In this period the Arab consciousness manifests itself in literary and intellectual activity and in efforts to found Arab societies. It should be noted that Istanbul, the capital of the Empire, witnessed more extensive activity in the founding of Arab societies and that the general Arab character was better represented there than anywhere else. This was because it was Istanbul's centres of higher education, both military and civilian, that were the goals of aspiring Arab youths, and the capital that was the seat of the Parliament, where the Arab deputies met. Furthermore, in Istanbul one can at first hand view the perspectives of the new order, which can be examined more clearly here than in the provinces. At the same time, however, these societies were not pioneers in thought; rather, their programmes, whether public or secret, gave expression to perspectives already under discussion.