Turkey was a leading super power controlled by Prospo during the early days of the role-play. They was one of the first powers to oppose the rise of Chinese Communism. Though the ideological differences lead to only proxy competition at best over Central Asia, for a brief time.
Turkey also spearheaded the creation of the Central European League, which supported Turkish hegemony in Europe and the middle east. However, CEL members Germany and France eventually went to war, causing the downfall of the alliance. Afterwards, Turkish influence diminished in the region and it was replaced by Spain as leader of the the traditional western powers.
The Spaniard Aurelio Batista, who controlled northern Italy, took control of Rome from Turkey. Despite how far they have fallen from the lofty position in geopolitics they enjoyed in 1970. With the death of the Sultan in the early 80's the former Turkish Empire has completely fallen from its old grace, its territories divided between the minorities of the Empire. Only central Anatolia is the only remaining territories of the once proud Turkish Empire.
- 1 Pre-RP History (Pre-1970)
- 2 Recent History (1970-1976)
- 3 Present Day (1976-onwards)
Pre-RP History (Pre-1970)
The Sultanate traces its roots back to its origins in the Altai mountains in central Asia. A series of Turkish nomadic tribes, including the Xiongnu and Kök Türks, rose and fell in the area. Eventually the Göktürks united the disparate Turkish peoples and formed a vast empire. Migration westward helped facilitate Göktürk expansion all the way to north coast of the Black Sea. Succesion conflicts led to a civil war between the Göktürks which proved to be their downfall.
Prior to the 9th century hordes of Turkish peoples crossed the Volga river into the Black Sea steppes. One of the peoples that stayed back or perhaps missed their chance, the Oghuz, lived around the Aral Sea until the early 9th century before, seizing their chance, they drove out the Pecheneg Turks of the Ural and Emba river valley's. The Oghuz stayed there well into the 10th century before a clan of their nation known as the Seljuks migrated to Iran and began absorbing Persian customs as well as their language and converted to Sunni Islam.
They became caught in a power struggle between the Turkish Qarakhanids and Persian Saminids. They sided with the Saminids, who were quickly subdued by the Qarakhanids. A revolt of the Ghaznavids, who took the west of the empire, ended Saminid rule. The Ghaznavids later took control of the majority of Iran, all of Afghanistan, the Punjab, and a good deal of Central Asia as well as northwestern India. Togrul Beg, the grandson of Seljuq, wrestled control of the western territories from the Ghaznavids after a brief retreat to Khwarezm. Alp Arslan, Torgurl's nephew, expanded to the west by adding Georgia and Armenia to the empire and annexing almost all of Anatolia. His defeat of the Eastern Romans at the battle of Manzikert marked the beginning of the end for the last Roman empire. Arslan's son Malik-Shah I took the Great Seljuk Empire to its greatest extent, it bordered china in the east and the Byzantines in the west, expanding Turkish power in all directions. The Abbasid Caliph titled him "The Sultan of the East and West".
When Malik-Shah I died his four sons and brother quarreled over the division of the empire. Kilij Arslan I, whose father had led a revolt against Malik based in Rum, was released from prison following the the death of Malik. He subsquently led the Oghuz Yiva army to Nicea setting up an independant. After assuming control of Smyrna and establishing the Sultanate of Rum he was invaded three times by westerners in The Crusades. The wars heavily taxed the Sultanate and it lost territory in the west to the Byzantines. However he managed to extend the empire all the way east to Mosul in Iraq. Upon his son Mesud's death the Sultnate controlled all of central Anatolia. Mesud's son Kilij Arslan II weakened byzantine holdings and helped the empire rebound from the Third Crusade. After the death of the last Great Seljuk in 1194 the Seljuks of Rum became the last representatives of that dynasty. The threat of the expanding Mongols reduced the Sultanate to a small nation in a rabble of emirates in Antolia and a vassal of the Khan.
The Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman dynasty came together under the reign of Mehmed II who organized the Ottoman State and marked an era of post-Mongol expansion for the new Turkish dynasty. The Greek Orthodox community accepted Ottoman authority as offered by Mehmed, preferring not Venetian authority as was growing in the former Byzantine territories in Greece. However resistance from Albanians was to be a major obstacle to the Ottomans.
Mehmed II forced his father Murad to leave retirement in order to command his armies to besiege Constantinople, which the Turks finally took on the 29th of May, 1453.
Ottoman Expansion into Europe had long been resisted to by the Hapsburg dynasty in the Holy Roman Empire and in Austria. Competition between the two powers was often fierce and bloody, and a focal point of large conflict between the Hapsburgs and their allies and France, who often took note to ally with the Ottoman Empire to better compete with the German power. France itself was also notable on several occasions during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.
Suleiman's Empire was the high point in Ottoman hegemony with well over 15 million people within its borders and hegemony over the Mediterranean sea.
Through the 16th century after the reign of Suleiman and on into the 19th century the Ottoman Empire experienced large periods of endemic stagnation and decline. There were brief periods of recovery from the Empire, but the condition of the Empire was growing terminal and very quickly through time the Empire proved that it was too resistent to growing change from Europe and failed to westernize as European Powers did. Its attempts to administrate its territories acquired under Suleiman often ended in these territories achieving defacto independence or was stolen away by European powers (as Egypt was during Napoleon).
Endemic religious and intellectual conservativism was hardly healthy to the Empire as they failed to keep pace with liberal European policied and the Empire was struck with a large string of nationalist protest and revolt. The failed Battle of Vienna against the Austrian Hapsburgs marked the end of Ottoman conquest into Europe and their slow withdrawal from the European world of politics. The Battle of Lepanto likewise marked a upheaval of Ottoman power over the Mediteranean and the growing influence of the Russians in the centuries after likewise chipped away at the Turkish territories in the Caucus.
The Russians would prove to be a significant threat to the Turks and their most major competitor as they proved to be the force that held decisive in the Turk's abilities to hold on to even more of their European territories, ultimately loosing such territories as Serbia in war.
Russian power proved to the Ottomans in the 18th century they needed to desperately modernize to keep pace, and in a period of peace brought by their defeat to Russia resulted in a number of reforms ranging from military reformation and the institution of higher education.
The 19th century marked a period of further and revived reform for the Empire during the Tanzimat period. Constitutional reform brought about the rise of a conscript army. The Ottoman Empire decriminalized homosexuality, replaced religious law with secular law, and replaced the old medieval guild system with modern factories. And a modern post-office was established in Istanbul.
Despite the reforms however, the liberalization was often short-lived. The Empire enjoyed several brief periods of having a constitution. But each period was ultimately usurped and returned to a period of absolute authority in the ruling Sultan.
Likewise, the Christian population in the Empire often owed itself to having a higher education than the Muslim majority in the Empire leading to hieghtened resentment against the Sultan and a rise in nationalism among peoples such as the Greeks and the Armenians.
The Crimean War also played a large effect on the ethnic demographic of the Ottoman Empire where 200,000 Crimean Tatars fled the Russian Empire in the aftermath of the Crimean War to the Ottoman Empire, who had fought alongside the allied powers against the Russians. Likewise the aftermath of the Caucasian Wars forced many Circassians to flee to Turkey as Russia ethnically cleansed 90% of the local population.
But until the 20th century the Ottoman Empire in general faced endemic civil strife from its Christian and predominately non-Arab populations seeking independence. Often times, punishment for their insulence was answered with swift punishment and large-scale cleansing of their own populations. Often against the Armenian and Kurdish populations.
The 20th Century
The Young Turk revolution in 1908 made the government a parliamentary republic with a monarch reserved as a figure head. Hatred of Russia aligned them with Germany and the central powers in the Great War. The Great War was punctuated by the revolts of almost all Arab states and Balkan states. The ineffectiveness of the parliament and the lack of action by the sultan cost the empire millions in wasted money. A Russian attempt at controlling the Bosporus was deflected by the army of the empire led by the sultan's son and proved a turning point in the war. Marginal power was given back to the Sultan and a military campaign in Greece, Syria, and Jordan helped to pick up the pieces of the empire. When the Great War ended the Sultan's son died of cancer and was replaced by an incompetent heir, Mehmed VII who would take control of the empire after the long reign of his father.
The Ottoman Empire sense was faced with dwindling political influence and terretorial possessions as the outdated and heavily damaged army sought to retain control.
Recent History (1970-1976)
Stagnation in the empire continued and relations with Russia worsened. The aging Sultan mysteriously died during a conversation with his son Suleiman III. Suleiman III immediately set about re-uniting the empire. Suleiman departed soon after in a grand vision of modernization and reform in the Empire, complete with military campaigns directed to reeling in the lost territories. Targeting Greece, Armenia, and Georgia and began his march at energetically reviving the Empire, soon after extending gains on Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and even most of Italy.
It was little known among the general population of the Turkish people, but Suleiman was a devote and observant Orthodox Christian. Behind political doors he fostered a relationship with the Orthodox bishops to ensure its position in the national scheme. In effect, he converted the nation's state religion from Islam to Christianity. Despite his spiritual leanings he still commanded the abilities of his Muslim seat. The Egyptian war at the beginning of his reign, where he wrested control of Egypt from it's Sultan in mid-1970, was considered a Jihad. To spread their influence Turkey often sponsored pro-democratic movements in Iraq and other neighboring states to overthrow the power in place and plant pro-Turkish leaders in those nations.
After the collapse of the Russian Empire the Ottoman Empire made aggressive growth into the Russian Caucus and initiated a campaign in sweeping up southern Russia as their own with the assistance of the Turkish-backed nations of Dagestan, which had been planted into the Turkish sphere earlier that decade.
It was at this point that Turkey founded CEL, and alliance made up of France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the RNF, and Spain. It's original intention was to combat the threat of Russia in the north and to prepare for a feared second Great War. But short-term proved that the alliance was ineffective. War in Europe and expansion of Ethiopia and Persia into Arabia dismantled the alliance for good and it faded from irrelevence as the Ottoman Empire faced the first great burp in its final decline.
Present Day (1976-onwards)
The stagnation and dissolution of the CEL alliance marked a negative turning point for the Ottoman Empire. Despite the best efforts and initial promise of Suleiman III the empire began taking two to three steps back for every one forward. Persian power began to grow in the east, bordering on and flooding into Iraq and conquering much of the Arabian peninsula with Ethiopia, marking a dramatic shift in the political dynamic in the east.
Nationalist dissent in the Caucus boiled over in the middle of the decade re-invoking armed revolution among the Georgian, Kurdish, Azeri, and Armenian populations. National revolution and the anarchic conditions of Post-tzar Russia presented a severe stress for the Empire and the ability to police their territories crumbled. Suleiman III took to a life of seclusion and paranoia as enemies on all fronts emerged with European powers and Middle Eastern powers chipping into the over-extended Empire and disemboweling it.
By 1977, Armenia (the de facto leader and role model of the revolts to follow), Kurdistan, and Azerbaijan had become independent after several long-running conflicts went hot and the fatigued and ill-trained provincial armies were finally attacked for perceived injustices (discrimination and killings targeting race in an effort to suppress rebellion that ended up encouraging it.) After the Armenian advance to the border of their colonial province was finally stopped by a sudden surge of reservist troops, a three year standoff occurred while both countries mustered up resources for the final conflict. This put a drain on other theaters, however, and allowed more insurgencies to crop up. At the same time, the Ottoman Empire's prestige and economy weakened massively and another war in Greece sapped men and supplies. The decline of the Empire - temporarily halted from the early 20th century - resumed at record pace.
From January to early April of 1980, the Armenians managed to reclaim their territories and push the Ottomans out of ethnic Armenia, while another major war in Ethiopia ate up men and materiel. Palestinian guerrillas cut supply lines and greatly weakened the Ottoman forces in the area, resulting in a military too stretched out to deal with the resulting crises. One by one, colonies in the Middle East took their chance and revolted. The provinces were liberated rapidly as Ottomans defected or deserted and lost their will to fight, while many more retreated back to Turkey proper in a command crisis (certain officers ordered their troops to withdraw to protect the home country independently when communications became disrupted and scattered.) In the wake of their collapse was left a volatile mix of unstable new nations - the Balkanization of the Mediterranean Middle East.
Armenian - and to some extent Georgia - have been the original point of contention in the world of independence from Turkey. Tensions and diplomatic crisises resulted in their independence in the 20's. However the Turks kept their eye on the region and invaded in the 1970, reoccupying the dissenting territories and reinstalling them as Turkish colonial provinces. The invasion sparking when Turkish patrolmen were killed along the border, with the Ottoman Empire claiming that the status the two states enjoyed was illegitemate and that they were still a part of the Turkish Empire, by which the invasion was less of one and more a peacekeeping endeavor on their own territory. All the same international outrage was minimal and was largely uncontested, even by Russia.
Armenians claim that there people had been at war with the Turks since 1895, but had been low intensity since. But by the middle of the 70's conflict increased in intensity to a full war for independence, which was claimed by Armenian president Hazmak Assanian on July 17 of 1977. Though at this stage the Armenians still intended to keep up the fight to take control of the entirety of greater Armenia. Westward pushes were made until the war came to a standstill in Erzurum. The war stalled for three years with a dellicate DMZ declared over the region.
The Armenian conflict became the model of independence and the first shot by which a hundred flowers bloomed. The Armenians were aided both by the Poles and the Persians in their affairs, and a model by which the Persians opperated to see their regional rival brought to their knees.
Breakaway of Azerbaijan
The Caucasian nation of Azerbaijan - like Dagestan - was a Turkish puppet since the early half of the seventies during Suleiman III's revival. In the shifting political scope of the Middle East Persia invaded and occupied the country in 1978 during their involvement in the Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, during which a number of attacks and threats against Persian diplomats and personnel were made against groups within the nation or its Turkish-aligned government.
The Persian occupation of Azerbaijan resulted in the country being more-or-less annexed, though the state enjoys a certain degree of autonomy granted its special status within Persian politics. Despite the status there is heavy anti-Armenian sentiment.
Breakaway of Dagestan
The growing wars and deteriorating Turkish situation meant that the Caucasian state of Dagestan rapidly lost its Turkish support and influence. The nation as well became a haven for Turkish and Caucasian Muslims during the Armenian conflict. Turkish withdrawl from the region decimated the political and economic stability of the nation plunging the nation into a state of depression. Regional raids by Dagestani Turkish bandits against Georgia and Armenia is regular, and the two have come to blows as during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. In general, Dagestan is defined by anti-Armenianism.
See also: Georgian Guard
The independence of Georgia was in part achieved in a similar vein to Armenia, or as a side-effect to the Armenian war to independence. However unlike Armenia the Georgian state has yet to declare a stable government, and warlordism defines the current state of affairs.
Pontus, Cyprus, and Greece
The rise of Pontus and the restoration of the Greek State came with the influence of Great Britain to some degree. Though to a more major part is attributed to the Turkish collapse as with many other states. The Pontic Coast achieved a psuedo de-facto independence from Turkey, which has become incapable of enforcing its territory against the once massacred Greek minority there. In this void they have declared independence in much the same way Greece has.
Likewise, the Cypric Greeks declared independence.
Modled on Armenian success several Middle Eastern states have gone to define themselves in the Middle East region with the assistance of Persia. Syria to a large degree arose from the post-Suleiman world in conjunction with Palestine.
Turkish Russia shares the same ills that come with a people without a state to call their own. The collapse of the Russian Empire left no centralized authority in the territories of Volgograd resulting in massive divisions in the region and mass potential for further balkanizing of the Volgograd. As with the rest of Russia, Volgograd has become defined with endemic anarchy and rampant crime as the Mafiya moves in to take advantage of the third-world status.
From this chaos the state of Ossetia and Chechynya have formed. Though their position between two evils have relegated them to severe third-world status like the rest of the region.