31 March Incident

The 31 March Incident ( _tr. 31 Mart Vakası) was a 1909 rebellion of reactionaries in İstanbul toward the Countercoup (1909), who attempted to put an end to the nascent Second Constitutional Era in the Ottoman Empire and to the newly-established influence of the Committee of Union and Progress, in order to re-affirm the position of the Sultan Abdulhamid II as absolute monarch. The incidents actually started not on 31 March 1909 despite its name, but on 13 April 1909, that day corresponding to 31 March 1325 in the Rumi calendar in use at the time in Turkey for official timekeeping.


The counter-coup (Countercoup (1909)) led by a certain Dervish Vahdeti reigned supreme in İstanbul for a few days. It was put down by "Hareket Ordusu" (The Army of Action) constituted in urgence with troops stationed in the Balkans and which rapidly departed from Selanik. Among the officers who entered the capital was a young captain named Mustafa Kemal.

A few weeks after the re-establishment of order, sultan Abdulhamid II himself was deposed and sent to exile in Selanik, and replaced by his brother Mehmed V Reşad.


It has been suggested that the counter-coup against Countercoup (1909) constituted a breakdown between Britain's relations with Ottoman Empire marking the end of the one year old cooperation. Countercoup (1909) was also believed that it had unlimited British support behind it.

The incident led to a change of grand vizier, and Ahmed Tevfik Pasha, who later on was also going to be the last grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire, assumed the position.


In memorial of the 74 soldiers killed in action during this event, the Monument of Liberty ( _ot. Abide-i Hürriyet) was erected 1911 in Şişli district of Istanbul.


* Şeriatçı bir ayaklanma — "A fundamentalist uprising" by [http://www.imge.com.tr/product_info.php?products_id=4566 Sina Akşin] with particular emphasis on British involvement.

ee also

*Countercoup (1909)

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