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Pertev Tevfik and Muahede (Treaty) Newspaper

Abstract
The Muahede, which was owned by Pertev Tevfik Bey and edited by Şehabettin Süleyman Bey, began its publication life as newspaper in İstanbul on October 18, 1910 with the tag line “Demokrasi Mesleğinin Hâdim ve Müdâfii” (The Servant and Defender of Democracy). It was a daily newspaper with political, economic and literary content. Its publication life did not last long in the convulsive atmosphere of the Second Constitutional Era and only 24 issues were printed. The newspaper, which adopted the mission of promoting the ideas of democracy and liberties among the public, criticized the policies of İttihat ve Terakki (The Union and Progress Party) government especially with respect to these aspects. The publication did not hesitate to write about the political and administrative mistakes of the government even in a period when martial law was in effect and those newspapers writing against the government were closed down. It asked the government to adopt democratic means in accordance with the spirit of constitutionalism. The newspaper expressed the view that the regime of constitutionalism can be completely established in the country only with the implementation of a democratic government. While emphasizing the importance of the role the press must play in the development of democracy, the publication foregrounded the press as the essential element of a democracy. By criticizing the censorship practices, it asserted the idea that censorship was a barrier for the development of democracy. By frequently referring to the ideas of democracy, the articles in the publication often included terms like constitutionalism, justice, freedom, Kanun-ı Esasi (Main Constitution) and democracy, so that these terms could be better understood by the general public. The newspaper pursued a policy which aimed to promote the development of the state socially, economically, administratively and politically. The newspaper, which stated that the mission of the press was to place the problems of the society on the agenda, thereby directing the attention of the government to these problems, as well as informing the public about all kinds of developments, wrote about the problems and difficulties encountered by the people of Anatolia and tried to influence the government towards the solution of these problems. Despite the Press Law (Matbuat Kanunu), it bravely wrote about administrative weaknesses, corruption, abuse and mistakes. Moreover, as a supporter of the policy of Ottomanism, the paper also wrote about the social, cultural, administrative and educational problems of the Christian minorities, as well as those of the Turks and Muslims. However, the newspaper also emphasized its policy of supporting the unity and integrity of the state. Political issues dominated the contents of the newspaper. All kinds of developments in the Ottoman State and Europe were mentioned. Especially the European policies against the Ottoman State were included to inform the general public about these. The scope of interest of the publication was not limited to matters about the Ottoman State. In addition to articles about the domestic and foreign policy of the Ottoman State, developments in the political and social spheres of Europe and Iran, and news about the political, social and economic situation from around the world were included in the newspaper. Particularly, the sly policies pursued by Russia in the Balkans and against the neighbors of the Ottoman State, and the consequent disorder in these regions were discussed. In this paper, Pertev Tevfik Bey, who was an important political figure during the Second Constitutional Era, and the Muahede, which was owned by him, are studied in terms of their contributions to the intellectual scene of the Second Constitutional Era.

Keywords
Pertev Tevfik, Muahede (Treaty) Newspaper, II. Constitution, Press