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The Turkish Revolution exemplifies the rise of the nation-state and signified the complete destruction of the old order in the Middle East. The currents of thought and the political developments that rose to prominence in Turkey’s formation have had long-lasting implications. The entire once-Ottoman world has had to come to grips with nationalistic movements, democratization, and the relation between faith and state. The Young Turk movement provided a demonstration of what modern nationalism could accomplish, both in positive terms of inclusion and modernization and also in terms of ethnic and religious exclusion.

By the time World War I began in Europe, the Ottoman Empire was an antiquated and dying system. Though merely a shell of its former glory, the Empire was once a dynamic and powerful force. The center of imperial power was originally found in the Sultan, who ruled a centralized system. Merit systems proved beneficial to the entire government organism. The Empire’s economic strength came through control of Central Asian and Middle Eastern trade routes. The Sultan presided over an expansionistic Empire that required border growth in order to avoid stagnation.


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