Author(s): Abdolvahid SOOFIZADEH

Ottoman constitutional reform and Persian constitutionalism show parallels in inception, evolution and results. Both societies being governed by monarchies, Ottoman and Persian intellectuals, thinkers and men of action who went to the West and were especially influenced by ideas spread with French Revolution were of the same opinion that these same ideas should circulate in their countries, equality, freedom, justice and eventually a constitution should be made. Historically it would be accurate to say that due to geographical proximity to the West Ottoman society was more active and Ottoman intellectuals, writers and poets who resided in Istanbul and were supporters of constitutionalism influenced and inspired Persian constitutionalists.

In this article, the constitutional movements of both states are analyzed in comparative fashion and motives behind the emergence of the idea of constitutionalism, conditions which enabled its development and outcome in Ottoman state and Persia are briefly evaluated. Throughout history, ideas and concepts coming to Ottoman geography from the East came through Persia, but since XIX. Century ideas from West found their way through Ottoman Istanbul to Persia and East. After this century, centuries long political, literary and intellectual relations between Ottoman and Persia were formed via Ottoman capital. Almost simultaneous foundation of Darü'l-Fünun and printing house, sending of students abroad, journeys to the West, publishing of periodicals and newspapers in and outside of the country helped constitutionalist movement to gain momentum and supporters.


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