The Death Of The Sick Man: An Middle Eastern/Ottoman Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Nassirisimo, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    Chapter 1 - The Fall of the Ottoman Empire


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    Mehmet Ali Pasha, the executioner of the Ottoman Empire and first sultan of the Aghayid Sultanate.


    The seeds of the Ottoman collapse of 1836/1838 were sown surprisingly, not by the century of decline and stagnation that preceded the ascension of Mahmud II, but in his reign itself. Faced with rebellions by religious minorities and ambitious beys all over the empire, he turned to Mehmet Ali Pasha in Egypt to assist in dealing with the Greek rebellion by making him the governor of Morea. The rebels here were a particularly dangerous threat due to the sympathy the Greeks commanded in Europe.

    Mehmet sent his son, Ibrahim Pasha to Morea in response along with 30,000 men. By 1827, Ibrahim had decisively defeated the Greek rebels. A European congress was called to discuss what to do about the Greek situation, but the conservative monarchies of Europe were swayed by Metternich’s arguments for not intervening, and Britain was unwilling to go it alone. Altogether, it had been a good war for both the Ottomans and Mehmet Ali. The other Christian minorities of the empire had been cowed, and were unwilling to stand against the sultan, and Mehmet Ali had gained land in Europe, that could be used as a future base of expansion.

    Meanwhile, there was trouble brewing between Mahmud II and Mehmet Ali. Ali had been promised half of Syria for his efforts against the Greek rebels, but Mahmud refused to give him this, citing the lack of help from Ali in supressing the revolt outside of Morea, and accusing him of acting only in self-interest as opposed to the good of the Empire. These tensions lead to war in 1836. Most of the European powers were eager to defend the Ottoman Empire as a bulwark against Russia, but France had worked out a diplomatic deal. If the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the Russians would only help themselves to Silistra and the Danubian principalities, and this would be balanced by an Austrian takeover of Bosnia and Serbia.

    European expectations were somewhat dampened by the stalemate at the battle of Ceyhan, where the 2nd Ottoman army lead by Hafiz Pasha and Helmut von Moltke held off Ali’s army, though suffered heavy casualties doing so. However, the new expectations that this would be a slow war were smashed at the battle of Methoni. Mahmud II had lead an army here to stop Ibrahim’s invasion of the Balkans, but was too slow to trap him on one of the chokepoints of the Greek coast. He paid for this by having 30% of his army killed, and another 40% defecting. Mahmud himself fled to Kostantiniyye, where he was assassinated after another severe defeat at the Battle of Adana.

    The Ottomans were now in crisis. The only heir left was the fourteen year old Abdulmecid. He tried to rally support to himself, but too few were willing to support the boy, especially when Mehmet Ali and Ibrahim were closing in. The Ottomans didn’t even have any significant armies to stop them with. So the Grand Vizier, Hussain Pasha, simply offered the throne to Mehmet Ali which of course he accepted. He could now look back on two years well spend. He had gained most of the old Ottoman Empire, with the exception of the lands in the Balkans promised to Austria and Russia in return for non-intervention. He could now set to the task of integrating his new conquests with the rest of his lands, which promised to be a hard task, even if most of the people accepted his rule as there was no other alternative, and claimed the Caliphate too, though many Muslims viewed him as not being legitimate enough.

    Abdulmecid on the other hand, sailed off to exile in Britain. His British hosts had much to be angry about in this new turn of events, just like him. Europe had worked against them in both Greece and the Oriental crisis, Britain had lost an ally, and they were feeling rather isolated from the other great powers after their disagreements. They could at least take some consolation in the fact that the new Aghayid state, as it was starting to be known as, could serve as a bulwark against Russia as well as its predecessor did.
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    This is my first timeline, but for the love of god, please don't be gentle. I need comments, criticisms, but preferably not any hate mail. Its the only way i'll get better at this...
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  2. Ganesha શિવા બાળક

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    I don't know too much about the Ottomans, but this looks very interesting. So who will replace them in the Middle East? And will the Balkans be riven by ethnic war?
     
  3. Zuvarq Pinche pendejo güey

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    I always though Muhammad Ali Pasha looked like a Muslim Santa.

    Egypt / the Aghayid state like the update says.
     
  4. Malta Kirked

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    Well lets see if Muhammad Ali bankrupts things again.
     
  5. MNP Dark Souls 3!

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    I can't even wrap my head around the idea of the bureaucracy and officials abandoning the Osmali without them being dead.
     
  6. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    Well, the idea was to have the Ottomans so discredited and weak, that the officials see no other alternative, but if you think its implausible, I could always just bump Abdulmecid off.
     
  7. MNP Dark Souls 3!

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    I think that might work a bit better. Loyalty to the dynasty was a huge part of the stability of the empire and a lot of the officials at the center really did care about that (as well as getting rich naturally). Offering the throne to Muhammad Ali could be presented as a desperate gamble to keep the empire together by the central officials.

    But I'll be honest: A few centuries previous and the empire would simply have broken apart. Things are more in hand by the 1830s, but I honestly don't know what I would find plausible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  8. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend Banned

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    God damn it, this was going to be an idea for a TL! :mad:

    That being said, I'll read this and knowing it, I will love it. :)
     
  9. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    Well, the plan is not to have the new dynasty sitting comfortably on the throne. And the Ottomans won't exactly shut up and fade into obscurity.
     
  10. Wendell Wendell

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    This looks interesting. Subscribed.
     
  11. stevep Member

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    King of Malta

    That could be a key point. It could have happened even earlier without his OTL defeat as he was maintaining proportionally huge armies in his lands before that point and causing a lot of unrest with the level of taxes.

    Could see a lot of unrest supported by outside powers. Britain now has the Ottoman's in exile while Russia is very likely to want to get a bit closer to Constantinople and 'protect its orthodox brethen'. Austria might well have more sense than to fish in troubled waters but might also want to stop Russia gaining more power.

    Steve
     
  12. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    Chapter 2 - A New Reality in the Near East


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    Mehmet Ali discusses policy with his French allies at Kostantiniyye.


    It didn’t take too long for the European great powers to adjust to a new dynasty ruling the Near East. The same can’t be said of those in the Near East and North Africa themselves. Immediately, Ahmed Bey in Tunisia refused to recognise the sovereignty of the new state over his own, and announced he was going to stay loyal to his Ottoman lords, more as a way to stay fully independent then out of love for the Ottomans. The act of Tunisian defiance may not have succeeded if the British had chosen not to guarantee Ahmed’s independence from the Aghayid state.

    Prevented from conquering the last of the semi-independent beys of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmet focused his energy on trying to solidify his rule, but this was no easy task. The Sharif of Mecca used the opportunity to gain even more autonomy, and there were revolts in Albania, Tripoli, Mesopotamia and Egypt itself. By 1843, all of these revolts had been beaten by Ibrahim Pasha, and any disloyal thoughts against the regime were cowed for now. Mehmet and Ibrahim hoped that a stick and carrot approach may increase the legitimacy of the Empire in time, and rewarded those regions that had been quick to accept them with lower taxes.

    Meanwhile, amongst the two European powers involved in the Balkans, there were tensions brewing. The Austrians had gained only a headache in their new territories, especially in Serbia. Serbia had a high amount of autonomy from the Ottomans before they fell, and they were resentful to the Austrians for having taken this away when they annexed them. Meanwhile, Russia had only ever viewed Silistra and the Danubian Principalities as a staging post for its ambitions in the rest of the Balkans. Some intellectuals in St Petersburg started to argue for the “unification” of the mostly Orthodox south Slavic peoples with Russia. Austria, which saw this as incitement of its own considerable south Slavic population wasn’t happy with what it saw as Russian meddling in its own lands and the Balkan lands of the Aghayids.

    France had supported Mehmet from the very early in his reign, and was now reaping the benefits. French merchants had gained a big advantage over the merchants of other nations thanks to the Capitulations that were granted exclusively to French citizens, and they had gained a valuable ally in the near east. Combined with French expansion in Algeria, it looked as if France was once again a country whose star was on the rise. It looked as if the only neighbouring power who could ever possibly be a threat was the Prussians, and for now, the Prussians were too scared of Russians to make any bold foreign policy moves.

    Although it seemed that Europe had adjusted itself to a new reality, a new threat to the establishment would emerge from an unforeseen corner, and would throw everything into the air.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  13. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend Banned

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    Any chance we'll see a map soon? Good update!
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  14. Wendell Wendell

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    Are these Russian intellectuals realy regarding Romanians as Slavs?
     
  15. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    I might actually get working on one now.

    No. They include them because they are Orthodox, likewise they will try and include Croats despite their Catholicism.
     
  16. Wendell Wendell

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    That makes sense.
     
  17. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    Well, this is just a simple map. Not much has changed in Europe for now, but theres going to be quite a bit of change quite soon.

    blankworldUCS 1845.png
     
  18. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend Banned

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    I hope the Aghayid Sultanate has more luck controlling the Balkans than the Ottomans.
     
  19. Ridwan Asher Jungle Arab

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    ^If a TL about early demise of Ottomans can actually result in a largely united and stable Balkans, then the said TL is really something.
     
  20. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend Banned

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    If Sultan Mehmet Ali is as intelligent as he is so far in the timeline, he could always encourage Muslim immigration from the Levant, Anatolia and Egypt to come settle in the Balkans. Or perhaps he takes a page out of the Romans and give his veteran soldiers large land grants in the Balkans for them and their families to live in. Either way, it would increase the percentage of Muslims who live in the Balkans and would serve as a counter for the Ottoman Christian community serving as a fifth column.