By Bedross Der Matossian

The Ottoman revolution of 1908 is a examine in contradictions—a confident manifestation of modernity meant to reinstate constitutional rule, but eventually a destructive occasion that shook the basic buildings of the empire, starting up ethnic, spiritual, and political conflicts. Shattered desires of Revolution considers this progressive occasion to inform the tales of 3 vital teams: Arabs, Armenians, and Jews. The revolution raised those teams' expectancies for brand new possibilities of inclusion and citizenship. yet as post-revolutionary festivities ended, those euphoric emotions quickly became to pessimism and a dramatic upward thrust in ethnic tensions.

The undoing of the progressive desires will be present in the very foundations of the revolution itself. Inherent ambiguities and contradictions within the revolution's ambitions and the reluctance of either the authors of the revolution and the empire's ethnic teams to come back to a compromise in regards to the new political framework of the empire finally proved untenable. The revolutionaries had by no means been wholeheartedly dedicated to constitutionalism, hence constitutionalism did not create a brand new figuring out of Ottoman citizenship, furnish equivalent rights to all electorate, and convey them below one roof in a legislative meeting. this present day because the heart East stories one other set of revolutions, those early classes of the Ottoman Empire, of unfulfilled expectancies and resulting discontent, nonetheless supply vital insights into the contradictions of desire and disillusion likely inherent in revolution.

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33 The sense of solidarity in diversity continued on Sunday, August 1, with a huge demonstration in Beirut’s Armenian Church, attended by the commander of the troops, army officers, and the military band. ”34 In Damascus, news of the reinstatement of the constitution arrived on July 24 and was received by the local population with skepticism. The D ­ amascenes, however, quickly “surrendered to the evidence of the fact. 36 T H E E U P H O R I A O F T H E R E V O L U T I O N 29 The festivities began on July 30, when the military (harbiye) students and about thirty army officers headed toward the house of the military commander and released Fuad Paşa, who had been imprisoned for seven years on the pretext that he was a political criminal.

Eventually, with the intervention of European Jewry, the prisoners were released and proclamations were obtained declaring their innocence. 76 In accordance with the intellectual stance of the Haskalah, it became imperative for European Jewry to solve the Jewish Eastern Question, using education as the means. 77 Though education became an important channel for the dissemination of progressive ideals, it also became a source of conflict between traditional and progressive elements. 78 Assisted by the Jewish Franco notable Abraham Camondo, Avigdor formed a temporal council (meclis-i cismani), of which Camondo was elected president.

13 In other words, the extensive participation of the nondominant groups in the revolutionary festivities demonstrated their loyalty to the new regime. As news about the proclamation of the constitution spread to the provinces, similar celebrations began to spring up outside Istanbul. As soon as freedom was declared, the people of Adana and Mersin began decorating all the streets 26 T H E E U P H O R I A O F T H E R E V O L U T I O N and houses there. 14 On August 2, 1908, a delegation of three hundred notables and dignitaries arrived in Mersin from Adana on a train decorated with the royal coat of arms and the imperial monogram (tuğra).

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