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See also a version of this paper delivered as a lecture, alkan_ottoman_reform_talk.

Mirrored from the author's site at

Ottoman Reform Movements and the Bahá'í Faith, 1860s-1920s

by Necati Alkan

published in Studies in Modern Religions: Religious Movements and the Babi-Bahá'í Faiths, ed. Moshe Sharon, pages 253-274
Leiden: Brill, 2004
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the Young Ottoman and Young Turk reform movements and the Bahá'ís that was established probably from the time of Bahá'u'lláh’s exile to Istanbul and Edirne and certainly from 1868 with Bahá'u'lláh’s banishment to Palestine. The emphasis of this article is not the convergence of ideas but the nature of the contacts and the impressions of the Young Ottomans and Young Turks of the Babis and Bahá'ís. Regarding the convergence of ideas, suffice it to say that Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu’l-Baha", his successor and authorised interpreter of his writings, have referred to topics such as ‘consultation,’ ‘liberty,’ ‘constitutional monarchy,’ and democracy’ which were also discussed among reformist intellectuals in the Ottoman Empire as well as in Persia.

See also a 2-page abstract, alkan_ottoman_reform_abstract.pdf. This paper was also delivered as a lecture in the University of Haifa "Lectures in Bahá'í Studies" series, 15 Jun 2004, online at

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