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Mehmet Cavit Bey

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Title: Mehmet Cavit Bey  
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Subject: List of Ottoman Ministers of Finance, Sabbateans, Rıza Nur, Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, Thessaloniki
Collection: 1875 Births, 1926 Deaths, 20Th-Century Executions for Treason, Burials at Cebeci Asri Cemetery, Committee of Union and Progress Politicians, Government Ministers of the Ottoman Empire, MacEdonian Turks, People Executed by Turkey by Hanging, People Executed for Treason Against Turkey, People from Salonica Vilayet, People from Thessaloniki, Sabbateans, Turkish Economists, Turkish Newspaper Editors, Turkish Non-Fiction Writers, Turkish People Executed by Hanging, Turkish People of Jewish Descent, Young Turks Movement
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Mehmet Cavit Bey

Mehmet Cavit Bey, Mehmed Cavid Bey or Mehmed Djavid Bey (1875–1926) was an Ottoman Sabbatean[1][2][3] economist, newspaper editor and leading politician during the last period of the Ottoman Empire. A member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), he was part of the Young Turks and had positions in government after the constitution was established. In the beginning of the Republican period, he was executed for alleged involvement in an assassination attempt against Mustafa Kemal.[4]


  • Early years and career 1
  • Republican period 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • References 4

Early years and career

Cavit was born in Salonica (Thessaloniki), then in the Salonica Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. His father was Naim, a merchant, and his mother was Pakize; they were cousins. He was of Dönmeh descent.

Cavit was educated in economics in Constantinople (Istanbul). Following his graduation, he worked as a bank clerk and later as a teacher.[5]

Later he became an economist and newspaper editor. Having returned to Salonica, Cavit Bey joined the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). After the proclamation of the Second Constitution in 1908, he was elected deputy of Salonica and Kale-i Sultaniye (Çanakkale) into the parliament in Constantinople. Following the 31 March Incident in 1909, Cavit Bey was appointed minister of finance in the cabinet of Grand Vizier Tevfik Pasha.[5]

Until the Armistice of Mudros in 1918 following the World War I, Cavit Bey played an important role in the CUP. Cavit Bey represented the Ottoman Empire in postwar financial negotiations in London and Berlin.[5]

Republican period

In 1921, Mehmet Cavit Bey married Aliye Nazlı, the divorced wife of a prince. In 1924, heir son Osman Şiar was born. After Cavit Bey's execution, his son was raised by his close friend Hüseyin Cahit Yalçın. Following the enactment of the surname law in 1934, Osman Şiar adopted the surname Yalçın.[6]

In the early period of the Republican era, Mehmet Cavit Bey was charged with involvement in the assassination attempt in Izmir against Mustafa Kemal Pasha. After a widespread government investigation, Cavit Bey was convicted and later executed by hanging on August 26, 1926 in Ankara.[5] Thirteen others, including other CUP members Ahmed Şükrü and Ismail Canbulat, were found guilty of treason and hanged.[7]

The letters which Cavit Bey wrote to his wife Aliye Nazlı during his imprisonment were given to her only after his execution. She had the letters published later as a book entitled, Zindandan Mektuplar ("Letters from the Dungeon").[8]

In 1950, Cavit Bey's remains were transferred and reinterred at the Cebeci Asri Cemetery in Ankara.[6]


  • Zindandan Mektuplar (2005) Liberte Yayınları, 212 pp. ISBN 9789756877913


  1. ^ Ilgaz Zorlu, Evet, Ben Selânikliyim: Türkiye Sabetaycılığı, Belge Yayınları, 1999, p. 223.
  2. ^ Yusuf Besalel, Osmanlı ve Türk Yahudileri, Gözlem Kitabevi, 1999, p. 210.
  3. ^ Rıfat N. Bali, Musa'nın Evlatları, Cumhuriyet'in Yurttaşları, İletişim Yayınları, 2001, p. 54.
  4. ^ Andrew Mango, Atatürk, PUBLISHER?, 1999, pp. 448-453
  5. ^ a b c d "Mehmet Cavit Bey" (in Turkish). %n1k. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  6. ^ a b "Nazif Özge ve Gerçel Ailesi - Rüştü Karakaşlı" (in Turkish). SosyalistKültür. 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  7. ^ Touraj Atabaki, Erik Jan Zürcher, 2004, Men of Order: Authoritarian Modernization under Ataturk and Reza Shah, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 1860644260, page 207
  8. ^ "Zindandan Mektuplar" (in Turkish). KitapTürk. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
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