Society of Union and Progress

Society of Union and Progress

War and genocide: Ottoman socialism's trial by fire

The Italo-Turkish war broke out on 29th September 1911, with the invasion of the Ottoman Empire’s Libyan territory; it was to last until October 1912. Italy, which had been preparing for war since the summer, was a latecomer in the race to divide up the planet, and with the number of places not already occupied by the other great powers running out, the Italian bourgeoisie's initial military hesitations soon melted away.

After the 1908 mutiny: mass strikes and the socialist movement

The event that bears the closest similarities to the 1908 revolt, is the Russian Revolution of 1905. The most obvious similarity is the fact that in both cases, faced with massive opposition, absolutist monarchies granted constitutional regimes and parliaments. The difference was that the Ottoman Meclis-i Mebusan was considerably stronger than the Russian Duma, and the Ottoman bourgeoisie was determined not to hand power back to the monarchy.

The rise of the Young Turks and the attitude of the Socialists

On 21st May 1889 five students at the Military Medicine University of Constantinople met in complete secrecy in order to do something about a matter they deemed extremely important. Their names were Ishak Sukuti, Ibrahim Temo, Abdullah Cevdet, Mehmed Resid and Hikmet Emin. They were not to be as successful at writing their names into the pages of history as they may have hoped when they met that day. Nevertheless, the tradition they started was to live on for a long time. For that day they laid the foundations of the Society of Union and Progress.

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