The 1908 Young Turk revolution, which restored the Ottoman constitution and brought to power the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) ushered in a new and paradoxical era of politics on the eve of World War I in the Ottoman Empire. On one hand, the CUP was the steward of liberalism, Ottomanism, and secular politics in the empire that sought to put an end to the political abuses of the Hamidian era. On the other, it promoted a brand of ethnic Turkish nationalism and is often remembered for its role in various acts of oppression during World War I that included the wholesale deportation and massacre of Ottoman Armenians and ruthless crackdowns on dissent in the Arab provinces. In this episode, Zach Foster considers the complex political dynamic between the CUP and the region of Greater Syria following 1908, focusing in particular on the degree to which the CUP succeeded in garnering the support of Arab politicians.
Zachary J. Foster is a Ph.D student in the Near East Studies Department at Princeton University, focusing on the modern Middle East
Alexander E. Balistreri is a Ph.D student in Near East Studies Department at Princeton University
Note for the listener: Although this podcast is based in part on primary source research, it is also a synthesis of publicly available information and draws extensively from the following works below, which are also mentioned during the course of the episode. For the purposes of academic citation, we encourage you to consult these works.
Yuval Ben-Bassat and Eyal Ginio (ed.), Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk rule (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011)
Philip Khoury, Urban Notables and Arab Nationalism: The Politics of Damascus, 1860-1920 (New York : Cambridge University Press, 1983).
Michelle U. Campos, Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians and Jews in early Twentieth-Centuy Palestine (Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2011).
Hasan Kayalı, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997).
Şükrü M. Hanioğlu, Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902-1908 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).