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Reconstituting sovereignty: the Young Turks’ efforts to secure external recognition and the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey, 1908 - 1923

Winrow, Marc Sinan (2020) Reconstituting sovereignty: the Young Turks’ efforts to secure external recognition and the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey, 1908 - 1923. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the question of how states, meaning organised political communities, were historically able to secure their sovereignty through gaining the recognition of other states. As sovereignty refers to the presence of a state’s authority, its existence is premised on states and other internal and external actors recognising claims to sovereignty. Therefore, states, such as the Ottoman Empire, which historically had a different understanding of legitimacy, faced challenges to their sovereignty following the emergence of new global understandings of sovereignty in the late nineteenth century. The Ottoman Empire was distinct in that it was the only Islamic state that was not subject to and was able to avoid completely falling under the influence of then-dominant European states. However, the Ottoman Empire still experienced European intervention and there was a desire to end forms of European extraterritorial jurisdiction. Ottoman elites, who were affiliated with the reformist Young Turks, sought to secure recognition of their state’s sovereignty by reconstituting it along novel international standards of legitimate statehood. These standards were based on the concepts of “civilised”, “militarist”, “popular” and “national” statehood, and were reinterpreted by the Young Turks in the course of their efforts to secure the recognition of European powers. These efforts included diplomacy with European powers, institutional reform and conceptual innovation. However, it also involved engaging in practices associated with sovereignty such as the control of territory. In all of these areas, the Young Turks reinterpreted aspects of the existing Ottoman legacy of statehood and international norms, to secure their claim to sovereignty. Therefore, the Ottoman state elites sought to convey an impression of governing a state that could be recognised as sovereign by other European powers. Ultimately, the remnants of the Young Turks, secured international recognition of their state, reconstituted as the nation-state of Turkey in 1923.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2020 Marc Sinan Winrow
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Dalacoura, Katerina
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/4121

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