No appreciation for the early history of the Turkish Republic can begin without a proper understanding of the origins, desires, and tribulations of the Young Turks. Their era by no means constituted a mere placeholder or prologue to the dramatic events that occurred thereafter. Turkey, as it came to be defined philosophically, was the unintended offspring of this movement. The most profound attributes of Atatürk’s state, its thirst for radical social change, its predilection for chauvinistic nationalism, and its oligarchic structure, descended directly from the Committee of Union and Progress’ approach towards politics. Ultimately, their displacement from the imperial stage allowed for Mustafa Kemal to rise to prominence and paved the way for an altogether new regime.
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