Charles XII marries an Ottoman Princess c. 1711

While at first glance, even i thought this was a nonsensical idea, reading through Nasci num Harém by Fatema Mernissi it seems that the Haseki Sultan Gulnus Sultan, the mother of Ahmed III and basically the real ruler of the OE during Ahmed III's reign, was very taken with Charles XII. When she found out that Asiye Sultan, the daughter of Ahmed II (20 years old in 1711) was also very taken with Charles XII, in order to further the cause of the war party in Constantinople, she asked Ahmed III to facilitate a marriage between Asiye Sultan and Charles XII with Asiye converting to the Church of Sweden. Ahmed III was hesitant, but there was good precedent in allowing ottoman princess's convert and marry (happened a good amount of times with some Shia beys in Iraq, and happened a few rare times in Orhan's reign), and Ahmed III was willing to go for it if Charles XII was okay with it. But before the question could even be broken the Pruth River Campaign went ahead and the light terms basically killed the War party in Constantinople making it political suicidal to make such a suggestion so the proposal was dropped. But what if Ahmed III made an earlier decision and in the unlikely scenario Charles XII agreed to marry Asiye Sultan who would convert to the Church of Sweden before marrying him? What do you think would be the consequences of this? @von Adler @Osman Aga
 
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This could be fascinating. If only for the fact that a) Carl XII would likely have an heir; b) the nightmare of how places like Austria and Russia (traditionally anti-Ottoman) would view such a marriage
 
This could be fascinating. If only for the fact that a) Carl XII would likely have an heir; b) the nightmare of how places like Austria and Russia (traditionally anti-Ottoman) would view such a marriage
Austria would be muted i believe. They had bigger problems. Russia on the other hand.......A direct marriage of the imperial dynasty to the Swedish King could prompt a more hardline attitude from the Ottomans in the Pruth Campaign, which would certainly have massive butterflies, even if Russia still wins in the end
 
First off, this book is fictional, right? I’m not finding any evidence of this ever being considered, or a daughter of Sultan Ahmed III named Asiye Sultan (There was one, but she was the daughter of Ahmed II, and died in childhood)

Now, if this somehow happened, and this daughter actually existed, and the Sultan Ahmed III wanted her to marry Charles XII, there lies several problems.

First being Charles XII himself. Charles XII wanted to marry for love, not political gains, and he was really serious about this, as he dismissed a bunch of marriages with Princesses from Denmark and England. So, this Asiye Sultan would have to get on Charles XII good side, so they love each other on a personal level, not a political level. If this doesn’t happen, yet Charles XII was forced to agree with this marriage, he would do it at best reluctantly and then never consummate it, or at worst outright refuse it, being insulted.

Second problem, and probably the biggest, literally no one in early 18th century Sweden, or early 18th century Europe would ever accept this arrangement. In Sweden, people would probably accuse Charles XII being a Turkophile (even if the Princess converted to the Church of Sweden), and if a child is formed from this marriage, Charles XII would probably be forced by Swedish nobility to declare it morganatic, meaning thats this son of an Swedish King and Ottoman Princess would never become King of Sweden (Maybe a title, but never any so high)

On a European scale, Russia would fear from this marriage the thought of an Ottoman-Swedish Alliance, which could surround them from the North and South. This also could potentially make HRE/Austria and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth scared of such an alliance as well (The Great Turkish War finished a decade ago), as they two potentially have powerful enemies in the North and the South. This could make Sweden out to be an ally with the Turks. This could potentially bring the Austrians into the Great Northern War.

Although an interesting idea, it has a lot of hurdles to jump over to be successful
 
Charles would have to convert to marry a Muslim woman and thus would end up being deposed. Surely a Muslim cannot allowed to preside over the Church of Sweden. I seriously doubt Ahmed III as the Caliph would dare break that rule. I just don't find this plausible.

You bring up the Shia beys in Iraq and admittedly I don't know much about that. However I must point out that things were different during Orhan's reign. The Ottoman state was still cobbled together and a large portion of landowners and soldiers were Greek-speaking Christians who were important to bring alongside. There is more freedom for pragmatism in times like that than during the still-powerful Ottoman Empire of the 17-18th centuries.
 
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First off, this book is fictional, right? I’m not finding any evidence of this ever being considered, or a daughter of Sultan Ahmed III named Asiye Sultan (There was one, but she was the daughter of Ahmed II, and died in childhood)

Now, if this somehow happened, and this daughter actually existed, and the Sultan Ahmed III wanted her to marry Charles XII, there lies several problems.

First being Charles XII himself. Charles XII wanted to marry for love, not political gains, and he was really serious about this, as he dismissed a bunch of marriages with Princesses from Denmark and England. So, this Asiye Sultan would have to get on Charles XII good side, so they love each other on a personal level, not a political level. If this doesn’t happen, yet Charles XII was forced to agree with this marriage, he would do it at best reluctantly and then never consummate it, or at worst outright refuse it, being insulted.

Second problem, and probably the biggest, literally no one in early 18th century Sweden, or early 18th century Europe would ever accept this arrangement. In Sweden, people would probably accuse Charles XII being a Turkophile (even if the Princess converted to the Church of Sweden), and if a child is formed from this marriage, Charles XII would probably be forced by Swedish nobility to declare it morganatic, meaning thats this son of an Swedish King and Ottoman Princess would never become King of Sweden (Maybe a title, but never any so high)

On a European scale, Russia would fear from this marriage the thought of an Ottoman-Swedish Alliance, which could surround them from the North and South. This also could potentially make HRE/Austria and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth scared of such an alliance as well (The Great Turkish War finished a decade ago), as they two potentially have powerful enemies in the North and the South. This could make Sweden out to be an ally with the Turks. This could potentially bring the Austrians into the Great Northern War.

Although an interesting idea, it has a lot of hurdles to jump over to be successful

Yep, I've seen these inter historic faith/race marriage threads a lot and it shows a disregard for how important faith was to the vast majority of people of the time, conversion or not.
 
So far everybody is talking about the Swedish perspective but what about the Ottomans? Yes, for a while Charles was popular in the Ottomman Empire but nobody was seriously considering putting him in charge of the Ottoman army or even listening to his advices: whatever was his former glory, it was in the past and he suffered one of the most crushing defeats in the recent history (probably, the most crushing: who else lost all his army?). His most energetic supporter was Khan of the Crimea but his motivations were obvious: looting opportunity. The Ottoman Empire did not have any plans on the “Russian theater” except for status quo preservation (Peter was an attacking side). Peace concluded at Pruth returned the losses of the previous war and further military activities would not serve any practical purpose. Besides, on a purely military level this, generally victorious, campaign had some serious problems. The battle at Pruth was, unsuccessful: all Ottoman atttacks had been repelled. Yes, Peter got scared into the peace but if the treaty was not speedily concluded, who knows what could happen next? Being pushed to the corner, he could get out off his stupor and decide to break through (actually, the military council decided to take this course of actions if peace proposal is rejected). The Janissary after losing up to 8,000 rebelled and refused to fight forcing Visier to start peace talks. What was of equal importance, the Ottoman supply base at Brailov was taken and destroyed making immediate continuation of war questionable. How would Charles fit into this picture? By losing more janissary and potentially causing their major revolt? Khan, his main supporter, did not risk anything but for the Sultan the whole exercise may be too costly and for what?
 
Second problem, and probably the biggest, literally no one in early 18th century Sweden, or early 18th century Europe would ever accept this arrangement. In Sweden, people would probably accuse Charles XII being a Turkophile (even if the Princess converted to the Church of Sweden), and if a child is formed from this marriage, Charles XII would probably be forced by Swedish nobility to declare it morganatic, meaning thats this son of an Swedish King and Ottoman Princess would never become King of Sweden (Maybe a title, but never any so high)

As far as I know there wasn’t any legal concept of morganatic marriage in Sweden, but the religious issue would be the big one.
 
As far as I know there wasn’t any legal concept of morganatic marriage in Sweden, but the religious issue would be the big one.

Certainly one existed until 1974 when the Constitution from 1809 was changed - it previously banned a Prince (and retaining his title) marrying a private man's daughter - the Swedish government was sufficiently concerned that it checked the status of Lady Louise Battenberg with the British Court to ensure she was considered a member of the Royal Family post 1917 - however I don't know the status pre 1809.
 
As far as I know there wasn’t any legal concept of morganatic marriage in Sweden, but the religious issue would be the big one.

While I doubt Karl XII wanted to marry at that point, claiming he was "married to the army" until the war had been brought to a successful conclusion (which never happened OTL), as long as the Ottoman princess converts and any children are raised in the protestant faith, there's no need to declare the marriage morganic. And even if the nobility wanted to, as long as Karl XII is alive, they have no way to force him - his grip on the reins of the state are too strong. The nobility could only move on Ulrika Eleonora because she was a woman and ascended the throne in coup-like circumstances.

Race was not a big factor in Sweden during the 18th century, religion was. Besides, a lot of the women of the Ottoman harems were christian Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians or Armenians, or Ukrainians taken by the Crimeans in their "harvesting the steppe" slave raids. The children of the Sultan could be pretty light-skinned.
 
Race was not a big factor in Sweden during the 18th century, religion was. Besides, a lot of the women of the Ottoman harems were christian Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians or Armenians, or Ukrainians taken by the Crimeans in their "harvesting the steppe" slave raids. The children of the Sultan could be pretty light-skinned.
The 18th century was also when Lagerbring launched his theory about Swedes being descendant from Turks, though a bit later than Charles adventures.
 
First off, this book is fictional, right? I’m not finding any evidence of this ever being considered, or a daughter of Sultan Ahmed III named Asiye Sultan (There was one, but she was the daughter of Ahmed II, and died in childhood)

Now, if this somehow happened, and this daughter actually existed, and the Sultan Ahmed III wanted her to marry Charles XII, there lies several problems.

First being Charles XII himself. Charles XII wanted to marry for love, not political gains, and he was really serious about this, as he dismissed a bunch of marriages with Princesses from Denmark and England. So, this Asiye Sultan would have to get on Charles XII good side, so they love each other on a personal level, not a political level. If this doesn’t happen, yet Charles XII was forced to agree with this marriage, he would do it at best reluctantly and then never consummate it, or at worst outright refuse it, being insulted.

Second problem, and probably the biggest, literally no one in early 18th century Sweden, or early 18th century Europe would ever accept this arrangement. In Sweden, people would probably accuse Charles XII being a Turkophile (even if the Princess converted to the Church of Sweden), and if a child is formed from this marriage, Charles XII would probably be forced by Swedish nobility to declare it morganatic, meaning thats this son of an Swedish King and Ottoman Princess would never become King of Sweden (Maybe a title, but never any so high)

On a European scale, Russia would fear from this marriage the thought of an Ottoman-Swedish Alliance, which could surround them from the North and South. This also could potentially make HRE/Austria and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth scared of such an alliance as well (The Great Turkish War finished a decade ago), as they two potentially have powerful enemies in the North and the South. This could make Sweden out to be an ally with the Turks. This could potentially bring the Austrians into the Great Northern War.

Although an interesting idea, it has a lot of hurdles to jump over to be successful
I wouldn't rely on Wikipedia for Ottoman genealogy. It is highly inaccurate. Ahmed II was taken with the name Asiye and had 3 daughters named as such. The Asiye Sultan I am talking about is Asiye Rabia born on 1690. I would recommend Genealogy of the Ottoman Imperial Family by Osman Sallehedin for this.
 
Charles would have to convert to marry a Muslim woman and thus would end up being deposed. Surely a Muslim cannot allowed to preside over the Church of Sweden. I seriously doubt Ahmed III as the Caliph would dare break that rule. I just don't find this plausible.

You bring up the Shia beys in Iraq and admittedly I don't know much about that. However I must point out that things were different during Orhan's reign. The Ottoman state was still cobbled together and a large portion of landowners and soldiers were Greek-speaking Christians who were important to bring alongside. There is more freedom for pragmatism in times like that than during the still-powerful Ottoman Empire of the 17-18th centuries.
Ahmed III being caliph was the reason why he was hesitant iotl. Though in the end he did agree. The last time an Ottoman Princess was married off to a Christian was during Mehmet II's reign though (to the Trapuzentine Komnenos after their family was allowed to remain nobility) so yes though, there was a long gap present.
 
Yep, I've seen these inter historic faith/race marriage threads a lot and it shows a disregard for how important faith was to the vast majority of people of the time, conversion or not.
The ottoman were to put it mildly extremely flexible in religion at times. They were the ones to bring in Shia, Ibadi and even some light Jewish properties into Ottoman Islam. Which was considered the height of heresy back then but they did it without much opposition. The real problem will be the Swedes.
 
While I doubt Karl XII wanted to marry at that point, claiming he was "married to the army" until the war had been brought to a successful conclusion (which never happened OTL), as long as the Ottoman princess converts and any children are raised in the protestant faith, there's no need to declare the marriage morganic. And even if the nobility wanted to, as long as Karl XII is alive, they have no way to force him - his grip on the reins of the state are too strong. The nobility could only move on Ulrika Eleonora because she was a woman and ascended the throne in coup-like circumstances.

Race was not a big factor in Sweden during the 18th century, religion was. Besides, a lot of the women of the Ottoman harems were christian Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians or Armenians, or Ukrainians taken by the Crimeans in their "harvesting the steppe" slave raids. The children of the Sultan could be pretty light-skinned.
Yeah I am not sure where the misconception of Turks being black is coming from. Most of them have extremely light skin. And as you said race was not much of an issue moreso than religion.
 
Yeah I am not sure where the misconception of Turks being black is coming from. Most of them have extremely light skin. And as you said race was not much of an issue moreso than religion.
Generally a common misconception from Western perspectives tbh. And a misconception it is, look at Erdogan for example:
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Honestly if the Ottomans will allow one of their members to convert to Christianity, I don’t really think Sweden would have a great problem with the marriage, in fact even if she stay Muslim and the Ottoman agree to her children to be raised as Christians, again I think it won’t be major issue. It’s only if they expect Charles to convert to Islam or the children to be raised as Muslims it becomes a major issue.

I expect it to a bigger issue in Constantinople.
 
While at first glance, even i thought this was a nonsensical idea, reading through Nasci num Harém by Fatema Mernissi it seems that the Haseki Sultan Gulnus Sultan, the mother of Ahmed III and basically the real ruler of the OE during Ahmed III's reign, was very taken with Charles XII. When she found out that Asiye Sultan, the daughter of Ahmed II (20 years old in 1711) was also very taken with Charles XII, in order to further the cause of the war party in Constantinople, she asked Ahmed III to facilitate a marriage between Asiye Sultan and Charles XII with Asiye converting to the Church of Sweden. Ahmed III was hesitant, but there was good precedent in allowing ottoman princess's convert and marry (happened a good amount of times with some Shia beys in Iraq, and happened a few rare times in Orhan's reign), and Ahmed III was willing to go for it if Charles XII was okay with it. But before the question could even be broken the Pruth River Campaign went ahead and the light terms basically killed the War party in Constantinople making it political suicidal to make such a suggestion so the proposal was dropped. But what if Ahmed III made an earlier decision and in the unlikely scenario Charles XII agreed to marry Asiye Sultan who would convert to the Church of Sweden before marrying him? What do you think would be the consequences of this? @von Adler @Osman Aga

I am still sceptical about this. I won't dismiss it as impossible (I haven't read the book you described nor found it) as it isn't impossible, but unlikely.

However...

This has quite some effects in the long term. For example, the first real marriage between an Ottoman Princess and a Christian Monarch that is documented, with the princess even converting.

Militarily speaking the Ottomans cannot do much to reverse Russian Conquest of the Baltics. The Ottomans can however distract the Russians when the Swedes are also at war. For the Ottomans, winning battles against Russia, getting war bounty from the Russian enemy, keeping them away from the Black Sea region and the Caucasus is a success. The military can be paid and a paid soldier is a happy soldier. The best the Ottomans can actually do is trying to halt increasing Russian influence in Poland-Lithuania, which is more important than trying to conquer Ukraine or even raiding it.
Sweden and the Ottoman Empire remain more in touch as allies, this is even likelier if Ahmed II's son Ibrahim lives beyond 1714 and becoming the next Sultan instead of Mahmud I. Russia tried to avoid several wars with the Ottomans OTL. In this scenario, the Russians will realize they risk a war with both the Swedes and Ottomans at the same time, which will discourage them even more.

What I do wonder is what the result would be if Peter the Great was captured in the Pruth Campaign or died, with this marriage happening. I wonder if Charles XII would try for the reconquest of the Baltics (without St. Petersburg) while the reforms of Peter the Great are reversed. This is something worth for a TL...

But the marriage has some consequences: "If the Swedish King can marry an Ottoman Princess, maybe we can too". In the 18th century, despite being trashed in the Great Turkish War the Ottoman Empire was still a respectable State and potentially a valuable ally, until the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-74. After Sweden, a few German, Italian and Polish-Lithuanian Rulers may try to go for a marriage alliance too. Mostly for the sake of alliances against Austria or Russia.
 
Ahmed III being caliph was the reason why he was hesitant iotl. Though in the end he did agree. The last time an Ottoman Princess was married off to a Christian was during Mehmet II's reign though (to the Trapuzentine Komnenos after their family was allowed to remain nobility) so yes though, there was a long gap present.

It still seems weird to me that a Sultan would agree to marry a female relative to a Christian, let alone with the indication of her to convert to any given church the ruler belongs to.

Never seen it yet.
 
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