This......is something else.Similarly AHII was very russophilic, even going so for as to present a few of his sister's and daughters as prospective wives of NII which was actually seriously considered by the Russians with the added clause of conversion.
I think rural people 'acting' liberal is different in regards to political party adopting liberalism as ideology. And I bet those young Ottoman representatives were amongst the few in their respective constituencies to have the privilege of attending a western style curriculum at least in one stage of their lives. The rural liberalism is just lax enforcement of religious restrictions and stuff and as the religiously plural Ottoman villages in most of Balkans and parts of Anatolia and Sham tended to be, there would be more interaction between different religions due to various daily needs. This is in stark contrast to cities where Different communities choose seperate intersection and ghettos for themselves and avoided each other unless necessary. So whilst the peasants may be behind rise of liberalists, I think the support is more specific, like supporting your local officer's son or the younger brother of a benevolent merchant because they are your shots at reaching the power and do something better for their respective community.Not only the city educated elites, even rural peasants were identified to be very liberal in pre-1878 OE. Many liberal young ottomans in the first and second ottoman parliament's, a plurality even came from the rural Muslim countryside for example.
In short, liberalisation of Ottoman society to the bottom is still possible but we need a couple decades and a school construction campaign like the previous TL. Ottomans can still surpass Russia in terms of literacy by the beginning of 20th century,if by a small margin.