The parliamentary elections of 1908: civil rights and ethnic demands of the Greek Orthodox community of Mytilene
This paper focuses on the electoral behaviour of the Greek Orthodox community of Mytilene. It argues that the change of the regime in the Ottoman Empire and the proclamation of parliamentary elections in July 1908 gave rise to new political practices within the community, which had not manifested themselves earlier due to the totalitarian nature of the regime. Τhe leading groups of the community welcomed the Young Turk regime as a unique opportunity to add political power to complement their economic and social position. The election result lived up to their expectations. However, it triggered significant political changes, since it marked the first manifestations of Turkish and Greek nationalism. The present paper, focusing in the case of Lesvos, is an attempt at perceiving the two rival nationalisms not only as responses to the ideological precepts of the West, but also as a result of domestic challenges.