Javid (Cavid) Bey, Mehmed

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JAVID (Cavid ) BEY, MEHMED (1875–1926), Ottoman economist and statesman. Born in *Salonica to a *Doenmeh family, he worked for the Agriculture Bank and Education Ministry after graduating from the Imperial Civil Servants School (Mülkiye) in *Istanbul in 1896, only returning to Salonica in 1902 to head the Fevziye School. There he became active in the Young Turk movement. After the 1908 Revolution, he was elected to the Ottoman parliament, where he served from 1908 to 1918. An excellent orator and able economist, he served as finance minister in five cabinets, where he was instrumental in reordering the empire's finances, securing vital foreign loans, and restoring investor confidence. The combination of his personality, ethno-religious origins, and politics made him the target of numerous accusations of corruption, espionage, even murder. His Francophile and pacifist tendencies led him to resign his post in 1914 in protest against the secret Ottoman-German alliance, although he remained a financial adviser, reassuming the ministerial post in 1917. After the war he went into hiding in Istanbul, fleeing to Switzerland after his offer to join the Nationalist Forces in Anatolia was rejected. There he lived for several years, marrying Aliye, an Ottoman princess, and returning to Istanbul in 1922. He was a member of the Ottoman delegation at Lausanne in 1921, but fell out with Ismet Inönü. After Turkey's independence, he briefly flirted with politics, but largely retired from public life. Arrested in 1926 in the wake of an attempt on Mustafa *Kemal's life, he was convicted of sedition by a military tribunal and executed, although his real offense appears to have been posing a political challenge to Mustafa Kemal. During his lifetime, he published several authoritative textbooks on economics (4 vols., 1899–1901) and statistics (1909). Along with Rıza Tevfik and Ahmet Şuayip, he wrote for and edited the influential social sciences journal Ulum-i İktisadiye ve İçtimâiye Mecmuası (1908–11). His voluminous memoirs, serialized in the daily Tanin (1943–46), are an important primary source for this period.


Türk Ansiklopedisi 10:37–39; Gövsa, Türk Meşhurları, 78.

[Paul Bessemer (2nd ed.)]