Turkistan Newsletter (ISSN: 1386-6265) Vol. 97-1:18a, 2 July 1997. Pp. 3-16
KOPRULU/VELES (YUGOSLAVIA) OTTOMAN GARRISON'S RESPONSE TO THE 1909 RECIDIVIST UPRISING IN ISTANBUL
H. B. Paksoy
Omer Seyfettin (1884-1920) recorded his observations during April 1909 when the news of Irtica (recidivist) uprising in Istanbul reached the town of Koprulu--situated along the Vardar river. At the time, Seyfettin was serving there in the Ottoman garrison as an Army Officer.
Students of the medrese (theological-scholastic school) and their supporters in Istanbul staged what has been termed Irtica, a religious "movement" opposing the Ottoman Constitutionalism.
The Constitution was initially enacted after the Tanzimat ("reordering" 1839-1876). The scholasticists first demanded the abolition of everything "not in conformity with Shari'a" (canonical law); Later, massacred a portion of Ottoman troops loyal to their officers who, in turn, were in favor of Constitutionalism.
The "Action Army" [Hareket Ordusu], an armed force virtually self-organized by the army officers serving in the western garrisons of the Ottoman empire (in a manner, foreshadowing the 1918 German Freicorps?), decisively suppressed the Irtica of 1909. Among the officers of this force were graduates of the Ottoman Military Academy such as Omer Seyfettin, Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk] (1881-1938), Kazim Karabekir (1882-1948) and Enver Bey (1881-1922).  Enver rose through the Ottoman ranks rather rapidly. Following the deposition of Sultan Abdulhamid II (r. 1876-1909) and suppression of the Irtica, Enver served in Germany as military attache (1909-1911). He later married into the Ottoman ruling family and became a "Son-in-law" (damat, a highly sought after "relationship" by some officers) to the Ottoman Court. Those combined experiences and positions allowed Enver, along with Jemal and Talat of the Union and Progress Party, to form the ruling (and, ultimately losing) triumvirate in the Ottoman Empire. Enver later attempted to lead another movement and died in what is today Tajikistan.
Enver was operating in Central Asia, entirely contrary to his past record, under religious titles ("son-in-law to the Caliph," etc), attempting to use religion for political ends. Meanwhile, his cohorts, such as Mustafa Kemal, Ismet Inonu (1884- 1973) and Kazim Karabekir, conducted the Turkish War of Liberation 1919-1924, culminating in the establishment of the secular Turkish Republic in Asia Minor. Seyfettin resigned his army commission shortly after his service in the Hareket Ordusu to devote his time to writing, but was mobilized during the 1911 Balkan war. After spending a year as a prisoner of war in Greece, he was exchanged, and discharged from the army. As a civilian and a celebrated author by the beginning of the First World War, Seyfettin died of diabetes at the age of 36 in 1920 before observing the establishment of the TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly) and the Turkish Republic. His writings certainly contributed to and influenced the outcome.
OTTOMAN "REORDERING" (1839) AND THE SOVIET "PERESTROIKA" (1980s)
It could be observed that there are remarkable similarities between the Tanzimat, "reordering" period of the Mahmut II (r. 1808-1839) of the Ottoman empire and that of the Soviet Perestroika "restructuring" attempts of Gorbachev and company. The similitude goes far beyond the labels. Both occurrences were the culmination of efforts to save those empires from imminent collapse. In either case, the primary impetus was supplied from the outside of both states, in collaboration of the "minorities" living within the borders of these empires. On the surface, the reasons were the "integrity" and salvation of both empires, the Ottoman, and the reincarnated Russian under the "soviet" rubric. Underneath, a series of economic, cultural, social and political issues prevailed.
The Ottoman empire constituted the centerpiece of the Eastern Question, which itself was a part of the Great Game in Asia. But the resemblances cannot be pressed too far. As far as the "Eastern Question" was concerned, the tsarist Russian empire expected to be a beneficiary, even instigator, of the proposed dissolution of the Ottoman empire. Tsar Nicholas I (r. 1825-1855) used the term "sick man of Europe" while referring to the Ottoman empire, and was seeking to secure territorial gains in the Middle East at the expense of the Ottomans. The ostensible Russian reason was to "protect" the Holy Land. Simultaneously, the French and British were already on the ground, in the same territories coveted by the tsarist policy makers. The Ottoman defensive preparations to resist the continuing tsarist incursions and invasions, which systematically absorbed Ottoman lands in favor of Russia since Catherine II (r. 1762-1796), was a primary drain on the Ottoman state finances. Similar drains on Soviet/Russian finances as a result of the Cold War could construe yet another parallel.
The tsarists (as their Soviets successors) expected to profit from the control the Straits, Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, connecting the Black Sea and Mediterranean via the Sea of Marmara, as well as the territories in the Caucasus and further south. One of the Russian objectives was to gain access to the Mediterranean, to join --or spoil-- the British and French activities. Aware of the tsarist aims, and under pressure from the western European states, the Ottoman ruler Mahmut II (r. 1808-1839) and a new generation of his administrators, set about "revitalizing" the Ottoman empire through Tanzimat. As Mahmut II, his immediate successors and the new Ottoman bureaucracy began to effect their "reorderings," the minorities of the empire gained privileges such as special courts, protection and exemptions; all beyond the reach of the Ottoman sovereignty. The net result was effective discrimination against the Turkish population in favor of the non-Turks in the empire. The minorities of the Ottoman empire, receiving generous political, educational, monetary and spiritual aid from various outside entities, including the Russians, began to seek political and economic autonomy or outright independence.
Both the Ottoman and the Tsarist Russian empires were multi- ethnic states. In the Ottoman empire, various ethnic groups, each officially designated millet (nation), lived side-by-side with each other; often in the same villages. By the 19th century all ethnic groups were organized according to their religion, with every millet having an independent internal administrative hierarchy, primarily composed of the clerics of each. For example, there were Catholic millet (nation), members of which exclusively belonged to that church. On the other hand, the Catholic French millet, for example, was separate from the Catholic Russian millet. For that matter, any ethnicity could have more than one millet, so long as they adhered to different religions or sects.
Thus, the "Narod" subdivisions of the Soviet Union by Lenin and Stalin periods seems to have been copied from the Ottoman practice. While the Ottomans created the millet system in response to the external pressures, to grant minorities extraordinary privileges, the "national in form but socialist in content" nationalities policy of the Soviets was undertaken for preemptive purposes, to thwart just such western pressures. In most cases, the Soviet "narod" system was used within the USSR in reverse of the Ottoman empire model; in the Soviet case, to suppress the non-Russians educationally, culturally and economically. Moreover, the Soviet leadership intended to use the "narod" mechanism and groupings for "export," of the "socialist revolution."
Towards the end of the 19th century, the Ottoman Tanzimat reformers also subscribed to the "Ottoman Citizen" idea, perhaps influenced by the ideas of the 1789 French evolution, and began propagating it widely. Accordingly, every person resident of the Ottoman empire, regardless of birth, national origin, religion, or any other unique attributes, was a citizen of the Ottoman empire and enjoyed equal rights under the law. This was a bureaucratic attempt to create a unity within the Ottoman empire, to mollify the pressure received from outside powers, and to prevent a dissolution. The post 1917 "Soviet man" doctrine seems to be a duplication of the "Ottoman citizen" idea. Thereby, every citizen of the USSR regardless of national origin, ethnicity or any other attributes, and often against the interests of all, was to serve the Communist Party of the USSR regardless of individual personal cost.
The Irtica incident of 1909 took place towards the end of Ottoman "reordering" period, as a reaction against it. Even here one may view the 1991 coup attempt in Moscow in the shadow of Ottoman "reordering," Soviet "perestroika" and the 1909 dogmatic Irtica reaction. Whilst the 1991 Coup Attempt in Moscow unravelled before the full force of international media, with active TV cameras and satellite links, the 1909 Irtica had no such coverage. Hence the contribution by Seyfettin to our understanding of broader issues.
Seyfettin kept a diary during his active service in the army. Later he drew upon that collection to write various short stories for publication. However, the primary merit of this piece is not literary but historical. It is a non-fictional, first hand account of an educated observer and participant. Shortly after the action of the narrative, Seyfettin's military unit was incorporated into the Action Army and marched on to Istanbul, to suppress the Irtica.
Immediately after the arrival and initial circulation in Koprulu of the news of Irtica uprising, Seyfettin begins collecting his own thoughts, concerning the instigators and participants of the Irtica. He leaves the restaurant where he dined and first heard of the developments. The date is 1 April 1325/1909. His punctuation and sentence structure is maintained throughout.
IRTICA HABERI (NEWS OF THE RECIDIVIST UPRISING)
Alone, I began walking through the deserted streets. The public clock chimed. I passed the fountain. At the Grand Poplar Square, as usual, the dogs began barking. The night watchman was sitting at the opposite corner, in front of a shop- bench, presenting a mass of shifting shadows under the dark, star-lit sky; his cigarette occasionally glowing brighter, like an orphaned fire-fly in his last throes, as he puffed on it. I was passing the cemetery. I recalled how, with due ceremony, we had buried those killed five months ago by the adherents of Irtica and the religious bigotry. Still the murderers and instigators have not been punished. They may even be pardoned altogether.
Was this the land of justice, which did not touch Kor Ali, but instead patted him on the back? Those who had turned the capital city (Istanbul) upside down, and directly, deliberately and clearly attacked the Constitutional Order would come to no harm. Alas!!.. Poor Remzi. I wonder if your soul, extinguished by that agitation, at the height of your youth and hope, sees the principal elements of that disgusting crowd now spilling blood in Istanbul? Or... I walked slowly. The lantern across the entrance-way to the cemetery was unlit. Mute headstones stood in gloomy silence as if they were thoughtfully preoccupied with the vagaries of life. I kept walking slowly.
The Vardar was flowing below, as it has done since the days of the unknown centuries past, with historical sanctity that could not be created anew or perverted. It was crying on the water-mill walls, its splashing sounds sending shivers into this mournful night.
I was approaching the barracks. Deserted iron-smith shops of the gypsies displayed a strange life. Frail lights were radiating through the cracks of their shutters. Tomorrow is Friday... Each one of these shop-owners had placed a lit candle on their anvils, honoring the souls of their ancestors!....
I reached the sleeping quarters. The lamp on the table was turned down, the (Company Commander) Captain was under his red quilt, xixman Galip in his corner bed; the Officer of the Day, in his appointed bed. All asleep. I awakened them and gave them the news. With the induced excitement, I even slightly exaggerated. Even then, they did not think it important. It has not been an hour. As I write this, they are sleeping peacefully. However, I.... My nerves are so taut, I do not think I can fall asleep tonight. Only the Captain, who has been in favor of writing Albanian in the Latin script, said carelessly:
-- "Damn these hojas. Are not they the ones who thwarted our alphabet, too?"
Officer of the Day, Husnu, remained silent.
xixman Galip, after foully cursing:
-- "Those bigots.... All of them ought to be cut to pieces."
He closed his eyes. He now sleeps.
However, my poor notebook, I found and dragged you from under my books. You were idle for the past six months. Possibly, more important events will occur that I will commit to you. I entrust to your neutral white pages those thoughts of mine which I cannot confide to even the youngest and most progressive friends for fear of being "misunderstood." Hundreds of your pages are filled. I read you in order to prompt myself into action. As long as I live, you are going to be my companion. If, after I die, you fall into the hands of a bigot, not finding me to insult or accuse me of blasphemy, perhaps he will tear you to shreds instead!... It is past midnight. I am going to bed. We shall see what the morning will bring.
I had just gone to bed and had not yet fallen asleep. The door opened. Cavalry Captain Arif Bey entered. He is a plump, always cheerful, joking friend. He addresses everyone with "Hayatim" [My Life, darling]. Thus he acquired the nickname "Hayatim." He walked toward my bed, and with an excited voice:
-- "Rise, Hayatim, quickly" he said. "Officers are convening at the club. There will be discussion; get dressed. Awaken the others. I am on my way to wake the Cavalry."
I got up immediately, and awakened the others. Galip could not get up. Together with the Officer of the Day, we went to the Headquarters of the Fifth Cavalry Company. Along with all other present officers, we then went down to the club. The club is closed in the evenings, but now its elegant and distinguished main room was brightly illuminated. In the game room, past the entrance on the left, the Commanding General was standing, and his Chief of Staff was decoding a cipher. There were twenty officers present in the room. They were talking to each other, and Sultan Abdulhamid's name was being frequently mentioned through clenched teeth. I understood that in the morning there will be a public meeting, protests will be issued, the Reserve Battalion mobilized, volunteers from among the local Christian population will be accepted.
We conferred... Hours passed. We were waiting for the dawn. Nobody thought of sleeping. The door opened. Akil and the municipal doctor arrived. They drank tea. Akil had not slept either, and wrote a speech at the post office for the Postmaster to read at the public meeting. Slowly, the officers began to arrive. The Commanding General went upstairs. Along with the Cavalry Regiment commander, the commander of our battalion, Staff Officer Mufit Bey arrived. Mufit Bey started the discussion. He is high strung, but an unhesitating and a man of initiative. He directly accused Sultan:
-- "Friends!" he began. "You may rest assured that this unbearable attack on Constitutionalism and the hopes of the people is emanating from Sultan Abulhamid! Do not seek another criminal, another murderer! Constitutionalism is his death, he cannot live without causing cruelty, death, or spilling of blood and tears. He will wither away."
He continued vehemently. The Commanding General, who had not ventured outside Istanbul until he reached the rank of Colonel, was undoubtedly reminiscing his past days of calm and obedience at the Capital. Mufit Bey provoked the young officers, who lost their powers of judgement in their grief and anger: "Let us demand dethronement. This time our action should be final and decisive!" Meanwhile the General was becoming annoyed and thinking of ways to calm down the stirrings with some miraculous intervention to restore the usual decorum.
After Mufit Bey completed his oration, Akil and the doctor --because they were civilians-- got up and left. Short but vehement arguments were heard. The General was advocating calm and quiet, stating "the devil intervenes in hasty business."
It was decided that the Cavalry Regiment Commander Hasan Bey, who had played an important role during the July Revolution, would give an address on behalf of the soldiers. Everyone dispersed. Perhaps many went to play cards. I came to the garden of the Yeni Hotel. There I found Akil. Together we went to the telegraph office. The Postmaster was reviewing his speech, in order to deliver it well, and asked for clarifications from Akil of portions he could not read. The clerks were busily working at the telegraph room. I was sitting by the window. The girls of the house across the way were talking to each other under the rising sun and the pleasantly cool air; they were also stopping other girls who were passing by. Undoubtedly, they could not understand the cause of the excitement in progress since last night. However, from their appearance, it was clear that they could sense that something was unusual.
Two of them had tied to their hair those white and red things which we called "freedom ribbon." They were talking, even giggling and looking at me with provocative glances as if to say "We wonder what happened." A telegrapher entered the room.
-- "The meeting has begun."
The Postmaster worried that we were late. Rising quickly we descended the steep hill with a some intensity. In front of the Serbian school, the Postmaster said:
-- "I must down two cognacs in order to read it well!"
He left us, turning the corner of the Merkez Hotel. We proceeded slowly towards the Government Square.
The small and untidy square was completely full. We crossed the bridge with difficulty, stopping at the very back of the crowd. The Prefecture Clerk, a young man, had mounted a chair by the column near the entrance of the government building.
He was reading a paper which he held in his hand, shouting at the top of his lungs, damning despotism. After him, a young and affable lawyer took over the podium. He spoke a rather long time. Occasionally he consulted a paper which he took out of his pocket. At inappropriate times, as when the word "despotism" mentioned, he was met by applause.
Some of the people were clapping their hands to insult and malign. Speakers followed one another. A Bulgarian with dark glasses took his turn. Next was a teacher wearing a hat... They spoke long and exaggeratedly. I could only understand the word "Carigrat" in their speeches, which means Istanbul. Later, the Prefect [Kaymakam] went on. He began to speak extemporaneously. With the provincial Rumeli accent, screaming rather preciously, to the effect that religion, sects, gender had no relation to government. "Governments are not constituted for religion, sects, gender, but on the basis of interest," he repeated without hesitation that "governments exist on interest rather than on religion or tribe." He was applauded justly. Aged (Ottoman) gendarme troopers were observing this eloquence of their Prefect with a chuckle from the windows of their station house.
The windows of the Society of Union and Progress District Central Bureau were closed. From the medrese rooms next door, old and young hojas, men with turbans, were observing this crowd with distraught faces and conspicuously not joining in the applause. The sun grew hotter. From the rear, a boy selling gazoz was attempting to push his cart into the middle of the crowd. A buggy driver, to hear the speeches better, was trying to drive his horses further on. The humorlessness of those turbaned heads looking from the medrese windows reminded me of a literary memory. Ten years ago, when I was intending to explore Pierre Loti, I had read Ayzade. In it, there are a few pages devoted to the first Constitutionalism of the Ottomans. A rainy day is depicted. Reportedly, guns were fired in salute at Beyazit Square in Istanbul. Loti had entered an old Turkish coffee house. The turban wearing old men sitting inside made fun of Mithat Pasha's Kanuni Esasi [1876 Constitution], laughed at the gun salute and calmly puffed on their cubuks [clay pipes].... Perhaps it is an illusory effect.... However, I saw in those turbaned men, looking on from the medrese room, the same contempt and animosity toward Constitutionalism. Does not history show us that it was the clerics who opposed all forms of freedom, and in the end were defeated?
After the Prefect, the Cavalry Regiment Commander Hasan Bey rose. He was a little halting and formal, wearing white gloves.
He rested on his sword and every now and then repeating, in his address, "gentlemen." He spoke more freely than the Prefect: "Although this government is composed of Turks, all peoples of this country, like Albanians, Arabs, Bulgars, Greeks, in short, all elements are working together to extend and advance the base on which it rests... The country belongs to all elements." He even said "Our homeland, gentlemen, occupies a place that extends from Bagdad to Vienna. In those places, lay the bones of our ancestors. We need endeavor gradually to return to these locales. To accomplish that, we must have Constitutionalism and equality...."
A few others rose. The sun's heat began to burn. I said to Arif: "Let us go." We left, made our way through the crowd.
The Kucuk Bridge was relatively deserted. We crossed. I left him to return to the barracks alone. Because the guard stations along the railroad are going to be pulled back, possibly our battalion will be ordered into action. I arrived at the barracks. No one was in the room. All were sitting outside. A special train is said to be arriving from Skopje. There is a monastery here [in Koprulu]. This was their at-home day... I wrote the observations of the day indoors. I will now join the others outside and watch the parade of the pilgrims (visiting the monastery?). The weather is so hot, so hot that I cannot sit with my tunic on.
Today is Friday... Volunteers are arriving. The Reserve Battalion is mobilizing. There is unprecedented activity. All of my companions in the battalion anticipate our deployment. All of our troops wore white kulah [cap]. We distributed white puttees from the depot. The officers will also wear the white kulah. Our cariks [footwear] have been oiled. I collected my books and papers and placed them in the big strongbox. I kept out a change of underwear and clothes for the suitcase. I will leave my dear dog Koton who had not left my side for the past five years, to the veterinarian Mazlum Bey. I am completely ready. The battalion imam [prayer leader], returning from the Friday prayers, gave an important piece of news. At the mosque, during the recitation of the hutbe [prayer] Sultan Hamid's name was not mentioned. This was according to the muftu's order. From now on, Abdulhamid's name is not to be mentioned in the hutbes...  This peculiar order led me to think. I thought that, at this moment, in Istanbul, all of the viziers, field marshals, divisional generals, generals, aides, soldiers are performing the selamlik duty to him [Abdulhamid II], to this sinister and obdurate power over our homeland for thirty-two years; yet they obsequiously worship him, the abominable scarlet and inextinguishable shadow of God....
The ensuing events were gradually detailed in print. One of the best sources is S. S. Aydemir, who in his Tek Adam [Mustafa Kemal]; Ikinci Adam [Ismet Inonu] and Makedonya'dan Orta Asya'ya Enver Pasa provides the details of what happened next.
1. See Sina Aksin, 31 Mart Olayi (Ankara, 1970); Ernest E. Ramsaur, The Young Turks: Prelude to Revolution of 1908 Beirut, 1965).
2. Perhaps can be extended to the early 20th century, encompassing the period under consideration. Stanford J. Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge University Press, 1977). Volume II.
3. H. B. Paksoy, "US and Bolshevik Relations with the TBMM Government: The First Contacts, 1919-1921." The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies No. 12 (1994). Pp. 211-251.
4. Erik Jan Zurcher, The Unionist Factor: The Role of the Committee of Union and Progress in the Turkish National Movement, 1905-1926 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1984).
5. H. B. Paksoy, "The 'Basmachi'" (Turkistan National Liberation Movement 1916-1930s) Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and Soviet Union [MERRSU] (Florida: Academic International Press, 1991) Vol. IV. Pp. 5-20; Feridun Kandemir, Enver Pasa'nin Son Gunleri (Istanbul, 1943).
6. G. L. Lewis, Turkey (London, 1965); B. Lewis, Emergence of Modern Turkey (Oxford, 1976).
7. H. B. Paksoy, "Nationality and Religion: Three Observations from Omer Seyfettin." Central Asian Survey (Oxford) Vol. 3, N. 3, 1985.
8. H. B. Paksoy, "Nationality or Religion? Views of Central Asian Islam" AACAR Bulletin (of the Association for the Advancement of Central Asian Research) Vol. VIII, No. 2; Fall 1995. Translation in Central Asia and the Gulf. Masayuki Yamauchi, Ed. (Tokyo: Asahi Selected Series, 1995). Pp. 17-67 and notes: 1-15.
9. This was not the first Ottoman attempt. Earlier, Selim III (r. 1789-1807) sought to effect a revitalization plan, but was thwarted and later deposed by the reactionary elements --similar to those of the Irtica of 1909-- in the Ottoman empire. The entrenched vested interests resisted the loss of their privileges. See Shaw and Shaw.
10. Apart from the Religious Boards, originally established under Catherine II, again for "control" purposes. See H. B. Paksoy, "Kirim Tatarlari" Belgelerle Turk Tarihi Dergisi Sayi 72, Subat 1991.
11. Richard Pipes, The Formation of the Soviet Union (Harvard, 1970). Second Printing; R. W. Seton-Watson, Disraeli, Gladstone and the Eastern Question. A Study in Diplomacy and Party Politics. (London, 1935); H. Seton-Watson, From Lenin to Malenkov. (New York, 1954); idem, The Russian Empire, 1801-1917 (Oxford, 1967).
12. This standard "Ottomanist" argument was repeated by many Ottoman authors, and explained by Seyfettin in his published works; although he was unmercifully critical. That formulation of "citizenship" was later adopted by the Bolsheviks and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. See H. B. Paksoy, "Turk Tarihi, Toplumlarin Mayasi, Uygarlik" Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies (Tokyo) No. 7, 1992. Pp. 173- 220. [Reprinted in Yeni Forum (Ankara), Vol. 13, No. 277, Haziran 1992. Pp. 54-65]; Davis S. Thomas "Yusuf Akcura's Uc Tarz-i Siyaset" Central Asian Monuments, H. B. Paksoy, Editor (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1992); reprinted in Central Asia Reader: The Rediscovery of History H. B. Paksoy, Editor, (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1994).
13. One may also include the umma (community of believers) created by the prophet Muhammad in this category.
14. At this point, the dissimilarities become apparent once again: The Coup attempt of 1991 was plotted by Russian military and security men, and had to be put down by other military units loyal to Mr. Yeltsin. The estimated cost of suppressing the coup somehow equalled the US aid (said to be $1.5 billion) Mr. Yeltsin received from Mr. Clinton at the Vancouver summit shortly before the Tula division surrounded the Russian White House in Moscow. Therefore, perhaps the US taxpayers even subsidized the suppression and the Russian "transition to democracy."
15. If rediscovered, these notebooks would undoubtedly constitute a valuable historical source. An annotated list is in Tahir Alangu Omer Seyfettin (Istanbul, 1968) Pp. 130-140, including the piece translated below.
16. During this period, the calendar in use within the Ottoman empire was "Mali," the "day of year" portion of which had been officially adjusted on 1 March 1917 to coincide with the Gregorian style by the Istanbul Government. The TBMM Government completed the transition by additional measures in 1925 and 1935.
Most sources dating from the period under discussion generally do not mention the basic form (Mali or Gregorian) of their chronology, and on occasion provide an "hybrid" form of "dating" (which may have been instituted by later date publishers). For the desired degree of conversion precision, concerning specific dates, one may consult F. R. Unat, Hicri Tarihleri Miladi Tarihe Cevirme Kilavuzu (Ankara, 1974).
17. In this context, a sweeping statement that includes the medrese students as well as all other moslem clerics.
18. Proverb: "Acele ise seytan karisir."
19. Rumeli refers to the European portion of the Ottoman Empire. However, to the Central Asians, anything west of the Caspian sea was "rumi." See Kashgarli Mahmud, Divan Lugat it-Turk (DLT), completed during the 11th c. This unique MS was discovered during the First World War in Istanbul, and the Editio Princeps was made by Kilisli Rifat (Istanbul, 1917-1919). Three vols. translated by R. Dankoff with J. Kelly as Compendium of Turkic Dialects (Cambridge, MA., 1982-85). 3 Vols.
20. Later to become the Committee of Union and Progress, evolving into the ruling political party. See, among others, M. Sukru Hanioglu, Bir Siyasal Orgut olarak 'Osmanli Ittihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti' ve 'Jon Turkluk' 1889-1902 (Vol I) (Istanbul, 1985); Masami Arai, Turkish Nationalism in the Young Turk Era (Leiden, 1991); T. Z. Tunaya Turkiyede Siyasi Partiler, 1859-1952 (Istanbul, 1952); Serif Mardin, Jon Turklerin Siyasi Fikirleri, 1895-1908 (Ankara, 1964); Ramsaur volume cited above; Feroz Ahmad, The Young Turks: The Committee of Union and Progress in Turkish Politics, 1908-1914 (Oxford, 1969); and the Zurcher volume cited above.
21. From the French term gazeux; sweetened carbonated water, sold in capped glass bottles. Precursor to present-day colas.
22. Where the central administration building of the Istanbul University is now located.
23. Ottoman Prime Minister of the time. See Shaw and Shaw.
24. Tobacco smoking pipe with a clay bowl and long --3ft. (one meter) plus-- rose-wood shank and bit.
25. Seyfettin uses papazlar-priests; indicating he is making a universal reference to unbending religious dogmatism.
26. A rather "optimistic" or exaggerated allusion to the extant borders of the Ottoman empire.
27. Conical headgear, with some religious connotation, at the time usually worn in preparation for combat.
28. One-size-fits-all adjustable sandals, made of Rawhide, usually worn over wool socks.
29. It was customary to cite the ruler on the throne, to wish him well, long life, etc. in the weekly hutbe. The fact that the ruler's name is excluded is tantamount to withdrawing public legitimacy of the Sultan, if not outright rebellion against him.
30. In the Ottoman empire, there were also "civilian generals," who were primarily high ranking civil servants.
31. The public procession of the Ottoman Sultan to a mosque at noon on Fridays.
32. Among his subjects, Abdulhamid's nickname was "kizil," referring to the nature and results of his absolute rule.
33. S. S. Aydemir, Tek Adam. (Istanbul, 1963-1965). 3 Vols; idem, Ikinci Adam [Ismet Inonu] (Istanbul, 1966-1969) 3 Vols; idem, Makedonyadan Orta Asyaya Enver Pasa (Istanbul, 1970-1972) 3 Vols. Several printings of each work were made.