Committee of Union and Progress

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Committee of Union and Progress


(CUP; Turkish, Ittihad ve terakki), a political organization of Turkish bourgeois revolutionaries (the Young Turks). The Committee of Union and Progress emerged at the end of the 19th century as a secret organization with the immediate task of putting an end to the despotic regime of Sultan Abdul Hamid II and replacing it with a constitutional government. In July 1908 the group led an armed insurrection. However, after coming to power, the CUP reorganized as a political party and rapidly lost its old progressive features. Leaders of the Young Turks participated in crushing the peasant and worker movements and opposed the legitimate nationalist strivings of non-Turkish groups, facilitating the further enslavement of Turkey by imperialist powers. The dictatorial regime that they established differed from the regime of Abdul Hamid II only in its parliamentary facade and in the participation of the upper echelons of the Turkish intelligentsia in the bureaucracy; under the regime part of the Turkish bourgeoisie also began to participate in comprador trade.

Early in 1913 all power in the party and the country was seized by a triumvirate (Enver Pasha, Talaat Bey, and Jemal Pasha), making Turkey subordinate to German imperial interests and involving it in World War I in October 1914. During the war the CUP aroused the deep resentment of the popular masses as well as of the Turkish national bourgeoisie and the patriotic intelligentsia. After the military defeat of Turkey and the signing of the Mudros Armistice (1918) the Young Turk leaders escaped abroad and the CUP dissolved. During the Kemal Revolution some of its ex-leaders attempted to renew their political activity, but meeting with opposition from Kemal Ataturk, they began to prepare a coup d’etat. In 1926 this conspiracy against Ataturk was discovered, and four of the ex-leaders of the CUP (Nazim, Cavid, AbdulKadir, Kara Kemal) were sentenced to death by the Court of Independence in Ankara, and the CUP was condemned as a reactionary and antinational organization.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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