The Young Turks

The Committee of Union and Progress in Turkish Politics, 1908-14

December 2009 9781850659105 244pp
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This book, first published in 1973, was regarded on publication as the definitive study of the ‘Young Turks’, or Committee of Union and Progress, the name given to a group of Turkish army officers who sought to reform the Ottoman Empire and who in 1908 led a constitutional revolution against Sultan Ahmed Hamid II. The author also discusses the counter-revolution of 1909 and the emergence of the ‘Group of Saviour officers’ who formed a cabinet determined to destroy the Young Turks.  With the rout of the Ottoman armies in the First Balkan War and the loss of Macedonia, the Unionists, led by the charismatic Enver Bey, carried out a coup on 23 January 1913 and regained power. Thereafter they pursued a more moderate and conciliatory policy abandoning the idea of ‘union’. The book concludes by examining the impact of territorial losses and of six years of revolution and war on the Ottoman state and society.


‘It is a fascinating story of political conflict investigated and skillfully narrated by Ahmad. His book will be the standard work on the crisis of legitimacy that characterized much of the Young Turk period.’ — C.H. Dodd, SOAS Bulletin

‘This outstanding study of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) during 1908–14, based on Turkish and Western sources, is a significant contribution to the literature of the Young Turk Movement… The author has demonstrated a profound knowledge of Turkish politics and his scholarship is meticulous.’ — The American Historical Review


Professor Feroz Ahmad teaches at Yeditepe University, Istanbul. His publications include The Turkish Experiment in Democracy 1950-1975(Hurst), as well as numerous articles on late Ottoman and Turkish history and politics.

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