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Young Turks

The Young Turks were a Turkish nationalist reform party, officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), whose leaders led a rebellion against Sultan Abdul Hamid (whom they had officially deposed and exiled in 1909). They ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1908 until the end of World War I.

The CUP-led government was headed by Minister of the Interior, Mehmed Talaat (aka Talaat Pasha) (1874-1921), Minister of War Enver Pasha (1881-1922), and Minister of the Navy Ahmed Djemal (1872-1922). Their policies led Turkey to ally herself with the Central Powers during WWI as well as the Armenian and Hellenic Holocausts, the murder of about 2.5 million Christians, between 1915 and 1923. Armenian nationalists assassinated the exiled Talaat in Berlin and Djemal in Tbilisi, Georgia. Enver was killed in combat against the Red Army in Central Asia.

'Young Turks' has subsequently become a slang term for any group of young usurpers, although this is usually used facetiously (i.e. 'Ash were the young turks of the Britpop scene'). Political correctness and an increasing popular fascination with the Armenian Genocide has helped to cause this phrase to fall out of fashion.

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