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TAGS: Sultan Abdulhamid II; Young Turks
LOCATIONS: Israel; Palestine; Turkey
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Reform movements in turn-of-the-century Palestine and the influence of Abdu'l-Baha on his political milieu.
Mirrored with permission from

The Young Turks and the Bahá'ís in Palestine

by Necati Alkan

published in Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk Rule, ed. Eyal Ginio and Yuval Ben Bassat, pages 260-278
London: I.B. Tauris, 2011
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908-1909 was a turning point that opened up new prospects for Ottoman society and politics. It created a milieu in which new ideas could be shared in a relatively open manner. The case of the Baha’is in Palestine, even though they were seemingly a quantité négligeable among the religious communities, is a good example for the dissemination of reformist thoughts in that period. Based on unpublished letters of the Baha’i leader ‘Abdu’l-Baha (‘Abbas Effendi, 1844-1921) in Palestine written in Ottoman Turkish, this chapter deals with the post-Revolutionary relations between him and the Young Turk elite. The chapter discusses the significance of Palestine to the development of the Baha’i community, the contributions of ‘Abdu’l-Baha to the reform discourse in the Ottoman Empire, the tense relationship between ‘Abdu’l-Baha and Sultan Abdülhamid II, ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s previously unknown connections with some leading Young Turks, and the Baha’i leader’s attempt to infuse Baha’i thoughts into the CUP [Committee of Union and Progress]. The chapter is rounded up with an overview of the declining relationship between the CUP and ‘Abdu’l-Baha during World War I.
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