The strong connection between the Itihàts (conspirators) and Masonry is a well-documented fact. The leftist Turkish writer, Kamouran Mberik Xartboutlou, in his book, The Turkish Impasse ( from the Greek translation of the French publication of 1974. p.24), wrote: "Those who desired entry into the inner circle of that secret organization [the Itihàt], had to be a Mason, and had to have the backing of a large segment of the commercial class." The true nature of the relationship between the Young Turks and the Masonic lodges of Thessaloniki has been commented upon by many researchers and writers. In her well-known and extensively documented book, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements (London. 1928, p. 284), author and historian Nesta Webster writes that "The Young Turk movement began in the Masonic lodges of Thessaloniki under the direct supervision of the Grand Orient Lodge of Italy, which later shared in the success of Mustapha Kemal."
Of course, the precise nature of this relationship is clouded in mystery, but enough facts exist allowing for more than just informed conjecture based on circumstantial evidence. An example of the Itihàt-Masonic connection is the interview that Young Turk, Refik Bey, gave to the Paris newspaper Le Temps, on the 20th of August 1908: "It's true that we receive support from Freemasonry and especially from Italian Masonry. The two Italian lodges [of Thessaloniki] -- Macedonia Risorta and Labor et Lux -- have provided invaluable services and have been a refuge for us. We meet there as fellow Masons, because it is a fact that many of us are Masons, but more importantly we meet so that we can better organize ourselves."
'The Young Turks: Who Were They?'
The decision to carry out a genocide against the Armenian people was made by the political party in power in the Ottoman Empire. This was the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (or Ittihad ve Terakki Jemiyeti), popularly known as the Young Turks. Three figures from the CUP controlled the government; Mehmet Talaat, Minister of the Interior in 1915 and Grand Vizier (Prime Minister) in 1917; Ismail Enver, Minister of War; Ahmed Jemal, Minister of the Marine and Military Governor of Syria. This Young Turk triumvirate relied on other members of the CUP appointed to high government posts and assigned to military commands to carry out the Armenian Genocide.
'Who was responsible for the Armenian Genocide?'
U.S. State Department
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005
- restrictions on political activity
- unlawful killings
- torture, beatings, and other abuses of persons by security forces
- poor prison conditions
- arbitrary detention
- impunity and corruption
- lengthy pretrial detention
- excessively long trials
- restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association
- restrictions on religious freedom
- violence and discrimination against women
- child abuse
- child marriage
- trafficking in persons
- restrictions on worker's rights
- child labor
A Turkish court, acting on a prosecutor's recommendation, on Wednesday ordered the blocking of access to the enormously popular free video-sharing Web site YouTube because it featured clips that allegedly insulted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state.
In Turkey, it is a crime punishable by imprisonment to denigrate "Turkishness" or Ataturk. The statute is sometimes used to prosecute people who criticize official government policy on a wide range of sensitive issues.
The Seattle Times, March 8, 2007
Asian Tribune: US Congressional Panel's Decision Shows Blatant Hypocrisy - 'It should be noted that the Ottoman Empire was a distant memory since 1908 after the Young Turks, run by the Freemasons, had taken effective control of the falling Caliphate' - 08/03/10
Reuters - Istanbul bombing raises security fears - 10/03/04