Association for Defence of National Rights

Association of Defence of National Rights (Turkish: Müdafaa-i hukuk Cemiyeti) was a group of Ottoman associations established in 1919.

Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, the Ottoman army was disarmed according to the Armistice of Mudros. Although the Ottoman Empire had to agree to give up vast areas including most of Middle East, the Allies further retained the power of controlling what was left of the Ottoman Empire, namely Turkey. It soon became clear that the Allies were planning to allocate parts of Turkey to Armenia and Greece. Parenthetically southern Anatolia was put under French and Italian mandate.

The occupations, especially that of İzmir caused deep reactions among the Ottoman people. Several reactionary associations were formed simultaneously in different parts of Turkey. (See the list below) The former Committee of Union and Progress members who were the main opposition to the Ottoman government as well as the nationalistic soldiers and intellectuals were active in these associations and they were struggling by peaceful methods like protesting, meetings, publishing notices etc. But these methods were not effective to change the Allies policy.

During the Congress of Sivas held in September 1919 these associations were united to form a head organization under the name Anadolu ve Rumeli Müdafaa-i hukuk Cemiyeti ("Association for Anatolian and Thracen Defence of National Rights" ) It became the main political organization of Turkey up to the end of the Turkish War of Independence. Its chairman was Mustafa Kemal (later surnamed Atatürk) After the war and the Treaty of Lausanne, Atatürk proposed to change the name of the organization to People's Party on 7 September 1923, just one year after the liberation of İzmir. After the Republic was proclaimed the party was renamed as Republican People's Party (CHP).

Below is the list of the associations

This page was last edited on 14 March 2018, at 18:06 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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