Hasan Kayalı asserts in his acclaimed book that “in the Unionist view of Ottomanism, ethnic, religious and linguistic differences were of no import.”4

From this point of view, he concludes that the principal aim of the Unionists was to centralize the empire. It is true that the CUP did not ascribe importance to the empire’s various ethnies in its policies. However, the Unionists also reacted against the usage of ethnie as a means of opposition, if not against the existence of opposition as such. The point that Kayalı left unexamined is that the Unionist attitude toward the different ethnies did not only lead the CUP to regard these as insignificant variables in their policies, but also resulted in projects to eliminate the opposition movements that ascribed importance to the ethnies of the empire. Their firm belief in the centrality of the state for re-forming the empire did not provide any space for ethnic or non-ethnic opposition. The decentralist opposition offered an alternative set of behaviors to shape the newly emerging modern Ottoman citizens based on the cultural differentiation of the nations of the empire. Therefore, as assessed earlier in detail, the CUP’s members saw all kinds of opposition as tantamount to “treason to the Ottoman fatherland” and, in Cemal’s words, wanted “to do away with” it.5