jawa’ib (Current News), brought some coordination to these efforts. He revived in London Hürriyet, which had been the principal Young Ottoman publication in Europe. Before then, oppositional activity fit into only the broadest definition of the Young Turk movement, namely, opposition to the Hamidian despotism. In keeping with Young Ottoman ideals, the fundamental demand in this period continued to be a liberal constitutional regime. Hence, the refutation of Abdülhamid’s claim to the caliphate, which the sultan used to justify his absolute power, became a focal point in fighting the regime.
Two independent Arabic papers published in Europe carried the name Al-khilafa (The Caliphate). One was edited by Louis Sabunji, a Catholic priest, in London and the other by Ibrahim Muwaylihi in Naples. Sabunji dwelled on the idea of an Arab caliphate in Al-nahla (The Bee), which he started in Beirut and transferred to London in 1877, as well as in his Al-khilafa, founded in 1881. The supporters of Sabunji and his Al-nahla included, in addition to his British benefactors and Khedive Ismail (who had harbored rival ambitions to become caliph), Indian and other Muslim leaders of colonies under British rule, suggesting that the British may have tried to undermine the sultan’s claim to the office at this early stage. Ibrahim Muwaylihi was an Egyptian and the only prominent Arab Muslim editor in Europe in opposition to Abdülhamid. Muwaylihi published Al-khilafa in 1879, in which he denounced the deposition of his patron, Khedive Ismail. He attacked sharply the Ottoman government as well as imperialist Britain and Russia. Both Muwaylihi and Sabunji later reconciled with Abdülhamid and entered his service.
If the Ottoman sultan was unsuitable for the office of the caliph, who met the necessary requirements? Some salafi modernists suggested one answer to the question by advancing the idea of an Arab caliph, but refrained from advocating a transfer of allegiance away from the House of Osman lest it undermine the Ottoman state, the only Islamic political entity capable of standing up to Western imperialism. Although Arab Christians had reason to be apprehensive about Islamism, some, such as Sabunji, proposed an Arab caliphate as an alternative to the Hamidian regime.
After the closure of the First Parliament, Khalil Ghanem also joined the journalistic opposition to Abdülhamid in Europe. Though his early career as a journalist is similar to that of the other Arabs in Europe, toward the end of the nineteenth century Ghanem identified with and committed himself to the mainstream of the growing Young Turk movement to a greater extent than any other Arab intellectual or activist. Of the ten opposition deputies banned from İstanbul in 1878, Ghanem was the only one to go to Europe. He settled in Paris and wrote articles criticizing the Ottoman government and urged reforms. He appropriated the expression Young Turkey in his Arabic and French La Jeune Turquie (Turkiya al-fatat) in Paris, where he wrote as a “democrat interested in [political] reform” in the empire.
Ghanem resisted bribes from Abdülhamid to abandon his struggle, even as the opposition in Europe lost its vigor in the late 1880s. Many individuals were co-opted by the sultan or abandoned the struggle in discouragement, dismayed by the contradiction between the liberal principles of European countries and their imperialist ambitions. While Cairo in British-occupied Egypt increasingly replaced London and Paris as the center of the Arabic press and intellectual activity, Khalil Ghanem continued the struggle in Europe. Indeed, Ghanem was unequaled in his persistence in the liberal cause, and he represented not only the link between the early and later phases of the anti-Hamidian movement but also embodied the liberal Ottoman currents during the entire span of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The Europe of the 1890s witnessed a new generation of Ottoman liberals and enhanced organizational activity, in both of which Ghanem continued to be a key figure.
The Second Phase (1895–1908)
A secret political group, formed before 1889 by medical students in İstanbul and named İttihad-ı Osmani (Ottoman Union), was the nucleus of the most important opposition to Abdülhamid that consolidated in this second phase. İttihad-ı Osmani remained an underground conspiratorial group in İstanbul until it established contacts with liberal-minded officials of the Hamidian regime and engaged in active opposition from Europe under the new name of the Society of Union and Progress (better known as the Committee of Union and Progress [CUP]), with Ahmed Rıza as its leader.
Ahmed Rıza had been the director of education in Bursa. He left that position to go to Paris in 1889, the year when the Ottoman Union in İstanbul was discovered by the government and reprisals against dissidents intensified. He stayed in Europe to take up the liberal cause and kept in touch with the movement in the Ottoman capital. At first, he advocated liberal-constitutional concepts in the same terms as the Young Ottomans, emphasizing the common elements in Islamic political thought and Western liberalism. However, he increasingly adopted the ideas of the French positivists, with whom he associated in Paris. Khalil Ghanem, another adherent of the positivist school of thought, joined Ahmed Rıza in 1895 to found Meşveret, the first major organ of Young Turk opposition in Europe. Together with Murad Bey (Mizancı), a Russian-Turkish émigré who had propagated liberal ideas as a teacher in the Mülkiye before leaving İstanbul, Ahmed Rıza and Ghanem led the Unionist organization in Europe.
On the eve of the formation of the CUP in Europe, Salim Faris styled himself in his Hürriyet (which circulated in Ottoman territories) as the spokesman of an organization he called Osmanlı Meşrutiyet Fırkası (or Parti Constitutionnel en Turquie). Ahmed Rıza refused to cooperate with Faris, accusing him of pursuing only his own interests, but looked more favorably to another liberal Arab opposition group, the Turco-Syrian Committee, that emerged in Paris immediately before 1895. This committee was led by the Druze emir Amin Arslan, and centered around the newspaper Kashf al-niqab (Lifting of the Veil). When the French government closed Kashf al-niqab under pressure from Abdülhamid, Khalil Ghanem’s Turkiya al-fatat served as the committee’s organ. In 1896 the Turco-Syrian Committee merged with the Paris-based Union and Progress organization and helped Ahmed Rıza’s group establish contacts with the Egyptian-based opposition to Abdülhamid.
Both Faris’s Parti Constitutionnel and the Turco-Syrian Committee gave primacy to the improvement of conditions in Syria, the internal integration of Syrian society, and the elimination of religious differences. These were explicit expressions of a “Syrianist” current that sought the integration of ethnic and religious groups within Greater Syria around a regional identity within the Ottomanist framework. Abdülhamid’s policies undermined this brand of Syrianism by bringing religious differences to the fore and reorganizing Greater Syria’s administrative divisions, which resulted in greater fragmentation and ultimately the establishment of Beirut as a separate province in 1888 as well as the carving out of an independent sancak (subprovince) of Jerusalem. Certainly, the notion of an integral Syria was not shared by all Syrians, as the demands of Syrian deputies in the direction of Abdülhamid’s subsequent policies had revealed in the aforementioned parliamentary debates on the separation of Beirut.
Whereas one of the first and most dedicated proponents of Syrianism, Butrus al-Bustani, did not feel that the success of Syrian integration depended on a constitutional arrangement (and therefore escaped censure), the Turco-Syrian Committee envisioned reforms in Syria within a constitutional framework rather than under Abdülhamid’s autocratic rule. Thus the committee’s aims were not only compatible with the new movement under Ahmed Rıza’s leadership but also reinforced it. The program of the CUP as published in the first issue of Meşveret emphasized the principle of reform not for individual provinces or regions but for the empire in its entirety. The Turco-Syrian Committee disappeared before the turn of the century, perhaps because Syrian aspirations for reform were to a large extent fulfilled by Abdülhamid. The province of Syria received preferential treatment from the Palace consistent with Abdülhamid’s desire to better integrate the Arab elite into the central administration. Indeed, the special treatment that Abdülhamid accorded to Arab notables and provinces was resented by some, like Mizancı Murad, who denounced the privileges that the government conferred on Arabs as being similar to the capitulations.
The major impetus behind the rejuvenation of the Young Turk movement in the 1890s had been the growth of minority, especially Armenian, nationalism. In 1896, at a meeting of Ottoman liberals held in Paris in order to forge a united front against Abdülhamid, Armenian nationalist demands were denounced, prompting the Armenian delegation to leave the meeting in protest. Mizancı Murad then confronted the Arab participants with the question of whether they harbored intentions of forming an Arab state. Nadra Mutran and Khalil Ghanem renounced any such claims and asserted their firm belief in the necessity of loyalty to the Ottoman state for the sake of Arab interests.
Differences within the movement in Europe had the appearance of personality conflicts at the beginning, but they increasingly crystallized around ideological issues. During the years when the first major wave of exiles was organizing itself in Paris and Geneva, the main point of disagreement emerged as the strategy to be employed in fighting Ha midian despotism. The founders of the Ottoman Union (who joined the ranks of liberals in Europe) and Mizancı Murad were inclined toward the use of violence. As a good positivist, Ahmed Rıza favored a more gradual, nonviolent approach.
A permanent division developed on the issue of administrative organization of the empire. Ahmed Rıza advocated greater political and economic centralization and was opposed by the decentralist camp, which consolidated around Prince Sabahaddin, a nephew of Abdülhamid and the son of the sultan’s disgruntled brother-in-law, Mahmud Celaleddin Pasha, who took refuge in Paris in 1899 and engaged in opposition to the sultan. Sabahaddin had Anglo-Saxon proclivities and advocated liberal economic policies in his Teşebbüs-ü Şahsi ve Adem-i Merkeziyet (League for Private Initiative and Administrative Decentralization), which became a rival to Ahmed Rıza’s CUP. This division plagued the Young Turk movement before 1908 and would provide the central dispute in the more institutionalized political discourse of the second constitutional period.
The Young Turks in Europe held major congresses in Paris in 1902 and 1907 with the aim of reconciling their differences and determining a unified line of action against the Hamidian regime. Arabs participated in both of these conventions but not as a unified interest group. Unlike the Armenians, for example, the Arabs did not constitute a national community identified with a faction. At the 1902 conference Khalil Ghanem acted as the spokesman for the CUP and presided over some sessions. In 1907 the editorial boards of the London- and Cairo-based Turkish-Arabic journals were present. However, no Arab held any leadership positions after Ghanem’s death in 1904. There was no pattern to Arab adherence to either the centralist or decentralist agendas.
Abdülhamid’s active recruitment of Arabs to his personal service has mistakenly identified Arabs with the regime and have slighted their role in the opposition. At a time when the Palace overshadowed the Sublime Porte (or the ministerial bureaucracy), the sultan’s policy did indeed bring many Arabs of conservative leanings to influential positions. Abdülhamid thus drew on a pool of advisers, secretaries, and functionaries who were removed from the bureaucratic power struggles in İstanbul and who harbored personal loyalty to him. The choice of Arab dignitaries with mainstream Sunni and mystical Sufi backgrounds and enjoying religious prestige added to the force of his Islamic policy. Most important, the co-optation of Arab notables into the bureaucracy and palace administration served his policy of centralization.
One of the two principal envoys Abdülhamid sent to Europe to contact the Young Turks and win them over was Najib Malhama, his Lebanese Christian security chief. The choice of Malhama undoubtedly had to do with the large number of Arabs, mostly Christian, among the Young Turks in Europe. To lure the dissenters back, Abdülhamid used the stick (e.g., confiscation of property) and the carrot (e.g., financial incentives) interchangeably. The case of Amin al-Antaki, a Syrian Catholic who did comply with the government’s call and return to İstanbul, is illustrative of many Young Turks who were induced to return home or to accept a government post abroad. Given the financial difficulties of living abroad, demoralization due to the disunity of the movement, and emotional and personal reasons, many Young Turks (including such leading figures as Mizancı Murad, Tunalı Hilmi, and Abdullah Cevdet) reached a compromise with Abdülhamid through the constant efforts of his agents in Europe. These men often resisted co-optation, however, and later either returned to the opposition or supported the Young Turk cause covertly. A case in point is al-Antaki, who used the “doors opened to him in the Palace and the Porte” to gather information and reported on his contacts with government officials to the Young Turks in exile through the French post office in İstanbul.
From its inception, the Unionist organization in the capital included Arabs among its membership, as well as Kurds, Albanians, Russian Turks, and members of other ethnic groups. One of the earliest members of the Unionist society was Ahmad Wardani, who was commissioned by the Ottoman Union to establish the first contacts with Ahmed Rıza in Europe and to ask the latter to represent the CUP there. Wardani was later exiled to Tripoli in Libya. In 1900 a Damascene, Mustafa Bey, was sentenced to hard labor for inciting soldiers in İstanbul to revolt against Abdülhamid. The nephew of Shaykh Zafir, one of the prominent Arab religious leaders in Abdülhamid’s court, was an army officer who distributed anti-Abdülhamid manifestos. The secret Society of Revolutionary Soldiers, which had pro-Sabahaddin leanings and was founded in the military high school in 1902, also included Arabs. Because Young Turk activity in İstanbul had to be carried out in strict secrecy, little is known about the opposition in the capital and the role of Arabs in it.
Egypt was another center of opposition to Abdülhamid and became a haven to Young Turks because of its central geographical location and its liberal political milieu. Some Syrian intellectuals had left their country in the late 1870s, lured by the liberal atmosphere of Cairo under Khedive Ismail. These authors and journalists were joined by a second wave that came during the early years of British occupation. British rule allowed the proponents of Egyptian nationalism, as well as the supporters of the new khedive Abbas Hilmi, the British, and the French, to write relatively freely and to criticize Ottoman policies, transforming Cairo into the “Hyde Park Corner of the Middle East.” There were intellectuals and politicians in Egypt who were favorably disposed to the Ottoman Empire and saw a greater role for it in Egyptian affairs. Such Ottoman linkages, however, were generally advocated to remove the British yoke, with an eye toward eventual Egyptian independence.
When the Young Turks established a branch in Cairo toward the end of the century, they had most in common with the Muslim Syrian émigrés of Islamic modernist convictions. The Young Turks were aware and suspicious of the khedive’s opportunistic policies aimed at strengthening his position vis-à-vis Abdülhamid, but they took advantage of his goodwill whenever possible. Some disaffected members of the khedivial family joined the ranks of the Young Turks for a more active cooperation: Prince Muhammad ‘Ali and, most significantly, Sa‘id Halim, the future Ottoman grand vizier, worked with Ahmed Rıza’s group.
In 1897 the Ottoman Consultative Society ( Jam‘iyat al-shura al-‘uthmaniyya) was founded in Cairo by Syrian Muslim Arabs and Young Turks from İstanbul. The architects of the society were Rashid Rida, Rafiq al-‘Azm, and Saib Bey, a Turkish officer. The organization lasted until 1908. Abdullah Cevdet, a Kurd from Diyarbakır and one of the founders of the Ottoman Union in 1889, was active in the society after he settled in Egypt in 1905. Before coming to Cairo, Cevdet had led the Young Turk faction in Geneva that became a rival to the Ahmed Rıza group. Cevdet, influenced by his reading of ‘Abduh, attempted to dull the cutting edge of Abdülhamid’s policies by disputing their Islamic nature.
The Turco-Arab Consultative Society called for Islamic unity embodied in Ottoman unity and under the Ottoman caliph but denounced Hamidian rule together with European imperialism. Its propaganda emanating from Cairo was printed in Arabic and Turkish and distributed widely within the empire; the Arab provinces of the empire in particular could easily be reached from Egypt. As the head of the society’s administrative council, Rashid Rida propagated the ideas of the group in his Al-manar (Lighthouse), a journal that was widely read in Syria and at this juncture served the interests of the Young Turks. It advocated the integrity of the Ottoman state, called for resistance to imperialism, and condemned Hamidian autocracy. After the 1908 Revolution, the Consultative Society turned into a vocal and influential critic of the centralist Young Turk faction, the CUP.
As differences between the centralist faction of Ahmed Rıza and the decentralists grouped around Sabahaddin became wider, the Young Turks in Egypt formed another society, the Cemiyet-i Ahdiye-i Osmaniye (Ottoman Covenant Society), which attempted to steer a middle course. It promoted the principle of tevsi’-i mezuniyet (extension of discretion), which was stipulated in the constitution of 1876, and suggested giving more latitude to administrative officials, though it did not necessarily imply the larger degree of local participation in government that the decentralists wanted.
In the years following the formation of the Ottoman Union, and particularly after the Hamidian police clamped down on the opposition in İstanbul, many Young Turks left the country, while others tried to extend the underground İstanbul organization to the provinces. Exiles from the founding group of the Ottoman Union set up the branches in Europe and Cairo. Inside the empire, revolutionary ideas spread as students with Young Turk leanings graduated from military and professional schools in İstanbul and were appointed to the provinces. Meanwhile, the government exiled cohorts of suspected students, officers, and officials to distant provinces, particularly the Hijaz, Baghdad, Syria, and Tripoli (Libya), where they propagated similar propaganda. The capitals of most of these provinces were headquarters for major army units, among which Young Turk propaganda spread quickly, owing to the influence of sympathetic officers.
The activities of Young Turks elsewhere were followed closely by the population in the Arab provinces. The first (but abortive) attempt of the Young Turks in Europe to convene a congress (in Brindisi in 1899) caused great excitement in these provinces, according to a report of Amin al-Antaki. Terakki (Progress), published in Paris by Sabahaddin, was read in Baghdad in 1906. The Muslim youth of Beirut had established contacts with the reformers and students of Damascus. In the North African province of Tripoli, the Young Turks carried out effective propaganda among the military and civilian personnel. When in 1897 the government uncovered yet another revolutionary plot in İstanbul and banished seventy-eight young men (mostly students of professional schools, including at least two Arabs) to Tripoli, many of these managed to escape from their captivity, no doubt with the disguised cooperation of the local authorities.
In the decade between 1895 and 1905 exiles formed at least three revolutionary Young Turk organizations in the Arab provinces. Particularly in Syria, there was interested awareness of Young Turk activities in Europe, Egypt, and İstanbul, and the province became a major center for the CUP. Already in 1895 a government functionary removed to Syria because of his subversive activity, Sharaf al-Din Maghmumi, set up a network of CUP branches with the active support of the officers of the Fifth Army stationed in Damascus and other government functionaries. In 1897 the Committee’s organization was elaborate and its following substantial enough in Syria that the European headquarters considered launching an antiregime insurgence there. Before long, however, the inevitable crackdown came and resulted in the arrest and dispersal of the CUP members. Nevertheless, Young Turk activity in Syria remained alive around Damascus as a result of the social dynamics that fostered anti-Hamidian, and therefore constitutionalist, activity, as investigated by David Commins.
The competition of a newly emerging landowning elite in Damascus for posts that traditionally belonged to ulema narrowed the opportunities for the lower ulema and led to an antiestablishment sociopolitical movement nourished by salafi modernism. Owing to its emphasis on reason and progress, this movement led by the ulema had particular appeal to the young generation of students attending modern Tanzimat schools. The guiding spirit of this “Islamic reformist” movement was Tahir al-Jaza’iri, who was known for his friendly relations with Midhat Pasha during the latter’s governorship in Syria. Abdülhamid was suspicious of al-Jaza’iri’s links with the Young Turks and dismissed him from his position as inspector of education.
An important component of the salafi ideology was the emphasis it placed on the role of Arabs in Islamic history. The youth of Damascus, while being educated in secular government schools and trained for positions in the Ottoman bureaucracy, also attended outside the classroom the salafi circle, where they were exposed to a religious rationalization of modern ideas, institutions, and technology and instilled with an ethnic consciousness. Arabism reinforced their receptivity of modern political and social ideas, which in turn prepared the ground for political identification with the Young Turks, who agitated to reform and change the political system they were trained to serve.
In 1895 three students from Tahir al-Jaza’iri’s entourage, Shukri al-‘Asali, Salim al-Jaza’iri, ‘Abd al-Wahab al-Inkilizi, and an Arab officer in Damascus, As‘ad Darwish, formed a political group and established contacts with Young Turk sympathizers in Damascus, including Bedri Bey and the director of education, Hüseyin Avni Bey. One year later these three students and other graduates of the new ‘Anbar secondary school in Damascus went to İstanbul for their studies, to be followed in a few years by another cohort.
Social tension existed in the Damascus high school between local students and the sons of upper-level bureaucrats, many of them non-Arab. Once in İstanbul, these tensions transformed themselves into social estrangement with ethnic overtones. In the capital there was general hostility between students from İstanbul and those from the provinces. Like their counterparts from the other provinces, many of the Arab students were from modest backgrounds. They resented the special treatment that the sons of high government officials received in the schools they attended. It was the policy of the Hamidian regime to accord privileged status to the sons of high military and civilian officeholders. The sons of the İstanbul officialdom were favored not only in admissions but also while enrolled. For instance, in the Harbiye (Military Academy) there were special classes for these fortunate sons, who not only received better meals and living quarters but also were often awarded promotions while still in school. The fact that the Arab students were separated by a linguistic barrier added to their sense of alienation.
Equally striking to the Syrian students must have been the special treatment that sons of tribal and religious leaders, mostly from the Arab provinces, received in government schools. In 1889 in the Harbiye and in 1896 in the Mülkiye special classes were opened for sons of Arab shaykhs. The privileged students were as a rule less qualified academically, if not intellectually, than the others. Abdülhamid’s aim in this policy was not so much to create an aristocratic officialdom as to reward loyal officials and dignitaries and to train the administrative and military cadres to be employed in distant tribal provinces. Nevertheless, the special arrangements in the schools increased the ordinary Arab students’ awareness of the socioeconomic discrepancies. The Young Turk opposition found adherents among these students of the higher schools, who also formed cultural organizations in İstanbul to promote their Arab heritage and to provide a support structure for the Arab student community.
Many of these young men were educated in the imperial schools of İstanbul and prepared to take responsible positions in the Ottoman state bureaucracy. The expansion of nonreligious state schools since the Tanzimat and the improvements in communications enabled youths in different parts of the empire to vie for positions in the imperial schools. In provincial centers, the new secondary government schools offered a modern curriculum and preparation for higher education in İstanbul, where they enhanced their proficiency in the Ottoman language and were cast as Ottomans with a future role in the state bureaucracy. These students were taught new subjects like economics and took lessons from foreign teachers. Thus, while the social and geographical base of the Ottoman bureaucracy gradually broadened, modern education trained a generation in tune with new global political and economic trends and sympathetic to liberal ideas.
In 1878 the Ottoman liberal movement was in disarray, having been deprived by Sultan Abdülhamid of constitutional-parliamentary institutions. All oppositional activity concentrated therefore on undermining Abdülhamid’s personal rule. With no united front against the autocrat, the movement suffered from a certain ideological impoverishment, disunity, parochialism, and even opportunism. If one can speak of a “vision” of the opposition during Abdülhamid’s reign, it consisted of no more than a restoration of constitutional monarchy where the sultan’s powers would be held in check. As Abdülhamid tried to consolidate his autocratic regime after 1878 and exploited his attri butes as caliph, the logical target of the opposition’s attack was his claim to the caliphate.
Christian Arabs contributed more to the resuscitation of the liberal movement that came to be known as the Young Turk movement than they did to the fostering of Arabism. Khalil Ghanem best represents those few among the Christian Arab opposition who adhered to the liberal ideals first articulated (albeit mostly in an Islamic idiom) by Young Ottomans. Ghanem was a Tanzimat bureaucrat who had identified with the Young Ottoman grievances. He was involved in the drafting of the constitution, distinguished himself as an opposition leader in the 1877–78 Parliament, and had been the only deputy in that Parliament to continue actively the struggle after it was closed down. Although a Christian, for a long time his vision of the Ottoman state was a liberal and Islamic one. Only at the end of his career and after a lifetime of opposition to an autocrat who he believed had exploited religion did he become critical of the sultanate as an institution and of Islam as its legitimating ideology.
By the end of the nineteenth century Arab political organizations were primarily interested in the unity of Syria within the Ottoman Empire. Until 1908 Arabs did not constitute a faction in themselves whose interests had to be accorded special consideration in any Young Turk program of action. Unlike the Armenians, and even the predominantly Muslim Albanians, who supported the decentralist movement led by Sabahaddin, the Arabs did not identify clearly with any one of the Young Turk trends. The Young Turk organization in Egypt, which was the branch of the Young Turks in closest contact with the Arab intellectual currents, tried to play an intermediary role between the two Young Turk factions to achieve unity against imperialism.
In the Arab provinces Young Turk ideas were propagated by young officials, officers, and exiles. In the İstanbul schools there were class-based tensions between the sons of the established bureaucratic or notable families and the provincial students of more modest backgrounds. There was little room for open political activity in the capital at the beginning of the century; but in general the younger generation of Arabs remained supportive of Young Turk ideals and of the movement that finally reinstituted the constitutional regime.
1. P. M. Holt, Egypt and Fertile Crescent, 1516–1922: A Political History (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1966), 67. [BACK]
2. Hourani, “Ottoman Reform,” 47–50. [BACK]
3. The word Tanzimat has come to denote a vaguely delimited period in Ottoman history characterized by these changes, generally accepted to span from 1839 to 1876. [BACK]
4. Halil İnalcık, “The Application of the Tanzimat and its Social Effects,” Archivum Ottomanicum 5 (1973): 127. [BACK]
5. Ibid., 110. [BACK]
6. As regional autonomies were eliminated, the Tanzimat leaders intended to prevent the newly appointed governors from acquiring excessive powers and setting down roots in the provinces. See Moshe Ma’oz, “The Impact of Modernization on Syrian Politics and Society during the Early Tanzimat Period,” in William R. Polk and Richard L. Chambers, Beginnings of Modernization in the Middle East: The Nineteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), 335–42. [BACK]
7. Joseph S. Szyliowicz, “Changes in the Recruitment Patterns and Career Lines of Ottoman Provincial Administrators during the Nineteenth Century,” in Studies on Palestine during the Ottoman Period, ed. Moshe Ma’oz (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1975), 264–65. [BACK]
8. Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), 375. [BACK]
9. Âli Pasha, the strongest of Tanzimat statesmen and long-time grand vizier (prime minister), was the son of a shopkeeper in İstanbul. As a child he attended the local religious school but was unable to complete it because he had to take a job to support the family as a scribe. Meanwhile, he learned some French from a Greek physician. His familiarity with French and his diligence at his job helped him to attract the attention of his superiors and to enter the Translation Bureau. İbrahim Alaettin Gövsa, Türk Meşhurları Ansiklopedisi (Ankara: Yedigün Neşriyat, n.d.), 34; İnönü Ansiklopedisi (Ankara: Maarif Matbaası, 1948), 2:92; Abdurrahman Şeref, Tarih Musahebeleri (İstanbul: Matbaa-ı Âmire, 1923), 88. [BACK]
10. Stanford J. Shaw, “Some Aspects of the Aims and Achievements of the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Reformers,” in Polk and Chambers, 37. [BACK]
11. İsmail Hami Danişmend, İzahlı Osmanlı Tarihi Kronolojisi (İstanbul: Türkiye Yayınevi, 1961), 4:528. İlber Ortaylı argues that the Turkish element started to become ascendant in the administration in the eighteenth century. See İmparatorluğun En Uzun Yüzyılı (İstanbul: Hil, 1987), 58. [BACK]
12. Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 9. [BACK]
13. Hourani, “Ottoman Background,” 10; Sir Hamilton Gibb and Harold Bowen, Islamic Society and the West (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), (pt. 2): 83, 100. [BACK]
14. See Butrus Abu Manneh, “The Islamic Roots of the Gülhane Rescript,” Die Welt des Islams 34 (1994). One âlim who kept pace with the transformation of the Ottoman institutions was the father of Sati‘ al-Husri, famous as the ideologue of twentieth-century pan-Arabism. Muhammad Hilal al-Husri, a native of Aleppo, was a graduate of al-Azhar and served for several years as kadı (judge) in Aleppo. He later passed the necessary examinations to serve in the new courts and was appointed to various posts in Arab as well as Anatolian provinces. In Husri’s home, in keeping with the tradition of Ottoman bureaucrats, the language spoken was Ottoman. See Cleveland, Sati‘ al-Husri, 12–15. [BACK]
15. Confronted with the problem of distinguishing Arabs from Turks in her study of the Arab graduates of the Mülkiye (Civil Service School), Corinne Blake used “self-definition,” i.e., in which country an individual (or if already deceased, his family) chose to live after World War I. “Training Arab-Ottoman Bureaucrats: Syrian Graduates of the Mülkiye Mektebi, 1890–1920,” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1991), 291. [BACK]
16. Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot, A Short History of Modern Egypt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 53. [BACK]
17. Engin Akarlı, “The Problems of External Pressures, Power Struggles, and Budgetary Deficits in Ottoman Politics under Abdulhamid II, 1876–1909: Origins and Solutions” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1976), 20–21. [BACK]
18. Land grants for service in the cavalry and administration. According to Norman Itzkowitz, in the fourteenth century “most of the high ranking positions in the state were concentrated” in the hands of tımar holders. See Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), 15. [BACK]
19. The second Ottoman method of elite formation, based on the levy of boys from newly conquered Christian territories (devşirme), did not apply to the Arab areas. [BACK]
20. Roderic Davison, Reform in the Ottoman Empire, 1856–1876 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1963), 228–30. [BACK]
21. Alexander Schölch, “Ein Palästinischer Repräsentant der Tanzimat-Periode: Yusuf Diya’addin al-Halidi (1842–1906),” Der Islam 57 (1980): 311–21. [BACK]
22. His father was an officer in Muhammad ‘Ali’s service. At sixteen Raşid went to Paris for his studies and subsequently found employment in the Translation Bureau in İstanbul. See Max L. Gross, “Ottoman Rule in the Province of Damascus, 1860–1909” (Ph.D. diss., Georgetown University, 1979), 119–25. [BACK]
23. Schölch, 314. [BACK]
24. Zirikli, Khayr al-Din, Al-a‘lam: qamus tarajim li ashhar al-rijal wa al-nisa’ min al-‘arab wa al-musta‘ribin wa al-mustashriqin (Cairo, 1954–1959), 2:362. [BACK]
25. Filip de Tarazi, Tarikh al-sihafa al-‘arabiyya (Beirut: Al-Matba‘a al-Adabiyya, 1913), 2:269. [BACK]
26. Şerif Mardin, The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1962), 105, 115, 134. [BACK]
27. Hourani, Arabic Thought, 67. [BACK]
28. Ibid., 149–92. [BACK]
29. Antonius, 47–54. [BACK]
30. Hourani, Arabic Thought, 101. Butrus Abu Manneh convincingly argues that Bustani was an Arabist culturally but a committed Ottomanist politically. “The Christians Between Ottomanism and Syrian Nationalism: The Ideas of Butrus al-Bustani,” IJMES 11 (1980): 293–97. [BACK]
31. Tibawi, 11; Tibi, 104. [BACK]
32. Hourani, “Ottoman Reform,” 61. [BACK]
33. Mumtaz Ayoub Fargo, “Arab-Turkish Relations from the Emergence of Arab Nationalism to the Arab Revolt, 1848–1916” (Ph.D. diss., University of Utah, 1969), 86. The Tanzimat governments made special provisions for schools opened in the Arab provinces. In 1867 the literary Arabic that was taught to all students in the teacher’s school in İstanbul (founded in 1847) was deemed insufficient for the purposes of instructors going to the Arab provinces. As an experiment, the Ministry of Education proposed to send ten students to Aleppo and Damascus to gain practice in colloquial Arabic. The Council of State recommended instead that ten Arab students be recruited from Syria to attend the school. Further, the council suggested that conversational Arabic be offered in the teacher’s school, to be taught by Hamid al-‘Alusi of Baghdad, who was presently at the Mülkiye. Osman Ergin, Türk Maarif Tarihi (İstanbul: Eser, 1977), 2:573. [BACK]
34. Enver Ziya Karal, Osmanlı Tarihi (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1962), 8:497. [BACK]
35. Niyazi Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey (Montreal: McGill University, 1964), 221; Lewis, 339. [BACK]
36. See I. E. Petrosyan, “On the Motive Forces of the Reformist and Constitutionalist Movement in the Ottoman Empire,” in Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont and Paul Dumont, eds., Economie et sociétés dans l’empire ottoman (Paris: CNRS, 1983), 13–24. [BACK]
37. Robert Devereux, The First Ottoman Constitutional Period (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1963), 123. Devereux’s book is the most comprehensive existing account of the 1877–78 Parliament. [BACK]
38. Ibid., 124; see also Hasan Kayalı, “Elections and the Electoral Process in the Ottoman Empire, 1877–1919,” IJMES 27 (1995): 266–71. [BACK]
39. The parliamentary records as they were made public in the official government paper, Takvim-i Vekai, were not only edited but also censored. They were collected in Hakkı Tarık Us, ed., Meclis-i Mebusan, 1293–1877, 2 vols. (İstanbul: Vakit, 1940 and 1954). [BACK]
40. According to Kemal Karpat, the debates “provided a unique insight into the philosophical-ideological orientation of the Empire’s newest social group, the middle class.” “The Ottoman Parliament of 1877 and Its Social Significance,” in Actes du 1er congrès des études balkaniques et sud-est européennes (Sofia, 1969), 247. [BACK]
41. Parliament was composed of a Chamber of Deputies (meclis-i mebusan) and a Senate, or Chamber of Notables (meclis-i ayan). [BACK]
42. One hundred and nineteen in the first session; 113 in the second. [BACK]
43. Devereux, 140–41. These statistics are based on the 1877 salname (official yearbook). [BACK]
44. These disparities can be explained by the degree of politicization in the various provinces. In determining the size of contingents, İstanbul seems to have taken into consideration the interest evinced for constitutional government in (or on behalf of ) the various provinces as well. This is particularly obvious in the case of the European provinces, most of which were highly overrepresented. [BACK]
45. ‘Abd al-Rahim Badran, an Arab deputy from Syria, mentions in a speech that he is originally from the ethnically mixed Diyarbakır; but he is an Arab. There is no indication that any of the deputies from the two areas with Arab “minority” populations, Adana and Diyarbakır, were of Arab descent. [BACK]
46. Manuk Karaja of Aleppo was Armenian. [BACK]
47. Henceforth, the word Chamber will refer to the Chamber of Deputies, the elected lower house. [BACK]
48. In the selection of the one candidate to which the independent sancak of Jerusalem was entitled, for instance, Ziya al-Khalidi’s rival was a member from the other prestigious family of the town, the Husaynis, known for their conservatism. Schölch, 315. [BACK]
49. He expressed his objection to the clause in the internal regulations stipulating that the presidents of the arbitrarily divided groups in Parliament be the oldest member in each group. He went on to suggest that group membership should be functional rather than arbitrary, and that each deputy should be active in a group in line with his professional qualifications. [BACK]
50. Us, 1:26. I/3 (first term, third sitting), 23 March 1877. [BACK]
51. Ibid., 1:37. I/5, 25 March 1877. [BACK]
52. Ibid., 2:349. II/25, 8 February 1878. [BACK]
53. Devereux, 182. [BACK]
54. Us, 2:24–25. “Preliminary meeting,” 17 December 1877. (The second session started officially on 31 December 1877.) [BACK]
55. Ibid., 2:68. II/4, 3 January 1878. [BACK]
56. Ibid., 2:184. II/14, 23 January 1878; Devereux, 215. [BACK]
57. Us, 2:187. II/14, 22 January 1878. [BACK]
58. Ibid., 2:30–31. II/1, 31 December 1877. [BACK]
59. Ibid., 2:86. II/5, 5 January 1878. [BACK]
60. Ibid., 1:29. I/3, 23 March 1877. [BACK]
61. During the deliberations on the draft of a press law, he proposed to replace the stipulation of one to three years’ imprisonment for press items prejudicial to the sultan’s rights and privileges with three to fifteen years’. Ibid., 1:236. I/28, 12 May 1877. [BACK]
62. Ibid., 2:209. II/16, 24 January 1878. [BACK]
63. For instance, in denouncing the declaration of war by Russia (Ibid., 1:173–84. I/21 and I/22, 25–26 April 1877); on elections for administrative councils (1:72. I/10, 1 April 1877); on the government policy in regard to printing presses (1:201. I/24, 7 May 1877); on tax reform (2:235–36. II/18, 28 January 1878). [BACK]
64. Tibawi, 150. [BACK]
65. Particularly Ahmad and ‘Abdullah in the first session. See Us, 1:117. I/15, 16 April 1877; 1:178. I/21, 25 April 1877; 1:201. I/24, 7 May 1877; 1:275. I/34, 22 May 1877; 1:318. I/41, 31 May 1877. [BACK]
66. Ibid., 1:390. I/54, 21 June 1877. [BACK]
67. Ibid., 1:344. I/46, 9 June 1877; 1:380. I/51, 16 June 1877. [BACK]
68. Ibid., 1:363. I/49, 13 June 1877. [BACK]
69. Most deputies represented landowning families and must have been concerned about issues of security pertaining to their social class. Ibid., 2:112. II/8, 10 January 1878. [BACK]
70. Ibid., 2:132. II/9, 12 January 1878; 2:252. II/19, 29 January 1878; 2:266. II/20, 30 January 1878; 2:410. II/24, 6 February 1878. For an account of the development of Beirut in this period, see Leila T. Fawaz, Merchants and Migrants in Nineteenth-Century Beirut (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983). [BACK]
71. Devereux, 247; Us, 2:410. [BACK]
72. Us, 2:411. One of the five, Manuk Karaja, an Armenian Christian, was not an Arab, though he probably was Arabophone. [BACK]
73. Butrus Abu Manneh, “Sultan Abdulhamid II and Shaikh Abulhuda al-Sayyadi,” Middle Eastern Studies 15 (1979): 137. [BACK]
74. Us, 2:222–23. II/17, 26 January 1878. [BACK]
75. Fritz Steppat, “Eine Bewegung unter den Notabeln Syriens, 1877–78,” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, supplementa I, 17 (1969): 634. (See p. 33.) [BACK]
76. Tarık Zafer Tunaya, Türkiye’nin Siyasi Hayatında Batılılaşma Hareketleri (İstanbul: Yedigün, 1960), 45. [BACK]
77. Devereux, 240; Mümtaz Soysal, 100 Soruda Anayasa’nın Anlamı (İstanbul: Gerçek, 1969), 28. [BACK]
78. S. Tufan Buzpınar, “Abdulhamid II, Islam and the Arabs: The Cases of Syria and the Hijaz (1878–1882)” (Ph.D. diss., University of Manchester, 1991), 314–15. [BACK]
79. Moshe Ma’oz, Ottoman Reform in Syria and Palestine, 1840–1861 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), 35. [BACK]
80. Fuad Pasha, one of the Tanzimat’s three leading statesmen, together with Mustafa Reşid Pasha (whose protégé he was) and Âli Pasha, served as governor of Syria after the civil war of 1860 in Mount Lebanon and Damascus. (See Gross, 31.) Cevdet Pasha, historian, jurist, and reformer, was entrusted with the application of the 1864 Provincial Law in the newly created province of Aleppo. In 1869 Midhat Pasha was sent to Iraq with the same purpose. Serasker and Minister of the Navy Namık Pasha, Grand Vizier Kıbrıslı Mehmed Emin Pasha, Grand Vizier Mehmed Kamil Pasha, and Foreign Minister Mehmed Reşid Pasha, the friend of the Khalidi family, had careers during the Tanzimat period as governors in the provinces of Greater Syria. (See Stanford J. Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, vol. 2, Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808–1975 [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977], 64–66, 164, 506; Ma’oz, “Impact of Modernization,” 355; Tibawi, 139.) [BACK]
81. Shaw and Shaw, 85; Ma’oz, Ottoman Reform, 45–57. [BACK]
82. Ma’oz, Ottoman Reform, 81–86. [BACK]
83. Ma’oz, “Impact of Modernization,” 343. [BACK]
84. Holt, 253. [BACK]
85. Karal, 331. [BACK]
86. Britain concluded agreements with the Sultan of Oman in 1891 and the shaykh of Kuwait in 1899, supported in Najd ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Sa‘ud against the İstanbul-backed Rashidi family, and established friendly relations with the Zaydi imam of Yemen. (See Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Türk İnkilabı Tarihi [Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1983], 1:133–36, 147–49). For an extensive account of the British presence in the Persian Gulf, see Briton Cooper Busch, Britain and the Persian Gulf (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967). As Feroz Ahmad argues, the informal British agreement with Shaykh Mubarak of Kuwait was not recognized internationally. See “A Note on the International Status of Kuwait before November 1914,” IJMES 24 (1992): 181–85. [BACK]
87. Colmar Freiherrn von der Goltz, “Stärke und Schwäche des türkischen Reiches,” Deutsche Rundschau, 93 (1897), 114–16; Antonius, 78. [BACK]
88. Von der Goltz, 109. [BACK]
89. Antonius, 79. See, for instance, Shimon Shamir, “Midhat Pasha and Anti-Turkish Agitation in Syria,” Middle Eastern Studies 10 (1974). [BACK]
90. Antonius, 86. See also Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 52; Steppat, 637–40. [BACK]
91. Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 54. [BACK]
92. Tibawi disagrees with Antonius’s claim that these placards were written and distributed by the Christians and that they had a revolutionary aim. (Tibawi, 166). [BACK]
93. Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 53. [BACK]
94. Jacob M. Landau, “An Arab Anti-Turk Handbill, 1881,” Turcica 9 (1977): 215–27. [BACK]
95. John Dickson’s dispatch to the Foreign Office, quoted in Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 58. [BACK]
96. Shamir, 124. [BACK]
97. Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 54. [BACK]
98. Tibawi, 159, quotes PRO. FO 78/1389. J. Skene to P. Alison (31 July 1858); also Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 59. The consul mentioned that “[t]he Mussulman population of northern Syria hope for a separation from the Ottoman Empire and the formation of a new Arabian state under the sovereignty of the sharif of Mecca.” [BACK]
99. The handbill examined by Landau had made its way to European consulates in Algeria, Khartoum, and Baghdad. As Landau surmises, this did not signify a widespread movement but an attempt to recruit [Europe’s] support. [BACK]
100. Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 53. [BACK]
101. Khoury, 23–30. [BACK]
102. Ibid., 47. [BACK]
103. Karal, 332. [BACK]
104. Butrus Abu Manneh, “The Rise of the Sanjak of Jerusalem in the Late Nineteenth Century,” in The Palestinians and the Middle East Conflict, ed. Gabriel Ben-Dor (Ramat Gan, 1978), 26. [BACK]
105. Khoury, 51. [BACK]
106. Berkes, 263; Buzpınar, 31–32. [BACK]
107. “Arap milletinden neşet etmiş bir milletiz.” [BACK]
108. Us, 2:210. II/16, 24 January 1878. [BACK]
109. Hourani, Arabic Thought, 139. [BACK]
110. Ibid., 269. [BACK]
111. Sylvia G. Haim, ed., Arab Nationalism: An Anthology (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), 27; Tibawi, 184; Hourani, Arabic Thought, 272. [BACK]
112. Dawn, Ottomanism, 135–41. [BACK]
113. Berkes, 314–15; David Kushner, The Rise of Turkish Nationalism, 1876–1908 (London: Frank Cass, 1977), 27–30. [BACK]
114. A. D. Jeltyakov [Zheltiakov], Türkiye’nin Sosyo-Politik ve Kültürel Hayatında Basın (1729–1908 Yılları) (İstanbul [?]: Hürriyet, n.d.), 70–71. [BACK]
115. Ercümend Kuran, “The Impact of Nationalism on the Turkish Elite in the Nineteenth Century,” in Polk and Chambers, 114. [BACK]
116. Abu Manneh, “Sayyadi,” 148. Most literary activity occurred in Egypt and was carried out by Syrian immigrants who fled censorship. [BACK]
117. Karal, 543; Shaw and Shaw, 260. [BACK]
118. In 1900 the Turcologist Necib Asım wrote, “We must…turn first, like the Arabs, the French, and all European nations, to our own ‘mother tongue.’ ” Kushner, 44. [BACK]
119. Yusuf Akçura, Üç Tarz-ı Siyaset (İstanbul: Matbaa-ı Kader, 1327 ) (first published in 1904 in the newspaper Türk in serialized form); Berkes, 322; E. Kuran, 116. [BACK]
120. Hourani, Arabic Thought, 278–79. [BACK]
121. However, the expressions Young Ottoman and Young Turk are used here too, as well as in established scholarship, to refer to the two distinct periods of the opposition movement. See also Karal, 511, for a discussion on the use of these terms and Karl Blind, “The Prorogued Turkish Parliament,” North American Review 175 (1902): 42. [BACK]
122. One such attempt took the life of its principal perpetrator, Ali Suavi, who had been one of the leading Young Ottomans. See Mardin, Genesis, 360–84. Another member of the early circle, Ali Şefkati, barely saved his life after a second aborted attempt and fled to Geneva. Ahmed Bedevi Kuran, İnkılap Tarihimiz ve Jön Türkler (İstanbul: Tan, 1945), 18–23. [BACK]
123. On the pan-Islamic thrust of this journal, see Jacob M. Landau, The Politics of Pan-Islam (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 60–62. [BACK]
124. M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, The Young Turks in Opposition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 41–42. This is a revised translation of Hanioğlu’s Osmanlı İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti ve Jön Türklük, 1889–1902 (İstanbul: İletişim, 1986). The author also discusses Arabs in the liberal movement in his “The Young Turks and the Arabs before the Revolution of 1908,” in Khalidi et al., 31–49. See also A. B. Kuran, Jön Türkler, 24. [BACK]
125. Caesar Farah, “Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Syria and Egypt,” in Nationalism in a Non-National State, ed. William Haddad and William Ochsenwald (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1977), 161. [BACK]
126. Tarazi, 2:264. [BACK]
127. Farah, 161; Zirikli, 6:115. [BACK]
128. Tarazi, 2:250–53; Hourani, Arabic Thought, 269. For a retrospective accusation of these intellectuals, who explicitly or implicitly upheld Arab-Islamic ideas, for having exploited national feeling to further their personal interests, see Muhammad Jamil Bayhum, Qawafil al-‘urubba wa mawakibuha khilal al-‘usur (Beirut: Matba‘a Kashaf, 1950), (pt. 2): 19. Sabunji also published a journal called Al-ittihad al-‘arabi (Arab Unity). [BACK]
129. Tarazi, 2:270–71. [BACK]
130. Şerif Mardin, Jön Türklerin Siyasi Fikirleri, 1895–1908 (Ankara, 1964), 17; Karl Blind, “Young Turkey,” Fortnightly Review 66 (1896): 835. [BACK]
131. Mardin mentions, however, that Ghanem was in charge of the French bulletin La France Internationale, which was published in France with funding from Abdülhamid (Jön Türklerin, 17). [BACK]
132. Hourani, Arabic Thought, 264. [BACK]
133. See his memoirs, Ahmed Rıza Bey’in Anıları (İstanbul: Arba, 1988), 10. Ahmed Rıza was the leader of the procentralization faction of the Young Turks. His ideological influence in the 1908 Revolution was paramount, but after 1908 he was phased out of positions of power in the government and in the CUP. [BACK]
134. Berkes, 307; Karal, 527. [BACK]
135. E. E. Ramsaur, The Young Turks: Prelude to the Revolution of 1908 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957), 24, 37, 52. [BACK]
136. Kuran, Jön Türkler, 29; Erik Jan Zürcher, The Unionist Factor: The Role of the Committee of Union and Progress in the Turkish National Movement (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1984), 16. [BACK]
137. Mehmed Murad Bey was better known as Mizancı Murad because he edited a paper called Mizan (Balance). [BACK]
138. In 1897 Faris capitulated to Hamidian enticement to accept the concession for the water supply of the city of Beirut and abandoned opposition temporarily. See Hanioğlu, Young Turks in Opposition, 43–44. [BACK]
139. Mardin, Jön Türklerin, 18; Hanioğlu, Young Turks in Opposition, 45–46. [BACK]
140. Hanioğlu, İttihad ve Terakki, 105–8. [BACK]
141. Abu Manneh, “Sayyadi,” 145–46. [BACK]
142. Abu Manneh, “Christians,” 299. [BACK]
143. Rıza refrained from a closer cooperation with Faris, possibly because he viewed the latter’s Parti Constitutionnel to be too Syria-centered to further the broader aims of the Union and Progress Society. [BACK]
144. Sina Akşin, 100 Soruda Jön Türkler ve İttihat ve Terakki (İstanbul: Gerçek, 1980), 28. [BACK]
145. Hans Kohn, Western Civilization in the Near East (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936), 264; Elie Kedourie, “The Impact of the Young Turk Revolution on the Arabic-Speaking Provinces of the Ottoman Empire,” in Arabic Political Memoirs and Other Studies, by E. Kedourie (London: Frank Cass, 1974), 125–26. [BACK]
146. Mardin, Jön Türklerin, 91. [BACK]
147. Ibid., 18–20. [BACK]
148. Ghanem said: “We Arabs know that if [the Franks (al-afranj )] enter our country, in a couple of years our territories will be in their hands; and they will rule it [ yatasarrafuna] as they wish. As for Turks, they believe in our religion and are acquainted with our customs. In their four centuries [ajyal ] of rule they did not take an inch of our property to their possession. They left to the inhabitants their land, their property, their industry, and their commerce. The Arabs have benefitted from the trade of the Turks and from our uninterrupted bond. Would it be right for us to replace them with someone else?…It is only those who want to curry favor with the ruler who accuse the Muslims with the [wish to] establish an Arab state and the Christians with conspiring with the foreign ers.…The Arab intellectuals and notables have no wish for their umma to live other than within the domain of Ottoman interests.” Al-mu’tamar al-‘arabi al-awwal (Cairo: al-Matba‘a al-Salafiyya, 1913), 61; Bayhum, 19. [BACK]
149. Karal, 517. [BACK]
150. Ramsaur, 81–90; Lewis, 201. [BACK]
151. Blind, “Turkish Parliament,” 42; Ramsaur, 68. [BACK]
152. Ramsaur, 125. [BACK]
153. These included the aforementioned Tunisian reformer Khayr al-Din Pasha (grand vizier) and al-Qudsi (second secretary) as well as ‘Izzat al-‘Abid (later second secretary), Abulhuda al-Sayyadi (Aleppine Sufi propagandist), Muhammad Zafir (Tunisian Islamic propagandist), and Najib Malhama. See Karal, 544–45; Landau, Pan-Islam, 70–71; and Engin Akarlı, “Abdülhamid II’s Attempt to Integrate Arabs into the Ottoman System,” in Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political, Social, and Economic Transformation, ed. David Kushner (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 1986), 77–78. [BACK]
154. The sultan employed Christian Arabs in his service (rather than members of the less-trusted Christian groups) to demonstrate that he did not forsake the empire’s non-Muslim population. [BACK]
155. İbrahim Temo, İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyetinin Teşekkülü ve Hidemat-ı Vataniye ve İnkilab-ı Milliye Dair Hatıratım (Mecidiye, 1939), 151. The brother of Najib, Salim, was minister of the mines. See Akarlı, “Abdülhamid II’s Attempt,” 78. [BACK]
156. Those whose property had been confiscated because of their refusal to abandon their damaging antigovernment publications and to return to the empire included the names of Salim Sarkis and Najib Hindi, a Chaldean from Syria. (A. B. Kuran, Jön Türkler, 148.) Others like Faris, Sabunji, and Muwaylihi were rewarded with government posts and economic concessions for leaving the ranks of the opposition. See also M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Doktor Abdullah Cevdet ve Dönemi (İstanbul: Üçdal, n.d. ), 210. [BACK]
157. Ibid., 210. [BACK]
158. Tarık Zafer Tunaya, Türkiye’de Siyasi Partiler, 1859–1952 (İstanbul, 1952), 109; Temo, 45; Kuran, Jön Türkler, 31. According to Kuran, he was known as “Arap Ahmedi” in İstanbul. [BACK]
159. Ahmed Bedevi Kuran, İnkılap Tarihimiz ve İttihat ve Terakki (İstanbul: Tan, 1948), 160. [BACK]
160. Ibid., 62. [BACK]
161. Temo, 51. [BACK]
162. This group survived a crackdown by the Hamidian police in 1907. In 1909, when they graduated from the War Academy soon after the abortive counterrevolution in April (see chapter 2), they were arrested for their sympathies for Prince Sabahaddin. Several of them escaped from İstanbul to go to Morocco and accepted duties as officers in the Moroccan army. Of ten officers whose names are cited, three were from Arab provinces: Ramzi and Hilmi from Damascus and Mahmud Nadim from Tripoli. See Kuran, Jön Türkler, 221–31, 282–85. [BACK]
163. Hourani, Arabic Thought, 205. [BACK]
164. See Mardin, Jön Türklerin, 59–65; A. B. Kuran, İttihat ve Terakki, 158, on fluctuations in the khedivial policy vis-à-vis the Young Turks. The Prince Sabahaddin group contacted the khedive in 1902 to seek his assistance for an attempt to dethrone Abdülhamid. ‘Abbas Hilmi received the plan favorably, but it did not materialize for other reasons. See Kuran, Jön Türkler, 160. [BACK]
165. Rıza, 19; Kuran, İttihat ve Terakki, 136–37, 204–5, 215–17; M. Hanefi Bostan, Said Halim Paşa (İstanbul: İrfan Yayınevi, 1992), 21–26. [BACK]
166. Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 50–51; Hanioğlu, Abdullah Cevdet, 54. [BACK]
167. Hanioğlu, Abdullah Cevdet, 134–42. [BACK]
168. Wajih Kawtharani, Al-ittijahat al-ijtima‘iyya al-siyasiyya fi jabal lubnan wa al-mashraq al-‘arabi, 1860–1920 (Beirut: Ma‘had al-Inma’ al-‘Arabi, 1978), 163. [BACK]
169. Zeine, Arab Nationalism, 50–51. [BACK]
170. A. B. Kuran, İttihat ve Terakki, 216. [BACK]
171. Akşin, 53. [BACK]
172. A. B. Kuran, İttihat ve Terakki, 131, 186. [BACK]
173. Kawtharani, 152; Mustafa al-Shihabi, Muhadarat fi al-isti‘mar (Cairo: Matba‘a Nahda, 1957), 37. [BACK]
174. For an account of this deportation, see Ali Fahri, Emel Yolunda (İstanbul: Müşterek el Menfaa Osmanlı Şirketi Matbaası, 1328 ). [BACK]
175. Zürcher, 19, cites the following organizations: Medeniyet-i İslamiye Cemiyeti of Rodoslu Süleyman in Syria, the Arabian Revolutionary Committee of Kuşçubaşı Eşref in the Hijaz, and Vatan Cemiyeti of Mustafa (Cantekin) in Damascus. See also Kuran, Jön Türkler, 32. [BACK]
176. Hanioğlu, “Young Turks and Arabs,” 38. Maghmumi became one of the key figures in the early Unionist movement in Europe. See also Hanioğlu, Young Turks in Opposition, 106–9. [BACK]
177. See David Commins, “Religious Reformers and Arabists in Damascus, 1885–1914,” IJMES, 18 (1986): 405–25, and Islamic Reform: Politics and Change in Late Ottoman Syria (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). [BACK]
178. Commins, “Religious Reformers,” 410; Mustafa al-Shihabi, Muhadarat ‘an al-qawmiyya al-‘arabiyya (Cairo [?]: al-Jami‘a al-‘Arabiyya, 1959), 50. [BACK]
179. Al-Shihabi, Muhadarat fi al-isti‘mar (Cairo, 1957), 2:36; Commins, Islamic Reform, 93. Bedri Bey, a teacher at the military school, was appointed governor of Monastir after the 1908 Revolution. See Muhammad Sa‘id al-Bani, Tanwir al-basa’ir bi sirah al-shaykh tahir ([Damascus]: Matba‘a al-hukuma al-‘arabiyya al-suriyya, 1920), 127–28. [BACK]
180. Commins, “Religious Reformers,” 411, quoting Fakhri al-Barudi, Mudhakkirat al-barudi (Beirut: 1951–52), 1:29–32. [BACK]
181. İbrahim Temo, an Albanian student at the medical school and one of the founders of the Ottoman Union, reports a particular exchange of blows that ended in the imprisonment of the winners, the provincial contingent. Temo, 12. [BACK]
182. Although many of the Arab students were from prominent families, they were from the less well off branches of these families. See Commins, “Religious Reformers,” 412; Khoury, 68. [BACK]
183. Mardin, Jön Türklerin, 40. [BACK]
184. Ergin, 3:892–94. [BACK]
185. Ali Çankaya, Mülkiye Tarihi ve Mülkiyeliler (Ankara: Örnek, 1954), 356–57. [BACK]
186. Ibid., 3:892. [BACK]
187. Ergin, 2:617. [BACK]
188. Also, an Aşiret Mektebi (Tribal School) was established with this purpose in 1892. Karal, 401. On Abdülhamid’s personal relationship with Arab chiefs, see Akarlı, “Abdülhamid II’s Attempt,” 81, 86. [BACK]
189. Hourani, Arabic Thought, 264–65, 275. [BACK]