So while everyone's been discussing how much Turkish clay that could be peeled off for Greece to claim, I've been wondering:

What exactly is gonna keep Turkey from being on a constant revanchist rampage trying to reclaim it? Because that's gonna happen. They are not gonna take the massive loss of that much land easily or well, so...

Greece needs to do something, less Turkey just go full on Grudgement levels of hatred against them.
I think the goal of Greece’s foreign policy relating to Turkey at some point is going to focus less on expanding Greek boarders and more on creating, making, and helping allies with similar geopolitical concerns. Greece standing alone is weak. A Greece who is friends with Armenia, Cilicia, Pontus, a Christian and Alawite Antioch State, Kurdistan and Lebanon that stand together in fear of revanchist Turkey is strong. Not all those states are going to exist obviously but I’m just running through a list of possible nations to be part of this defensive league. Russia and Egypt are also possible members and would add a lot of extra power to said alliance as well

I will second oca2073’s concept of encouraging a cultural divide of some sort in the Ottomans could also work, although I’ve no clue how that might be accomplished in a practical sense. But the Greeks somehow co-opting a “Rumelian” cultural identity for Turkish people in the Balkans and tie them to Greece it would certainly help with the population issues the Greeks would have if they just kicked them all out.

I’m have no clue how to accomplish that though or if it’s even possible. I’m hoping that Greece is willing to accept Muslim Greeks like the Vallahades as Greeks in this timeline and I’d consider that a nice victory. I’ve said that before that allying with Bektashi muslims makes a lot of sense in this universe. The Greeks can always use more manpower and tax payers and the Bektashi are no friends of the ottomans at this point in time. Also many of them still speak Greek or Albanian and are Muslims with a lot of Christian traditions mixed in so they’d be easier for your average Greek to relate with. They’re a great first step towards Muslim acceptance and integration in Greece.
 
You're assuming at this point that the Turks would be unified against Greek aggression and Turkish nationalist development would develop exactly as it did OTL. But that's far from certain. At this point even the term "Turk" was looked down upon by the Ottoman ruling class that called themselves "Osman". Historically, there was a great divide between the secular/socialist/nationalist Young Turk movement and the pious, conservative, rural Turks. If the Greeks can play this divide, they can win support from the latter and the Young Turk movement might be much less powerful/influential than historically speaking. Turkish nationalism would be badly divided and fail to win countryside support. I can certainly see the Greeks doing certain things like keeping Hagia Sophia a mosque that even the Young Turks weren't willing to do.

By the 20th century, this sort of naval advantage you are citing largely disappears. You don't see Britain able to hold coastal ports and cities in France from say Nazi Germany just because they dominated the seas for example. The geography has to be perfect for this advantage to hold (say Gibraltar).

Thus it is essential in the long run that Greece should hold the interior. And win over at least a portion of the Turkish population if you want them to hold any territory in Anatolia in the long run. Or they will probably be driven back into the sea every time a war with a powerful Turkey starts.
Theres no way hagia sophia remains a mosque if it falls in Greek hands bar some international treaty, too much pressure from the people will be there to make it into a church or atleast compromise and make it into a museum which is still difficult
I think the goal of Greece’s foreign policy relating to Turkey at some point is going to focus less on expanding Greek boarders and more on creating, making, and helping allies with similar geopolitical concerns. Greece standing alone is weak. A Greece who is friends with Armenia, Cilicia, Pontus, a Christian and Alawite Antioch State, Kurdistan and Lebanon that stand together in fear of revanchist Turkey is strong. Not all those states are going to exist obviously but I’m just running through a list of possible nations to be part of this defensive league. Russia and Egypt are also possible members and would add a lot of extra power to said alliance as well

I will second oca2073’s concept of encouraging a cultural divide of some sort in the Ottomans could also work, although I’ve no clue how that might be accomplished in a practical sense. But the Greeks somehow co-opting a “Rumelian” cultural identity for Turkish people in the Balkans and tie them to Greece it would certainly help with the population issues the Greeks would have if they just kicked them all out.

I’m have no clue how to accomplish that though or if it’s even possible. I’m hoping that Greece is willing to accept Muslim Greeks like the Vallahades as Greeks in this timeline and I’d consider that a nice victory. I’ve said that before that allying with Bektashi muslims makes a lot of sense in this universe. The Greeks can always use more manpower and tax payers and the Bektashi are no friends of the ottomans at this point in time. Also many of them still speak Greek or Albanian and are Muslims with a lot of Christian traditions mixed in so they’d be easier for your average Greek to relate with. They’re a great first step towards Muslim acceptance and integration in Greece.
I dont think the Rumelian thing for Turkish people is gonna work. A Greece that takes parts of anatolia and the straits will result in very high nationalism and revanchism among ethnic Turkish people. Best case scenario for Greece is population exchanges like otl but without regional exceptions and Greece keeps greek and/or other non turkish muslims.
 
I think the goal of Greece’s foreign policy relating to Turkey at some point is going to focus less on expanding Greek boarders and more on creating, making, and helping allies with similar geopolitical concerns. Greece standing alone is weak. A Greece who is friends with Armenia, Cilicia, Pontus, a Christian and Alawite Antioch State, Kurdistan and Lebanon that stand together in fear of revanchist Turkey is strong. Not all those states are going to exist obviously but I’m just running through a list of possible nations to be part of this defensive league. Russia and Egypt are also possible members and would add a lot of extra power to said alliance as well

I will second oca2073’s concept of encouraging a cultural divide of some sort in the Ottomans could also work, although I’ve no clue how that might be accomplished in a practical sense. But the Greeks somehow co-opting a “Rumelian” cultural identity for Turkish people in the Balkans and tie them to Greece it would certainly help with the population issues the Greeks would have if they just kicked them all out.

I’m have no clue how to accomplish that though or if it’s even possible. I’m hoping that Greece is willing to accept Muslim Greeks like the Vallahades as Greeks in this timeline and I’d consider that a nice victory. I’ve said that before that allying with Bektashi muslims makes a lot of sense in this universe. The Greeks can always use more manpower and tax payers and the Bektashi are no friends of the ottomans at this point in time. Also many of them still speak Greek or Albanian and are Muslims with a lot of Christian traditions mixed in so they’d be easier for your average Greek to relate with. They’re a great first step towards Muslim acceptance and integration in Greece.
Agreed about Muslim Greeks. By the 20th century, "Greek" should take on a more cultural and less religious definition than it currently is in the 1850s right now in this TL. There is scope for this to happen if the Greeks are in a stronger position relative to the Turks than they were OTL. A lot of the religious mania in Greek nationalism was due to its being in an inferior position relative to the Turks, insecurity, and needing to grasp at something that made them totally distinct from the Ottomans. In this TL, Greeks should emphasize more: their culture, language, ancient history that precedes the Ottomans, their commitment to science/technology/rationality/democracy like their forefathers. As well as having humane, progressive governance and administration relative to the Ottomans in terms of corruption, tax burden, and building a modern state. Basically a Young Turks agenda in many ways except aimed at Greeks and accepting the importance of religion.
 
Last edited:
Theres no way hagia sophia remains a mosque if it falls in Greek hands bar some international treaty, too much pressure from the people will be there to make it into a church or atleast compromise and make it into a museum which is still difficult
Jews are still banned from praying at the Temple Mount. I'm thinking something similar here. But the policy will be less strict and specific Christian prayer rooms inside the Hagia Sofia can be allowed. But the Hagia Sofia overall remains a mosque. Else Greece will not be able to hold Istanbul/Constantinople in peace if they start knocking down minarets and rural Muslim Turks will flock to the nationalist Turkish movement joining forces with the secular Turkish movement. A nightmare scenario to be avoided at all costs.

Just to throw this out here. There still exists one church in Istanbul/Constantinople that if properly renovated could make for a fitting seat for the Ecumenical Patriarch without taking over Hagia Sofia. Ironically, it's located in the Topkapi Palace which now is the main residence of the Ottoman sultans.

albumtemp-16.jpg

"Though the present church dates only from the 6th century, it is at least the third building to be erected on what is thought to be the oldest site of Christian worship in Istanbul".
 
Last edited:
Jews are still banned from praying at the Temple Mount. I'm thinking something similar here. But the policy will be less strict and specific Christian prayer rooms inside the Hagia Sofia can be allowed. But the Hagia Sofia overall remains a mosque. Else Greece will not be able to hold Istanbul/Constantinople in peace if they start knocking down minarets and rural Muslim Turks will flock to the nationalist Turkish movement joining forces with the secular Turkish movement. A nightmare scenario to be avoided at all costs.

Just to throw this out here. There still exists one church in Istanbul/Constantinople that if properly renovated could make for a fitting seat for the Ecumenical Patriarch without taking over Hagia Sofia. Ironically, it's located in the Topkapi Palace which now is the main residence of the Ottoman sultans.

View attachment 600935
I believe rural Turks will be revanchist regardless. It will be like modern day situation with Jerusalem just because the Greeks let the Hagia Sophia remain a mosque wont stop the religious Turks from wanting to "liberate" it from the Greeks
 
I believe rural Turks will be revanchist regardless. It will be like modern day situation with Jerusalem just because the Greeks let the Hagia Sophia remain a mosque wont stop the religious Turks from wanting to "liberate" it from the Greeks
But you must remember while Temple Mount is also sacred to Muslims, the Hagia Sofia is not. Hagia Sofia in the hands of Turks/Muslims just symbolizes conquest over Christianity. But the Christians retaking the city didn't even bother to turn it back into a Church. So their interest in "regaining it for Islam" would wane pretty quickly compared to Jerusalem. That would change if you violate such a prominent, historically important mosque however.

While conservative, rural Turks became ultra-religious OTL, I believe it was mostly as a reaction to the Young Turks' secularism. A Greek govt that respects their religion ironically more than the Young Turks might actually get them to remain religiously moderate.
 
Last edited:
I don't get why the Armenians will suffer in Imperial Russia, as it is contrary to OTL and to common sense. Russification is bound to be very light in Armenia for multiple reasons:

(1) They are far away from the russian core, in contrast to e.g. the Baltics. Moreover, the Armenian Highlands are a very unsuitable place to attract Russian settlers: there isn't any good agricultural land and the place is not good for industrialization. The OTL development that took place was based on attracting Greek and Armenian migrants, not Russians.

(2) The Caucasus is a hodgepodge of ethnicities and religions. It is the perfect environment for a symbiotic relationship between Armenians and the Empire. Take a look at this map: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...s_according_to_the_Russian_census_of_1897.JPG

The imperial government needs to have some loyal populations to ascertaib control in the region, playing the ages old divide and conquer game, while the Armenians need the protection of the government against local antagonisms.

It has been hinted by the author that Russians won't annex all the major armenian homelands. After such defeat, that has resulted in the loss of Epirus, Thessaly, Dodecanese and possibly the Danubian Principalities and part of Armenia, the Ottoman response will be ugly. The OTL Hamidian Massacres were not out of the blue , nor the whim of a monarch: the weaker the Empire became, the harsher was the treatment of its christian population.

(3) The Armenians lived in much of their long history in large multi ethnic empires. The only problem they had was when an Empire tried to genocide them. They knew how to prosper in such empires. If anything, an actual independence movement (and not simple cultural autonomy) will be veeeery slow to develop. Barring massacres, the armenian peasantry need imperial protection in the multiethnic hodgepodge and the merchantile urban elites have tied their prosperity with being citizens of a multiethnic empire. This is all from OTL.
 
Last edited:
This reminds me of something... oh wait. :angel:
I think I was subconsciously channeling your TL when I wrote that post...credit to you for t

You're assuming at this point that the Turks would be unified against Greek aggression and Turkish nationalist development would develop exactly as it did OTL. But that's far from certain. At this point even the term "Turk" was looked down upon by the Ottoman ruling class that called themselves "Osman". Historically, there was a great divide between the secular/socialist/nationalist Young Turk movement and the pious, conservative, rural Turks. If the Greeks can play this divide, they can win support from the latter and the Young Turk movement might be much less powerful/influential than historically speaking. Turkish nationalism would be badly divided and fail to win countryside support. I can certainly see the Greeks doing certain things like keeping Hagia Sophia a mosque that even the Young Turks weren't willing to do.

By the 20th century, this sort of naval advantage you are citing largely disappears. You don't see Britain able to hold coastal ports and cities in France from say Nazi Germany just because they dominated the seas for example. The geography has to be perfect for this advantage to hold (say Gibraltar).

Thus it is essential in the long run that Greece should hold the interior. And win over at least a portion of the Turkish population if you want them to hold any territory in Anatolia in the long run. Or they will probably be driven back into the sea every time a war with a powerful Turkey starts.

Greece is not going to play to Turkish cultural divides, because any attempts at establishing such a divide would be seen rightfully as an outside attempt at dividing a fundamentally united people. It’s the same basic reason why I’ve mentioned my doubts about wiping out Bulgarian nationalism ITTL earlier in the thread: because nationalism is often a direct reaction to another nationalism. In OTL, both Turkish and Bulgarian nationalisms formed under pressure from and as a response to Greek nationalism. In TTL, with the Greeks so much stronger and more aggressive, that pressure will start earlier and cause an earlier reaction. Moreover, I cannot in any circumstance see the Greeks winning over rural Muslim Turks, because there’s nothing about Greek nationalism to appeal to them and nothing about a theoretical Rumelian nationalism to appeal to the Greeks. Rural Turks identify with Islam and a Turko-Persian cultural base; there’s nothing the Greeks can propose that would be more enticing than even the Ottoman cultural sphere, let alone genuine Turkish nationalism.

Also, Turkey is never never never going to let people spread this ideology in rural Anatolia while it’s under their control and it’s too far away from Greek centers of power and interest for them to be willing to try and go against Turkey to do it anyway. If Greece tries to spread this ideology later once they’re owning central Anatolia, well, by then it will be too late.

As for the coastal strategy, the difference between this and Nazi Germany is that Greece will be planning on using their naval dominance to hold coastal forts from the get-go, not scrambling to muster a defense well behind their former borders as the British were doing in France. This would be more like the British holding onto Gibraltar or the Cyprus bases, a situation that can fail but shouldn’t outside of mismanagement.
 
Regarding the turkish cultural divides and a greek attempt to win over the turkish peasantry, in my honest opinion is ASB. In our experience, nations were built around three fundamental "glues" that tied together a modern state:
- Language
- Religion
- Common customs

Now the turkish peasantry doesn't tick not a single one of the aforementioned concepts. If Greeks try to win over Ottoman muslims, then it will be those populations who are greek-speaking (as in they speak greek at home) and have at least some common customs with the Greeks. There are only specific populations, such as the Muslim Greeks of Ioannina, Vallahades, Turkocretans and the greek-speaking muslim Cypriots.
 
I have been watching the discussion these past days and I think it has been severely derailed. We are talking about the status of the Greco-Turkish relationship in the 20th century and we are now only in 1850s ITTL! Greece will not be always successful (as much as I would like that to happen)! It is certain that there will be some setbacks (perhaps an overzealous monarch in the future leading to a catastrophic war?).
We have been talking if it is feasible for Greece to absorb most of the Armenian population (not to mention the Assyrians). Seriously? The butterflies created are already massive for someone to even try to predict what will happen 20 years in the future!
The amount of effort needed to absorb and develop all the new territories (even to a minimum standard) will be gigantic! That IMHO would be the focus of Greece in the next 20 years.
 
Regarding the turkish cultural divides and a greek attempt to win over the turkish peasantry, in my honest opinion is ASB. In our experience, nations were built around three fundamental "glues" that tied together a modern state:
- Language
- Religion
- Common customs

Now the turkish peasantry doesn't tick not a single one of the aforementioned concepts. If Greeks try to win over Ottoman muslims, then it will be those populations who are greek-speaking (as in they speak greek at home) and have at least some common customs with the Greeks. There are only specific populations, such as the Muslim Greeks of Ioannina, Vallahades, Turkocretans and the greek-speaking muslim Cypriots.
I won’t say it’s completely ASB but I will say that I think anything beyond a small percentage of Turkish Rumelian Muslims staying in Greece (or other Balkan nations for that matter) and identifying themselves as Greek or Rumelian Greek in a generation or two is very unlikely, and that would likely be a result of not wanting to leave their home rather than any particular feelings of love for the country they’re staying in. Think the Turks of Western Thrace but on a low level more national scale.

I can however see the Greeks winning over a few other minority Muslim groups besides the Greek ones you mention if they put forth the effort to really try and befriend them. I feel like a broken record at this point but the bektashi Albanians in Northern Epirus and Southern Albania are an obvious target if the Greek government comes to see the Greek Bektashi citizens as “properly Greek” as the bektashi Albanians have no love for the Ottomans after they banned their religion. The bektashi also share some Christians traditions that other Muslims don’t. Set up some Greek backed Bektashi schools in the area and you likely have strong ties that could lead the groups to seeing the Greeks as their natural friends and allies. Depending on how long it has to take root they could even start to see themselves as having more in common with the Greeks than their northern neighbors as their is a dialect divide between the Northern and Southern Albanians.

The other group of non Greek Muslims that immediately comes to mind is the Pomaks. (Which as far as I can tell is fine to say in a general sense but can be offensive now a days in Bulgaria if you say it to a Muslims face? Someone with better knowledge please let me know if I’m being a jerk using that term. I’m just not sure what else to refer to them as as they are part of multiple countries in otl.) Some of them are part of Greece in otl, the live largely in Thrace and the mountains of southern Bulgaria, and they don’t seem to have a particular love of being Bulgarian and are relatively well treated otl in Greece. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing but there’s no reason the can’t try to woo more of them into seeing themselves as part of Greece if it worked alright otl. That said I’m much less knowledgeable about the Pomaks than I am the Bektashi. So I have a lot less analysis and fewer thoughts on how to trying and encourage them to see themselves as Greek.
 
I don’t see the Greeks winning over the Turkish peasantry either to be honest. In addition, I doubt Greece’s ability to hold land full of people who don’t identify as Greek against what will inevitably be a greater economic and military power then them. Going for the maximal borders presented that stretch into the interior, Greece will struggle against guerrilla warfare backed by a regional power who will have every reason to despise them. Going for the coastal stronghold strategy, Greece will have no defensive depth and little room for airports safe from artillery fire. Their highly concentrated and crammed in forts would be reduced to rubble by enemy air power/siege artillery easily and being easily reinforceable would just mean easy access to a meat grinder.

Short of a full on dismantling of Turkey backed by a superpower Russia and including maximal Kurdistan, Armenia, Cilician Armenia and a constant Russian presence in the region (and I remember Earl Marshall hinting earlier at the Russian falling in the future) I simply don’t see how it’s sustainable. Given that fact, Greece should focus on the territory it can hold through it’s navy and make Greek through population exchange. I propose OTL Greece + Cyprus, East Thrace and the western portion of Constantinople. It’ll be relatively easy to ensure a population exchange for and thus invulnerable to Turkish insurgency, and as long as Greece rules the waves it’ll be invulnerable to any other form of invasion as well. While in theory Turkey could use its aftermentioned economic power to build up a Greece destroying navy, in practice other threats will likely force them to focus on their army until at least the atomic age, at which point Greece will have a whole new way of securing itself from invasion.

1605771000092-2.png

Credit to oca2073 for the basemap which I changed in paint
 
Last edited:
I think I was subconsciously channeling your TL when I wrote that post...credit to you for t



Greece is not going to play to Turkish cultural divides, because any attempts at establishing such a divide would be seen rightfully as an outside attempt at dividing a fundamentally united people. It’s the same basic reason why I’ve mentioned my doubts about wiping out Bulgarian nationalism ITTL earlier in the thread: because nationalism is often a direct reaction to another nationalism. In OTL, both Turkish and Bulgarian nationalisms formed under pressure from and as a response to Greek nationalism. In TTL, with the Greeks so much stronger and more aggressive, that pressure will start earlier and cause an earlier reaction. Moreover, I cannot in any circumstance see the Greeks winning over rural Muslim Turks, because there’s nothing about Greek nationalism to appeal to them and nothing about a theoretical Rumelian nationalism to appeal to the Greeks. Rural Turks identify with Islam and a Turko-Persian cultural base; there’s nothing the Greeks can propose that would be more enticing than even the Ottoman cultural sphere, let alone genuine Turkish nationalism.

Also, Turkey is never never never going to let people spread this ideology in rural Anatolia while it’s under their control and it’s too far away from Greek centers of power and interest for them to be willing to try and go against Turkey to do it anyway. If Greece tries to spread this ideology later once they’re owning central Anatolia, well, by then it will be too late.

As for the coastal strategy, the difference between this and Nazi Germany is that Greece will be planning on using their naval dominance to hold coastal forts from the get-go, not scrambling to muster a defense well behind their former borders as the British were doing in France. This would be more like the British holding onto Gibraltar or the Cyprus bases, a situation that can fail but shouldn’t outside of mismanagement.
If Greece can only hold coastal forts, forget it. Totally not worth the military investment. Might as well abandon Anatolia. But that doesn't change things from OTL all that much if they end up with the same land area as OTL. And it seems unlikely Greece will simply abandon Anatolia ambitions as they are in a much stronger position than OTL.

I don't see why it would be too late if Greece waited until western Anatolia was under their control. All nationalism as you acknowledge is constructed. Greek nationalism has a head start over the Turks. Even in OTL, the vast majority of rural Turkish peasantry weren't all that interested in the Young Turks movement. Historically the Osman class always looked down on the Turks (peasants) and the Young Turks movement embodied this by being far too secular. Greece ultimately only needs to defeat the secular Turkish nationalists while keeping the rural peasantry from joining forces with them (which in OTL they largely didn't). Even with a stronger Greece, this is still possible.
 
Regarding the turkish cultural divides and a greek attempt to win over the turkish peasantry, in my honest opinion is ASB. In our experience, nations were built around three fundamental "glues" that tied together a modern state:
- Language
- Religion
- Common customs

Now the turkish peasantry doesn't tick not a single one of the aforementioned concepts. If Greeks try to win over Ottoman muslims, then it will be those populations who are greek-speaking (as in they speak greek at home) and have at least some common customs with the Greeks. There are only specific populations, such as the Muslim Greeks of Ioannina, Vallahades, Turkocretans and the greek-speaking muslim Cypriots.
Why is it ASB? Many countries have a large minority population who, even if they don't feel 100% a part of the nation, they nevertheless are content enough with their culture, rights, religion protected, ect. Even in the ME (without such guarantees), you have had minority political elites ruling over a majority population of a different sect of Islam + ethnicity and there's no problem so long as their rule is considered competent. Most Arab citizens of Israel support the Jewish state and would oppose their town being turned over to the Palestinian leadership. I see no reason why rural Turks (already disconnected from mainstream OTL Turkish nationalism which was too secular) can't accept Greek rule supposing it is fair, democratic, and respects minorities. Those who wish to live in a secular, authoritarian Turkish republic could always migrate next door to live in Turkey.
 
Last edited:
I don’t see the Greeks winning over the Turkish peasantry either to be honest. In addition, I doubt Greece’s ability to hold land full of people who don’t identify as Greek against what will inevitably be a greater economic and military power then them. Going for the maximal borders presented that stretch into the interior, Greece will struggle against guerrilla warfare backed by a regional power who will have every reason to despise them. Going for the coastal stronghold strategy, Greece will have no defensive depth and little room for airports safe from artillery fire. Their highly concentrated and crammed in forts would be reduced to rubble by enemy air power/siege artillery easily and being easily reinforceable would just mean easy access to a meat grinder.

Short of a full on dismantling of Turkey backed by a superpower Russia and including maximal Kurdistan, Armenia, Cilician Armenia and a constant Russian presence in the region (and I remember Earl Marshall hinting earlier at the Russian falling in the future) I simply don’t see how it’s sustainable. Given that fact, Greece should focus on the territory it can hold through it’s navy and make Greek through population exchange. I propose OTL Greece + Cyprus, East Thrace and the western portion of Constantinople. It’ll be relatively easy to ensure a population exchange for and thus invulnerable to Turkish insurgency, and as long as Greece rules the waves it’ll be invulnerable to any other form of invasion as well. While in theory Turkey could use its aftermentioned economic power to build up a Greece destroying navy, in practice other threats will likely force them to focus on their army until at least the atomic age, at which point Greece will have a whole new way of securing itself from invasion.

View attachment 600978
Credit to oca2073 for the basemap which I changed in paint
The problem with this scenario is that it's 1) basically the same as OTL which is boring, 2) with Istanbul in the hands of Greece Turkey will be just as hostile as if they occupied western Anatolia, even more so since they are more powerful, 3) the genocides OTL of Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians will be extremely difficult to prevent.

As for Turks not accepting Greece and guerrilla warfare, I doubt the process would be any more difficult (and probably much less difficult) than the Israel-Palestine conflict. Simply put, the vast majority of rural Turkish peasantry don't (yet) have revolutionary aspirations, and so long as Greece largely keeps it that way (as in OTL), where the Turkish nationalists are mostly secularists, materialists, ect they should be fine.
 
If Greece can only hold coastal forts, forget it. Totally not worth the military investment. Might as well abandon Anatolia. But that doesn't change things from OTL all that much if they end up with the same land area as OTL. And it seems unlikely Greece will simply abandon Anatolia ambitions as they are in a much stronger position than OTL.

I don't see why it would be too late if Greece waited until western Anatolia was under their control. All nationalism as you acknowledge is constructed. Greek nationalism has a head start over the Turks. Even in OTL, the vast majority of rural Turkish peasantry weren't all that interested in the Young Turks movement. Historically the Osman class always looked down on the Turks (peasants) and the Young Turks movement embodied this by being far too secular. Greece ultimately only needs to defeat the secular Turkish nationalists while keeping the rural peasantry from joining forces with them (which in OTL they largely didn't). Even with a stronger Greece, this is still possible.

It’s far from just coastal forts; it’s the coastal territory, the wealthy, more fertile band of land that can potentially stretch dozens of miles inland that is actually largely Greek and can be easily held by said forts. And it’s very far from IOTL if we’re talking the entire coastline up to Attaleia and Amaseia when just Ionia was a huge stretch IOTL.

All nationalism is absolutely constructed, but it’s almost always based on something tangible to the lives of the common people. In the Balkans this was almost always religion; that’s why the Greek Muslims, despite having almost everything in common with their Orthodox cousins, ultimately were expelled from the Greek cultural sphere. Assimilating the Greek Muslims ITTL will be something of an uphill battle; assimilating Turkish Muslims, particularly semi-nomadic Turkish Muslims that take pride in their ghazi ancestry, is practically ASB. The rural Yorouks, as you say, were opposed to the secular Young Turks; how much more opposed will they be to an outright different religion? And given the choice between a Greek-backed “Rumelian Mufti” and a Turkish-backed one we can assume the Turkish peasantry will choose the latter, as that’s what largely happened with the Bulgarians when they had the choice between a Greek and Bulgarian church IOTL.
 
The problem with this scenario is that it's 1) basically the same as OTL which is boring, 2) with Istanbul in the hands of Greece Turkey will be just as hostile as if they occupied western Anatolia, even more so since they are more powerful, 3) the genocides OTL of Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians will be extremely difficult to prevent.

As for Turks not accepting Greece and guerrilla warfare, I doubt the process would be any more difficult (and probably much less difficult) than the Israel-Palestine conflict. Simply put, the vast majority of rural Turkish peasantry don't (yet) have revolutionary aspirations, and so long as Greece largely keeps it that way (as in OTL), where the Turkish nationalists are mostly secularists, materialists, ect they should be fine.
Eventually all populations will embrace nationalism in some form, that can’t be changed without far more profound intellectual and geopolitical differences to OTL that have yet to come close to manifesting. If the rural Turks are living in Greece with a revanchist and economically growing Turkey next door, they will naturally drift to Turkish nationalism regardless of weather they like the particular brand coming out of Ankara. Even a much more progressive Greece will still maintain significant prejudice towards Muslim Turks for the simple reason that they rebelled against an Islamic Turk empire and have been either fighting or building up for the next fight with that Islamic Turk empire for the entire living memory of the Greek population. The experience of living within Greek borders will itself be nationalism inducing even to the previously apathetic, only spurred on by what will be a consistent flow of arms and propoganda across the border as well as the inevitable draconian and alienating response from the Greek state to the rebels. A largely homogeneous country in a region that has become a byword for ethnic strife suddenly absorbing a massive minority population through conquest which is largely composed of the group they’ve fought the most wars with during the height of nationalist fervour worldwide is not a recipe for a multicultural utopia just because that homogenous population is richer than their OTL counterpart.

I also contest the idea that the Turkish state will be just as hostile in my scenario as yours. Many Kemalists were unenthused about Constantinople/Istanbul OTL because it was an unwelcome attachment to the unsecular Ottoman Empire. I could absolutely see the Turks, given a population exchange, coming to accept the borders I laid out, as they still leave them enough territory to maintain their dignity and the Russians will likely remain a much greater concern than reconquering old Imperial lands even if they don’t end up as strong as Russia is in the current point in the story.
 
Last edited:
Think the Turks of Western Thrace but on a low level more national scale.
The muslims of Western Thrace have been a mixed lot: Pomaks, Turks and muslim Roma. I agree the easier perhaps group to reach would be the Pomaks, if we take into account the OTL history.
but the bektashi Albanians in Northern Epirus and Southern Albania are an obvious target if the Greek government comes to see the Greek Bektashi citizens as “properly Greek” as the bektashi Albanians have no love for the Ottomans after they banned their religion.
Personally I agree! The problem is that in OTL there was no such distinction of muslim Albanians. All, be they bektashi or sunni were labelled as "Turkalbanians". With the current border, Greece doesn't care to get any more of Albania, with the exception of Korce. The other issue regarding the already included bektashi in Thesprotia is not religious but social: the muslims controlled most of the cultivated land and the many chifliks of the region. It is a social agrarian struggle that religion is secondary to land ownership.

Why is it ASB? Many countries have a large minority population who, even if they don't feel 100% a part of the nation, they nevertheless are content enough with their culture, rights, religion protected, ect. Even in the ME (without such guarantees), you have had minority political elites ruling over a majority population of a different sect of Islam + ethnicity and there's no problem so long as their rule is considered competent.
But this is not how the Balkan nation-states were born nor how they identified themselves. The nation-states in the neighborhood are products or revolutions and nationalism.

There is simply very different ethnogenesis compared to the Middle East. Perhaps you need a POD before the 18th century at best, in order to change attitudes. These are fundamental concepts that cannot be handwaved.

Lastly, regarding how plausible is to have an Asiatic Greece, just check @Lascaris extremely well-researched timeline, where the POD is in far later in 1920 and involves a much weaker Greece.

Apologies for contributing in derailing the conversation. This my last post on the topic. My next posts will be in the development of the newly annexed regions.
 
Last edited:
Eventually all populations will embrace nationalism in some form, that can’t be changed without far more profound intellectual and geopolitical differences to OTL that have yet to come close to manifesting. If the rural Turks are living in Greece with a revanchist and economically growing Turkey next door, they will naturally drift to Turkish nationalism regardless of weather they like the particular brand coming out of Ankara. Even a much more progressive Greece will still maintain significant prejudice towards Muslim Turks for the simple reason that they rebelled against an Islamic Turk empire and have been either fighting or building up for the next fight with that Islamic Turk empire for the entire living memory of the Greek population. The experience of living within Greek borders will itself be nationalism inducing even to the previously apathetic, only spurred on by what will be a consistent flow of arms and propoganda across the border as well as the inevitable draconian and alienating response from the Greek state to the rebels. A largely homogeneous country in a region that has become a byword for ethnic strife suddenly absorbing a massive minority population through conquest which is largely composed of the group they’ve fought the most wars with during the height of nationalist fervour worldwide is not a recipe for a multicultural utopia just because that homogenous population is richer than their OTL counterpart.

I also contest the idea that the Turkish state will be just as hostile in my scenario as yours. Many Kemalists were unenthused about Constantinople/Istanbul OTL because it was an unwelcome attachment to the unsecular Ottoman Empire. I could absolutely see the Turks, given a population exchange, coming to accept the borders I laid out, as they still leave them enough territory to maintain their dignity and the Russians will likely remain a much greater concern than reconquering old Imperial lands even if they don’t end up as strong as Russia is in the current point in the story.
Firstly OTL, the Turks fought hard for Istanbul despite the Greeks really wanting it. Not only that but also the Dardanelles that guaranteed access to the Bosporus + surrounding islands. It's clear that the Turks wouldn't accept a scenario that hands all of the above to the Greeks without a fight. And if they lose, I fail to see how the genocides would not proceed as they did OTL except even worse.

I fail to see why you think Turkey has to be economically more prosperous than Greece. Even in OTL, the average Turk has a lower standard of living than a Greek. Let alone a scenario where things go much better for Greece + they gain much more territory at the expense of the Turkish AND Turkey doesn't have the benefit of being a strategic western ally. I see Turkey lagging behind Greece by even more in this scenario.

Western Anatolia is NOT mostly homogenous and most Turks had no problems living with their Greek neighbours. In addition, the influx will be made up of refugees and OTL genocide victims, not "conquerors." I already said previously that most Turks were not revolutionary nationalists at the time these population exchanges are to happen and did NOT identify with the Young Turks movement except in a quite superficial way.
 
It’s far from just coastal forts; it’s the coastal territory, the wealthy, more fertile band of land that can potentially stretch dozens of miles inland that is actually largely Greek and can be easily held by said forts. And it’s very far from IOTL if we’re talking the entire coastline up to Attaleia and Amaseia when just Ionia was a huge stretch IOTL.

All nationalism is absolutely constructed, but it’s almost always based on something tangible to the lives of the common people. In the Balkans this was almost always religion; that’s why the Greek Muslims, despite having almost everything in common with their Orthodox cousins, ultimately were expelled from the Greek cultural sphere. Assimilating the Greek Muslims ITTL will be something of an uphill battle; assimilating Turkish Muslims, particularly semi-nomadic Turkish Muslims that take pride in their ghazi ancestry, is practically ASB. The rural Yorouks, as you say, were opposed to the secular Young Turks; how much more opposed will they be to an outright different religion? And given the choice between a Greek-backed “Rumelian Mufti” and a Turkish-backed one we can assume the Turkish peasantry will choose the latter, as that’s what largely happened with the Bulgarians when they had the choice between a Greek and Bulgarian church IOTL.
I never said assimilate the Turks. I said make them accept Greek rule. There's a huge difference. Let them keep their distinct identity as do all minorities. The Turkish peasantry ideally will sit out the conflict between the Greeks and the Turkish secular nationalists. Then accept the winner who will rule with tolerance and respect for minorities, ect.

No long border/coastline is secure. There will be raids and attacks that will be difficult to detect and stop beforehand. Turkey will want sea access. It's not viable for long term stability at all.
 
Top