Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Greeks, and Jews of Aintab greeted the CUP's declaration of the Second Constitutional Era and the restoration of the Constitution and the Parliament on 24 July 1908 with excitement and much hope. Ahmed Necmeddin Bey, however, was among the few who did not share the mood and fervour of the crowds. That is why he was beaten and expelled from Aintab in less than a year. Ahmed Necmeddin Bey was the kaimakam (district governor) of Aintab in late July 1908. One day, however, he was beaten by a group of Turks and Armenians in Aintab; his clothes torn, he was dismissed from his post and finally expelled from the city. But what was the reason for this incident? Within the first year of the declaration of the Constitution, it was the most important event that occurred in the city. This particular incident calls for careful examination, for this significant event reflects how the Constitutional era and the new regime were perceived by Muslims and Armenians in Aintab on a local level. Additionally, it offers us some useful clues regarding how the CUP as a political organization and its policies were received on a local scale. By studying this case, it is also possible to see a clear example of how ordinary Ottoman citizens reacted towards the revival of the Constitution in the micro level.
Contact: Liz Flanagan
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