This translation of Paul Farkas’s account of the 1909 counterrevolution against the new constitutional government of the Ottoman Empire offers a new first-hand look at the events of April and March of that year.
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In 1908, a small military revolt in the Balkan provinces of the Ottoman Empire quickly turned into a rebellion and culminated in the restoration of constitutional rule by Sultan Abdulhamid. Palace Revolution and Counterrevolution in Turkey is a translation of Paul Farkas’s first-hand account of the attempted coup against the new constitutional government in 1909. Farkas, a Hungarian Jew, was travelling in the Balkans and the Middle East and only happened to be in Istanbul in March and April of 1909, when the counterrevolution broke out. Farkas clearly ascribes the blame for the counterrevolution to Sultan Abdulhamid, although modern scholars still debate today the actual level of his involvement. In this respect, the Farkas account is a valuable primary source for scholars of the second constitutional period.