How's the Start?


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Osman Aga

Banned
Now I have questions. If I read it correctly, Kuwait is recognized as an autonomous district of Ottoman of some sort, but under British influence isn't it? So....are they going to be treated as a separate entity from the Ottomans from this point onward, or would their relation to the Ottoman become something like what Hong Kong has with PRC?


So....that would also include the Pomaks I guess? I mean, they inhabit the southern mountainous border regions between Bulgaria and Ottoman and since they are Muslims (thus seemingly would be Ottoman-leaning), I can see why Bulgaria would see the problem with that kind of population in case if it want to go to war with Ottoman.

Though otl they managed to largely survive in the Rhodopes.
Yes, Pomaks lived in Southern Bulgaria, on both Bulgarian and Ottoman lands. In 1912, they can still be pro-Ottoman though by 1930-1940s this can change.

The Bulgarian Government had problems with Pomaks as late as 1989 in OTL. Being Muslim was always met with suspision for being pro-Ottoman/Turkish. Especially when you form 10-25% of the population. Example of this is how Muslim Landowners were prevented from returning to their property in East Rumelia in the late 1870s and 1880s.

Regardless of that, Bulgaria was relatively the most Muslim-friendly among the Balkan States.
 
It really depends. What....population they will exchange with Bulgaria? Since the Ottoman state in this tl is still a home to many Orthodox population such as the Greeks, Armenians, or Karamanlides (are they also Greek by ethnicity? Idk)
Actually back in the 1980s, as a kid I met some born in Cappadocia. One uncle by marriage is Karamanli. His mother had come to Greece as an adult. She still spoke mostly Turkish in everyday life as did most of her relatives same age. But the gods preserve you if you made the mistake of even hinting any of them was not Greek. If anything they were more nationalist on average than Greek speakers.

Which should not come as much of a surprise really. After all the only serious guerilla movement in Asia Minor after 1914 was the Pontic Greeks and an inordinate amount of said partisans were Turkish speaking. Many of the ones who survived and came to Greece would take up arms again against the Germans and Bulgarians in the 1940s...
 
it will be fun to see how decolonisation happens espcially in regards to the muslim world. The Algerian war is going to be something instead of Nasser Egypt it will be ottoman turkey funding them with more wealth and political support. A French Ottoman war could likely happen over this.
 

Osman Aga

Banned
it will be fun to see how decolonisation happens espcially in regards to the muslim world. The Algerian war is going to be something instead of Nasser Egypt it will be ottoman turkey funding them with more wealth and political support. A French Ottoman war could likely happen over this.

A proxy war between the Ottoman Empire and France is likely. Like the Ottomans funding and arming Muslims in French colonies while the French instigate Maronite, Albanian and Armenian rebellions. An actual war is less likely unless it's a world war.

If the Ottoman Empire resurges and the CUP remains influential, it is pretty inevitable for a proxy war between the French and Ottomans. Especially if it is more British/German leaning in a post world war. That is at earliest the 1930s.
 
Is there any chance for the Khedivate to be reabsorbed by the Ottomans, considering the current occupant supported them in the war against Italy and the area is nominally subordinate to the Sultan?
 

Osman Aga

Banned
Well this is disheartening. I take it Egypt's been independent for too long then? There's also the British presence there.

British presence since the 1880s is too long to allow the Ottomans return, especially if it resurges. It will remain de jure Ottoman until Egypt becomes independent. By 1912, this seems a better option because within a few year, like 1930s Egypt will also lead the Empire due to population size (15 million in Egypt vs 25 million in Ottoman Empire). Comparable with the Philippines joining the US as one state.

If this was the 1880s, both Egypt and East Rumelia could rejoin the Ottoman Empire. But in the 1910s this isn't a practical option anymore.
 
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Actually back in the 1980s, as a kid I met some born in Cappadocia. One uncle by marriage is Karamanli. His mother had come to Greece as an adult. She still spoke mostly Turkish in everyday life as did most of her relatives same age. But the gods preserve you if you made the mistake of even hinting any of them was not Greek. If anything they were more nationalist on average than Greek speakers.

Which should not come as much of a surprise really. After all the only serious guerilla movement in Asia Minor after 1914 was the Pontic Greeks and an inordinate amount of said partisans were Turkish speaking. Many of the ones who survived and came to Greece would take up arms again against the Germans and Bulgarians in the 1940s...
Oh, sorry, thanks for the information. I've only read once somewhere that they are Turkish-speaking (mostly) so I assume that maybe they were Orthodox Turks instead of actual Greeks.

it will be fun to see how decolonisation happens espcially in regards to the muslim world. The Algerian war is going to be something instead of Nasser Egypt it will be ottoman turkey funding them with more wealth and political support. A French Ottoman war could likely happen over this.
It would be more messy too I suppose. French colonization of Algeria was harsh for the natives, and if Ottoman support would rile the guerrilas to fight more fiercely, well....
I wonder what implications a surviving Ottoman would have on the Russian and British 'Great Game' in Central Asia.

Edit: Nvm. I read that again and it mentions the great game has already ended by this era.
 
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Oh, sorry, thanks for the information. I've only read once somewhere that they are Turkish-speaking (mostly) so I thought they were Orthodox Turks.
About as much as the grand majority of Turco-Cretans who were speaking Greek... and for the most part their ancestors were converted Greeks were Muslim Greek. They were not as seen by consistently fight on the Ottoman side in every single Cretan revolt from 1692 to 1896. Religion effectively trumped language. Which as seen in cases like Ireland for example shouldn't be that surprising...
 
Chapter 8: End of 1912
Chapter 8: End of 1912

***

“Armenians had been an integral part of the Ottoman Empire for many centuries, ever since the Ottoman Turks had conquered Anatolia and the Caucasus. And even though the Ottoman influence was waning in the Caucasus, the Ottoman Empire consisted of around 45% of the entire Armenian population in the world in 1912. Armenians had remained loyal subjects for many centuries, however the ever pan-islamist Abdul Hamid II’s reign brought a lot of problems for the Armenian population, beginning with the Armenian Massacres under Abdul Hamid II.

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The Hamidian Massacres

Because of these massacres, the European powers had intervened partially, and had forced Abdul Hamid II to agree to an Armenian reform package in 1895, but like many reforms during his era, the Armenian reform was left to rot, and the discrimination against the Armenians continued. Russia who was caught up in putting down their own Armenian population, kept quiet, and Britain, France, Germany and Austria had no particular interest in watching the reforms being implemented.

During the 1908 Young Turk revolution, the Armenians rejoiced, and supported and aided the CUP, however their enthusiasm quickly started to dampen over the Cilician Armenian Massacres, for which the CUP was partially responsible. The Armenian population was then caught up in a rock and hard place. They got the representation they wanted in the Ottoman government, however the CUP led government was becoming increasingly pro-Turkification, which was protested heavily by the Ottoman Armenian population. The Ottoman government also, whilst becoming more secular, still kept Islam as first among equals, and during ethnic violence between Armenians and Kurds, the Ottoman government tended to favor the Kurds, due to them being Muslims.

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The Ottoman Revolution of 1908

During the 1911-12 Ottoman-Italian War however, the Armenians were presented an opportunity. The Foreign Minister of the government was an Armenian, and the Armenian National Assembly intended to use this to their advantage. The acts of the Ottoman Armenian Foreign Minister were displayed in the country through pro-Armenian papers, and indeed this did lead to pro-Armenian voices rising in the Ottoman Empire and the government as well.

The Armenians themselves, were united in the consensus that reform was needed, but were disunited in the consensus of what kind of reform was needed. Many did not favor Russia, even though some Russians made an illusion thinking Armenians would prefer Russian annexation. To many in the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Russian annexation would simply be swapping one master for another. And considering Russia’s own heavy handed Russification policies, the Ottoman’s own Turkification policy seemed tame in comparison, and as such very few in the Ottoman Armenian provinces preferred Russian annexation. However the ethnic violence between the Kurds and the Armenians were starting to mount, with villages of mixed ethnic groups erupting into ethnic violence between Kurds and Armenians. The Ottoman Empire, which was still urbanizing as they went through their late (better late than never) industrialization, had…..questionable amounts of influence in their rural villages.

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Building of the Armenian National Assembly in Van, Ottoman Empire.

The Armenian National Assembly in October 1912, made a formal application to the Ottoman government, speaking about reform, and asking for aid to stamp down on ethnic tensions. The Ottoman ministry, truly worried about the ongoing violence, promised to bring the application to the Chamber of Deputies after the ratification of the Anglo-Ottoman Convention took place.

And indeed it did. After the Anglo-Ottoman Convention was ratified, the Ottoman Chamber was filled with the Armenians bringing up the reform application. The Armenians asked for the provinces of Van, Erzurum, Bitlis, Trebizond, and Sivas, and Diyarbakir to be included in an all encompassing Armenian province. Whilst the Ottoman government was open to an Armenian specific province and vilayet, such a large province was out of the question.

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Erzurum, Van and Bitlis would form the Armenian Vilayet.

As this became public, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Sazonov, reacted badly and informed the Ottomans that Armenian reform was necessary, and even stated that the Russians could aid the Ottoman in drawing up reform plans. The Ottomans politely declined.

Back in the Ottoman Empire, the reform package was still being negotiated. The Ottoman government under Ali Kemal argued that Trebizond, Diyarbakir and Sivas were Armenian plurality provinces, not majority, and as such that made them ill-equipped to join an Armenian province. After a lot of heckling, the Armenian delegation reluctantly agreed to the establishment of an Armenian Vilayet, consisting of the Erzurum, Van and Bitlis Vilayets, combined the Armenians formed around 60% of the total population of these combined provinces. The areas with local Kurd or Turkish or Greek Pontic majority would be given Sanjak or Kaza status within the Armenian Vilayet.

The first point, defining the boundaries of an Armenian province was finalized in the Chamber of Deputies in December 17, 1912 when the Chamber ratified the map. However the next set of challenges of course, came in the form, of what kind of autonomy the Armenians could wield. The debate would continue well into 1913.” A History of Ottoman Armenians: History Book for the Ottoman Curriculum for Armenians, Grade 11.

“By December 1912, tensions in the Balkans were at a fraying point. The Ottoman Empire, for good reason was very very suspicious about the Balkan states of Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro. More than anything actually, the Ottomans feared tiny Montenegro. It’s royal family was wed with almost every royal family in Europe. The Romanovs, Savoyards, the Hohenzollerns, the Bourbons of Spain, and the Scandinavian monarchies and the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal family in Britain. The small kingdom was small indeed, but it was wily and slippery, and the Ottomans who had failed to conquer Montenegro properly, knew this better than anyone else.

Nicholas I of Montenegro was no small threat, even for the rather small size of his country. In fact the Montenegrin economy was boisterous under his reign, and the country’s armed forces were becoming more and more professional under his reign, and thought looking at the map people may wonder why Montenegro would even be a threat to the Ottoman Empire, many in the Sublime Porte saw Montenegro as an even more definite threat than Serbia.

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Nicholas I of Montenegro.

Nonetheless, Ottoman consulates in Romania, and Bulgaria had managed to observe a peculiar movement of Bulgarian and Serbian troops in Bulgaria and Serbia, sometimes these troops entering each other’s territories accompanied by their generals, and the governments of said both countries doing little to nothing about it. Because of this, the Ottoman government started to have suspicions regarding the so called neutrality of the Serbs and Bulgarians against the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottomans were also wary of Russia. Ever since 1881, the two powers had settled on tentative neutrality in relations with one another, which was way better than the brutally bad relations the two had for each other previous to that, however the Ottomans still remained wary of the Russians, knowing of the Russian links to the Serbian and Bulgarian government. Even more so, the Turks knew that the Russians were becoming more and more agitated by the game of cat and mouse that the Russians and Ottomans played in northern Iran. As per the Anglo-Russian Entente, northern Persia was under Russian influence, however as per previous agreements with Iran and Britain, northwestern Iran was also under Ottoman influence. This led to game of cat and mouse between the Ottoman Empire and Russian Empire in the Persian Northwest, with both powers hampering each other in the region by building barracks and army stations in the region. The Ottomans worried that the Russians were causing and stirring up trouble to make the Ottoman focus on Persia become diverted, especially since the Ottomans had managed to clear out Russian influence west of Lake Urmia in Iran.

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The division of Russian and British influence in Persia.

In November 28th, however the Ottoman consulate in Sofia managed to break a cypher in the Bulgarian capital, which proved Ottoman concerns. The Serbs and Bulgarians had allied with one another, and though whether or not they were getting aid from Russia was murky. The reaction in Constantinople was one of muted silence. The Ottoman military was still trying to rearm and reform, and going to an offensive war in its current state would be utter suicide. As such, the Ottomans decided to hold the information for themselves, and instead decided to divert some funds to start the construction of fortifications across the Serbo-Bulgarian border with the Ottoman Empire as well as the border with Russia. These new fortifications would be instrumental in future conflicts. The armed forces had their strategy oriented against Serbia and Bulgaria as well.” A Military and Diplomatic History of the Ottoman Balkans, University of Sofia, 1998.

“Ottoman oil exploration had started in the empire ever since the Persians had fallen into the grasps of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, fearing a similar fate. The first foreign intervention in the Ottoman oil scouting took place in 1907 on part of Sir William Knox D’Arcy. D’Arcy was an influential member of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and the man had been instrumental in finding the inner Abadan oil fields. He petitioned the Ottoman government in 1907 for a scouting mission with permission from the Sultan and the British ambassador in Constantinople. This was denied by the Ottoman government. They had seen what had happened in Persia.

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William Knox D'Arcy

Nonetheless, between 1908 and 1912 the Royal Dutch Shell and the German Oil Companies engaged in a race to find oil fields in the Ottoman Empire, and some small oil fields were usually contested heavily between the British and the Germans. In order to offset foreign intervention within this vital industry of the empire, the Empire finally gave Calouste Gulbenkian the charter to seek out oil fields independently of the Germans and British. In 1912, D’Arcy had lost his position in the Persian Oil Fields, and with this new opportunity brewing, he filed to join this Scouting mission in Constantinople. Reluctantly, the Ottoman government allowed D’Arcy to work together with Gulbenkian.

One Sir Ernest Cassel, an Englishman of German descent proposed creating an Anglo-Ottoman-German Oil syndicate in the Ottoman oil fields, to reconcile the differentiating interests in the region. Cassel enjoyed the confidence of the Ottoman and the British government and the Deutsche Bank as well, the latter of which funded the German scouting missions in the Ottoman Empire.

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Sir Ernest Cassel.

In December 26th, 1912 after a series of muted negotiations were held between foreign minister Syrja Bey Vlora, and British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey as well as German Foreign Minister about the Ottoman oil interests in Mesopotamia. In the end, the three sides agreed to the creation of the Ottoman Oil Company Corporation or the OOCC. The OOCC would be headed by Calouste Gulbenkian, and the Ottomans would hold 60% of the entire stocks, whilst Germany and Britain held 20% of the stocks of the company each respectively. The OOCC was given a total of 90,000 pounds as their starting charter by the government. Lord Strathcona, the chairman of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company promised around 10,000 pounds in aid as well for the Ottoman Oil Company Corporation.” A History of Ottoman Oil.

“By late 1912, the 15 airplanes that the Ottomans had ordered from France had arrived in Constantinople, much to the delight of Mahmud Shevket Pasha. This meant that the Ottomans had a total of 18 airplanes in service, and had 30 pilots, ready for service. And good news for the Ottomans was the majority of the planes were all modern and capable of holding a single bombing load. Having seen the effectiveness of the airplanes in the Ottoman-Italian War, the Ottomans knew very well that airpower would play a huge part in future wars, especially in flat areas, of which the Ottomans had aplenty in Mesopotamia and the Levant.

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members of the OAAC smiling for a photograph

In November 17th, 1912, the Ottoman Ministry of War, officially declared the establishment of the Ottoman Army Air Corps or the OAAC, with support from the government. For the moment the OAAC remained under the jurisdiction of the army and the Ministry of War. Minister of War, Mahmud Shevket Pasha then divided the 18 planes into 3 squadrons of 6 planes each. The 1st Squadron was placed in Salonika, the 2nd was placed in Constantinople and the third and last squadron was placed in Jerusalem. The major goals of the OAAC was mainly to be the recon eyes of the army and capable of committing themselves to bombing as well, making them a formidable enemy.

The end goal of the Ottoman Empire in regards of the OAAC was to have 105 planes by the end of 1918 divided into 7 squadrons of 15 planes each, with 3 recon squadrons and 4 bombing squadrons.

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Insignia of the OAAC.

The Ottoman government also made their underground aviation campus in Constantinople *official* and started to hand out leaflets advertising young men to learn how to pilot planes. As piloting was a high paying job during this time, even more so than today, many young men volunteered to join the Constantinople Aviation Campus.

Thus began the famed Ottoman Air Force, from humble origins.”
A History of Ottoman Airpower, 1988.
 
Armenian reform package is potentially a double edge sword though. Radical can be embolden and see it as first step toward independent and change for pay back, Local Kurds who don't want to be a part of such "Armenian controlled" vilayet may do something drastic, other minorities will ask why not us?, etc. All in all, this will potentially can lead to new round of violence and bring Great Power eyes back to the region since no matter what happen Ottoman will be blamed if such crisis do occur. But on other hand if successful this may lead to a peacefull resolution to the region.

Also the Ottoman Air Force is a nice addition. In time this will help them controlled their vast desert domain and the bedouin nomad more easily.
 
so we know ottomans vs russia then, that means France will side with Russia they can't lose them as a ally due to the threat of the germans. Germany and KuK may through there support behind ottomans Germany wants there war with France and Russia so i see them push for it. It would be good for the austrians only in the sense that they won't get steamrolled immediately like otl, so their army will be intact. My first Guess would be that Britain would remain neutral due to no intervention for Belgium. However i think it can be also argued against. I think the public would be more open/ okay going to war with the ottomans after all the plans to partition the ottoman empire were made pre ww1. I see British political establishment having a much easier time to persuade the population for war. They still have the hun threat but also those evil moslim turks who are oppressing the balkan people. Lastly its a war britain prefers to fight fight in colonies and use their navy for the advantage
 
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Other ethnicities (especially Albanians) will likely also ask for their own ethnic vilayets.

Also looks like the Balkan Wars are coming but that might be a part of the Great War ITTL. Otherwise, Russia continues being Russia.
 
Armenian reform package is potentially a double edge sword though. Radical can be embolden and see it as first step toward independent and change for pay back, Local Kurds who don't want to be a part of such "Armenian controlled" vilayet may do something drastic, other minorities will ask why not us?, etc. All in all, this will potentially can lead to new round of violence and bring Great Power eyes back to the region since no matter what happen Ottoman will be blamed if such crisis do occur. But on other hand if successful this may lead to a peacefull resolution to the region.
the christian minorities?? Yes. the others not so much
Also the Ottoman Air Force is a nice addition. In time this will help them controlled their vast desert domain and the bedouin nomad more easily.
indeed
 
so we know ottomans vs russia then, that means France will side with Russia they can't lose them as a ally due to the threat of the germans. Germany and KuK may through there support behind ottomans Germany wants there war with France and Russia so i see them push for it. It would be good for the austrians only in the sense that they won't get steamrolled immediately like otl, so their army will be intact. My first Guess would be that Britain would remain neutral due to no intervention for Belgium. However i think it can be also argued against. I think the public would be more open/ okay going to war with the ottomans after all the plans to partition the ottoman empire were made pre ww1. I see British political establishment having a much easier time to persuade the population for war. They still have the hun threat but also those evil moslim turks who are oppressing the balkan people. Lastly its a war britain prefers to fight fight in colonies and use their navy for the advantage
not exactly. Just because they will be useful in a conflict doesn't mean it's against Russia
 
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