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Between the Ottomans and the EntenteThe First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908-1925$
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Stacy D. Fahrenthold

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190872137

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190872137.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 April 2021

The Mahjar of the Young Turks, 1908–1916

The Mahjar of the Young Turks, 1908–1916

(p.31) 2 The Mahjar of the Young Turks, 1908–1916
Between the Ottomans and the Entente

Stacy D. Fahrenthold

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Ottoman Empire’s rediscovery of the Syrian mahjar after the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. The revolution toppled the Hamidian states and brought the constitutionalists to power in Istanbul. The new Committee of Union and Progress party saw in the Ottoman diasporas the opportunity to reclaim migrants through diplomacy, economic development, and repatriation. The Unionists cultivated Syrian, Armenian, and Turkish ethnic fraternal societies in the American mahjar, opening new Ottoman consulates in the Syrian and Lebanese communities, especially under Mundji Bey in New York City and Amin Arslan in Buenos Aires. Although Syrian clubs readily promoted Young Turk ideas to bring the ‘spirit of 1908’ to America, these clubs also transformed into spaces for substantive citizenship and critique. As the Ottoman Empire slid into a militarized Unionist government after 1909, the Syrian societies abroad formed the nuclei of the mahjar’s decentralist, reform, and Arabist political movements.

Keywords:   Ottoman Empire, Young Turks, Ottomanism, fraternal societies, Mundji Bey, Amin Arslan, unionism, decentralism, Arabism

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