Salonica, the City Where Dictator Mustafa Kemal and Other Doenmeh (Sabbatean) Jews Originated From

The below quotation is taken from the famous book "History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey", by Stanford Jay Shaw, 1977, Vol. 2 by S.J. Shaw and E.K. Shaw

page 264-265:

Salonica (Thessaloniki) was a far more likely center for revolutionary activity than was Damascus. ... It had a substantial Jewish population as well as a large group of Jewish converts to Islam called 'donmes' (doenmeh), who while ostensibly accepting the dominant faith of the empire secretly retained some of their old beliefs and practices, creating a situation that hindered their full acceptance into the Muslim community.


Thus, when Mustafa Kemal came to spread the word of 'Fatherland and Liberty' (Vatan ve Hurriyet) early in 1906, he was welcome. He found a number of kindred spirits in the Third Army, including Cemil Bey, adjutant of the military governor of Macedonia, and Talat Bey, a local postal official later to become a major Young Turk figure. He formed them into a branch of the Damascus society but with a different name, the 'Ottoman Liberty Society' (Osmanli Hurriyet Cemiyeti).


The Ottoman Liberty Society had expanded rapidly among officers and bureaucrats in the Macedonian provinces. Organized in small cells on the model of those of the Bulgarian terrorists, the new organization seems to have held its meetings in the lodges of the masonic order and to have received financial and other assistance from 'donmes' who hoped that its triumph might alleviate their situation in Ottoman society.


On December 27-29, 1907, the Second Young Turk Congress met in Paris in a new effort to secure cooperation against the common enemy. This time it was chaired jointly, not only by Ahmet Riza and Prince Sabaheddin, but also by K. Maloumian, of the Armenian revolutionary Federation (Dashnaks), who hoped to use the Young Turks to gain their own national objectives.