The Sultanate of Rumistan: An Alternate Anatolia

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by marsworms, Jun 21, 2018.

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  1. Threadmarks: Part 1: The Battle of Köse Dağ

    marsworms Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    The Battle of Köse Dağ
    It came as quite a surprise, a fearful shock, when those northeastern barbarian Mongols surged through the great fields and steppes of central Asia and conquered the whole of the Empire of Khwarezm, and they were not going anywhere. The empire of these horse-riding nomad warriors stretched from the Euphrates to the farthest shores of China, ruled by pagan war-kings and seemingly always invading and conquering. Kaykhusraw II, the Sultan of Rum, seemingly saw the writing on the wall, and attempted to have good relations with Khan Ögedei, but following the Khan's death in 1241 (639), the relationship turned more toward attempted vassalization of the Sultanate of Rum, with the leaders of the Mongol Horde requesting that the Sultan travel to Qaraqorum and to allow a Mongol darughachi [1] to take a position in the Sultanate. Though Sultan Kaykhusraw wished to remain on good terms with the Mongols, he could not allow his state to become nothing but another vassal in their extensive domain.

    By 1242 (640), the Mongols had become tired of the lack of cooperation on the part of Sultan Kaykhusraw II, and in the winter of that year the Mongol commander Baiju attacked the Sultanate. They very quickly overran some of the cities of the far east, most notably Erzurum, but the most important of the battles between the Sultanate and the Khanate would come early in 1243, at Köse Dağ.

    With the threat that the Mongol armies posed to the whole of the region, many other major powers sent auxiliaries and mercenaries to supplement the armies of the Sultan. King Manuel I of Trebizond sent soldiers, princes and nobles of Georgia not yet subjugated to the Mongol yoke sent auxiliaries, even Catholic mercenaries from the Latin Empire came to the aid of the Sultan of Rum, and ultimately the army under the Sultan numbered some 50,000. Reports came to Baiju of the great numbers of soldiers in the opposing army, but he ignored the advice given to him. Sultan Kaykhusraw II convened his most experienced generals and commanders, and they advised him to wait for the arrival of the Mongol forces and utilize his greater numbers to their advantage. He listened to them.

    When the Mongols under Baiju came upon the gorge of Köse Dağ they were surprised by the sudden attack of the forces of the Sultan, led by some of the most experienced commanders of Rum and with numbers almost twice that of Baiju's forces. Watching from above the battle, Sultan Kaykhusraw II saw the two great armies clash against one another, and almost jumped with joy as he saw many of the horse-riding warriors flee to the east. Baiju had died, and only the feeble remnants of his army could flee back to Iran.

    Invigorated, strengthened, and given legitimacy by this great victory, the remainder of the reign of Sultan Kaykhusraw II would be defined by defense against Mongol raiding parties and lesser Georgian nobles, vassals of the Mongol state. While he gained much legitimacy for defeating the army of Baiju at Köse Dağ, he ultimately died of natural causes but three years later, in 1246 (643). He left his three young children and his wife Tamar, or Gürcü Hatun (Georgian Lady), naming his beloved youngest child Ala ad-Din Kayqubad bin Kaykhusraw II as the Sultan at only seven years old. With the Georgian Lady Tamar functioning as the regent for the Child Sultan Kayqubad, the Sultanate continues...

    [1]: Officials of the Mongol Empire that were sent to vassals and conquered lands to collect taxes administer the provinces (similar to a Governor).
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    This is my first ever timeline I will have written, so criticism and critique is definitely wanted! Sorry for the length of this post in relation to how much actual history is covered in it, I just thought it would be good to have some preliminary stuff before going deeper into the TL. Also, though right now this is just a Rum timeline, it isn't just going to be an alt-Turkey, just you wait ;)

    But yeah, I hope this is at least somewhat well-received, I would love to hear feedback so I can make further updates/timelines better!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  2. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire Gone Fishin'

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    Do you by any chance watch Diriliş: Ertuğru?
     
  3. marsworms Well-Known Member

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    No I have not! I will check it out though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  4. MagicalPhantom345 Well-Known Member

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    I am curious to what an intact Rum Sultanate would mean for the upcoming Seventh, eighth and ninth crusades incoming.
     
  5. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

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    Very nice concept.
    My first question is how will the Mongols take being defeated. I find it difficult to easily accept that Güyük Khan, will passively accept the results when he takes power in 1246, considering what seems to be his clear intent to press hard into the west (his early death is a godsend for the Byzantines, and likely the Balkans).
     
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  6. marsworms Well-Known Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Heya! Sorry to not update this TL in so long, but seeing your responses has really galvanized me into thinking further about it! Expect an update quite soon!
     
  7. markus meecham Marxism-Leninism-Bricksquad thought Banned

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    Please do!
     
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  8. Threadmarks: Part 2: A Boy is Crowned!

    marsworms Well-Known Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    Part 2: A Boy is Crowned!
    Declaring his beloved young son Kayqubad II as his successor, Sultan Kaykhusraw II died, succumbing to his old age after three years of growing popularity. Since the newly crowned Seljuq Sultan of Rum Kayqubad was only seven years old upon his ascension to the throne, his mother Tamar, more commonly referred to as Gürcü Hatun (Georgian Lady) to differentiate herself from her powerful Georgian grandmother, ruled in his stead, even controlling the shrunken Sultanate by the time Kayqubad reached adulthood. To really appreciate the role that this woman played in the Sultanate at the time, we must look to her mother and to the politics of the time.

    Tamar was the daughter of Rusudan, the reigning Queen of Georgia up until her death in 1245 (638), just one year before her son-in-law Kaykhusraw’s death. During her reign, the Kingdom of Georgia came under increasing threat from the invading Mongols, beginning with the 1225 (621) invasion by the fleeing Khwarazmshah Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu. Failing at the Battle of Garni in that same year, Rusudan and her royal court fled to the westerly city of Kutaisi, as Tbilisi came under siege by the Khwarazmshah. Over the course of the following decade, a back and forth between Queen Rusudan and the Khwarazmshah dominated affairs in Georgia, each conquering territory from the other only to have it taken back. The Georgian Queen made a military alliance with the Seljuqs in Rum, which, while failing to effectively protect the Kingdom from the eventual conquering horsemen of the Mongol Khans, did set in place the relationship that would later lead to Georgian noblemen supplying Sultan Kaykhusraw with soldiers to fend off the attack at Köse Dağ. The wars with Khwarazmshah Mingburnu ravaged Georgia, and in 1235 (632), the Mongols invaded, bringing the whole of the Kingdom under their yoke by 1240 (637). Rusudan was forced to acknowledge Mongol supremacy, supply them with a Georgian army, and pay a yearly tribute.

    While her kingdom came under Mongol suzerainty in 1240 (637), she still had the issue of her succession to fret over. Fearing the rise of her nephew David VII, she sent him in exile to the court of her son-in-law Kaykhusraw, instead sending her son, David VI, to the Mongol capital at Qaraqorum to get recognition by the far-off emperors. She died before receiving her son, but he returned to the Kingdom in 1247 (644) as the sole King of Georgia, a peaceable Mongol subject who encouraged minor nobles and mercenary gangs to encroach upon the Sultanate of Rum to his west.

    While David VII of the House of Bagrationi was received with open arms as a royal relative, with the death of Kaykhusraw II and the rise of Tamar, she saw significant uses for him. Using her own political influence and the power of her son the Sultan to protect him, Tamar kept David VII in the court indefinitely, waiting for the proper time to make her move. However, while she was formulating these plans, the Khans were planning another attack.
    Rising to the position of Khagan of the whole Mongol empire in 1246 (643), Güyük Khan was greatly interested in expansion to the west, the first step of which was going to have to be a re-invasion of Anatolia. Güyük rode quickly on horseback from his coronation in Qaraqorum to Mosul, using the city as a short-term base of operations for his attempt to do what his father could not. He brought with him thousands of Mongol horsemen and archers, a massive force to push through the mountains that shielded Rum from attacks to the east. The Seljuqs were not unprepared, however, and set up a unified force made up of soldiers from throughout the Sultanate and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, strengthened by Norman and Greek mercenaries and the personal retinues of the exiled prince David VII. It would be a battle of grand proportions, and not one that would end as quickly as the resounding Seljuq victory at Köse Dağ. Notably absent, however, were any official retinues from the Empire of Nicaea, preoccupied with constant war with the Latin crusaders and possibly interested in a disunited Sultanate to their east...
    [​IMG]
    The Khagan Güyük
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  9. Alpha_North Emperor of The Golden State

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    Really like how this timeline is starting out, keep it up!
     
  10. marsworms Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much!
     
  11. Threadmarks: Part 3: The War for Independence

    marsworms Well-Known Member

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    Part 3: The War for Independence
    By 1248 (645), the Sultanate of Rum and the Khagan of the Great Mongol State were both arrayed for intense battle. Riding out from Mosul, Guyuk Khan and his force of 35,000 Mongol and Arab horsemen traveled to the eastern city of Erzurum, stolen from the Seljuqs when the Mongols under Ogedei and Baiju invaded the Anatolian sultanate. The Seljuqs were not unprepared, however, with a force equal in strength to that which defeated the Mongols at Kose Dag readied for battle, made up of Seljuq soldiers, the retinues of rebellious Georgian nobles (as well as that of the exiled Prince David VII), soldiers from Cilicia and Trebizond, and mercenaries from the floundering Latin Empire and from Norman Italy. At the beginning of the new year in 646 (1248), Guyuk Khan attacked, pouring into Seljuq territory and reaching the city of Malatya before Tamar and the boy-sultan sent their unified army, led by Kilij Arslan, an older son of the former Sultan Kaykhusraw II.

    The Khan and the general eyed each other from across the battlefield outside of the city, smoke from villages ransacked by the Mongol horde spiraling up into the sky in the background. The Mongol host was made up almost entirely of soldiers on horseback, wielding spears and bows, whereas the forces under the control of Kilij Arslan, while still dominated by the horsemen of the Seljuqs and the Crusaders, also had footsoldiers and pikemen among its ranks. While the victory at Kose Dag was based more on luck and on sheer numbers, the battle at Malatya would be decided by strategy, rather than the simple force of pushing at the horse-riding barbarians. However, Kilij Arslan did not know about a secret weapon that Guyuk was prepared to use: gunpowder. Used at the Battle of Mohi against the Hungarians in 1241, gunpowder was a distinct advantage that the Mongols had over their victims in the west, taken up after conquests and expansions in the far east. Not wishing to make the same mistakes that his predecessor did at Kose Dag, Guyuk Khan brought out “flaming arrows” and “naphtha bombs”, given new danger through the use of black powder from the east. For Kilij Arslan and the Sultanate of Rum, the Battle of Malatya would be an uphill one.

    The Mongols began the fight, charging toward the Seljuq forces arrayed before them. Though Kilij Arslan may not have known about the black powder weapons, he was prepared for their charge forward. Ordering his archers and horse archers to fire, horseman after horseman fell, trampled underfoot by their brothers at arms, as the Mongol forces pushed ever forward. Guyuk Khan, leading from the front, saw his first force crumbling, and smiled. Kilij Arslan moved his archers out of the way, allowing for sword-wielding horsemen to take the front line and charge toward the lessened Mongol force, whittling it down in bloody melee in the sloping fields outside Malatya. Kilij Arslan received a special envoy from the Armenian and Georgian contingents, communicating to him that they have reached their specified location.

    Knowing that he would need any advantage he could get, Kilij Arslan ordered the retinues of Prince David VII and other Georgian nobles, as well as warriors and knights from the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, to group together and travel to a hillock out of sight of Guyuk Khan, in order to pounce on his forces while in battle and push at them from both sides. While the cavalry forces chopped each other to pieces with their long and bloody blades, the Armenians and Georgians lie in wait just around the corner.

    As the fighting in the fields outside of Malatya died down, Guyuk brought out his secret weapon: the flaming black powder arrows. Launching them at the Seljuq forces, the field began to burn with the acrid smoke of the Chinese powder, hitting some knights and soldiers and bursting them into flames. Kilij Arslan, from his tent, was aghast at the horror he saw before him, the whole field aflame. Ordering his second force of cavalry to charge forward, Guyuk Khan saw the battle as won. But then he saw, out of the corner of his eye, a green flag waved from the opposing camp. And he heard battle cries in languages he cannot understand.

    The Armenian and Georgian forces hiding behind the hillock burst forward, pinning the Mongol cavalry between themselves and the fires, as Kilij Arslan orders what remains of his forces to charge through the flames, attacking the Mongol cavalry from both sides. While many of the Mongols remained, only to be killed by Armenian spear or Seljuq sword, most of the Mongol warriors fled to the east, regrouping with Guyuk Khan and the remainder of the force, whittled down to a miniscule size. Guyuk Khan and his personal retinue would continue campaigning throughout the eastern territories of the Sultanate for a few more years, but they were ultimately routed and exiled with a ploy by Tamar herself.

    Seeing the failure of the Mongol army at Malatya as an opportunity, Tamar ordered Seljuq forces to install David VII of Georgia as the King of that state, taking back Georgia from the Mongol yoke. Entering Georgian land in 1249, Prince David VII killed his cousin David VI, with pro-Mongol princes exiled and David VI’s armies scattered. What ultimately removed all forces of Guyuk Khan from the Sultanate was another battle, near Erzincan, where King David VII’s forces and Sultan Kayqubad II’s forces jointly routed the army of Guyuk Khan, sending him to the east. However, while his push into Anatolia failed, Guyuk Khan still had interests to the west, and he reorganized his troops to go the north. By 1250 (648), the Sultanate of Rum and the Kingdom of Georgia were free from the Mongol yoke, and able to act of their own accord. Anatolia would be spared the fate of Iran.
     
  12. markus meecham Marxism-Leninism-Bricksquad thought Banned

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    So the turks manage to drive the mongols away.

    That is going to be a national holiday someday.
     
  13. marsworms Well-Known Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    There's a reason this war is referred to as the "War of Independence" rather than just "Mongol-Seljuq War" or something like that!
     
  14. snassni2 Well-Known Member

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    IMO the only watchable turkish show. It's on Netflix in some countries.
     
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  15. markus meecham Marxism-Leninism-Bricksquad thought Banned

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    Tell this to my ma and her soaps featuring blue eyed turks with enviable mustaches.
     
  16. Threadmarks: Part 4: The Time of Tamar

    marsworms Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Part 4: The Time of Tamar
    With the rise to power of Gurcu Hatun upon her husband’s death in 1246, the woman behind the boy sultan’s throne was able to exert her power and influence, defining the period of her rulership as the start of a golden age for the Sultanate. However, while her patronage of the arts and of architecture began relatively early on, the first decade of her influence were dominated by military matters, first with the second invasion of the Mongols in 1248 and then by a civil war, with the middle son of Kaykhusraw II, the half-greek Kaykaus, rising up in the west with the support of the Emperors of Nicaea.

    While Guyuk Khan was still parading around his armies in the eastern reaches of the Sultanate of Rum following their defeat at Malatya, Kakaus was in Nicaea on political missions, chosen for his greek ancestry and ties to the roman emperors. He contributed to the continued expansion of the Roman Empire of Nicaea in the Balkans by sending his own personal retinues to add to the Nicaean armies, and gained the trust of the Basileos John III Doukas Vatatzes during his stay there. Basileos John III felt threatened by a resurgent Sultanate of Rum, with his hopes of its subjugation under the Mongol boot dashed by the victories at Kose Dag and Malatya, but he saw the half-greek prince as an opportunity, much like that which Tamar saw in the Georgian prince David VII. Having a friendly Sultan on the throne to the east, and one with potential interests to the east to keep him busy, was a glittering jewel in the eye of the Nicaean Basileos. While he wanted to use the invasion by Guyuk Khan to distract the Sultanate’s forces, the quick end to the invasion in 1250 meant that Kaykaus and Basileos John III had to act quickly or else lose their opportunity. That very same year, Kaykaus returned from the Empire of Nicaea, and he returned with an army.

    The large, powerful force put forward during the War of Independence in 1248-1250 was, effectively, disbanded with the end of that conflict. The retinues of the Georgian nobility had to return to the newly independent Kingdom in order to consolidate their control and expand their domain, shrunken by the Mongol conquests into the central territories on the coast and the Armenian Plateau. The armies from the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia returned to their homeland to fend off attacks from the Mongols and, starting in later 1250, from the unique new regime now ruling over Egypt and the war-torn Levant, ravaged by Crusades and Mongol invasion: the Sultanate of the Mameluks based in Cairo. Administered by the Turkish slaves of the Sultan of the House of Ayyub as-Salih, the Mameluk Sultanate was born out of slave rebellion, still dealing with the repercussions of the collapse of the Sultanate founded by Salah ad-Din. The state itself did not declare war on the small Armenian kingdom to its north, but migrants fleeing the slave revolt which founded it and Bedouin raiders were dangers which had to be addressed. Across the whole of the arc of the eastern Mediterranean, revolution and civil war engulfed the great Sultanates.

    Left with only the armies of the Sultanate itself and what remained of any Latin or Greek mercenaries, even with the guidance of the grand general Kilij Arslan, they would not be able to effectively respond to the uprising by the unruly son. As Kaykaus conquered city after city in the border regions, Tamar and Kayqubad remained in Iconium, interacting with the court and the nobility as if nothing was going on. Two years into the successful rebellion, the Georgian Lady even built a glorious new mosque and madrasah in the city, grander than any built before it, though many believe that this was nothing but a ploy to hide her failure to effectively address Kaykaus’s rebellion and her choice to not remarry. The center of Qur’anic and juridical teaching, commonly known as the Konya Blue Madrasah for its distinctive blue dome and tile patterns, is a common tourist attraction in Rumistan today, though its actual functions have been overtaken by secular universities and larger religious schools built later in history. Still, its distinctive beautiful architecture remains a unique symbol of the period, and its construction in 1252-1255 is often marked as the beginning of the Golden Age of the Sultanate of Rum.

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    Not only was Tamar building grand madrasahs, she was also building up the deep literary tradition of the Turcoman nation. Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, by far the most famous writer not only of the period and of the region, but of the Persian cultural sphere in general (perhaps competing with the older Ferdowsi), frequented the court in Iconium, and the regent Tamar as well as Kayqubad II patronized his writings. It is during the Time of Tamar that some of his most famous poems are written, including those on some rather controversial topics (especially when placed within the wider context of the civil war in the west). While Jalal ad-Din Rumi had always had a rather inter-religious bent to his writings, some his poems between 1250 and 1265 contain thinly-veiled references to the dual nature of the rebellious prince, and some may even be seen as having been in favor of Kaykaus’s cause. Rumi continues to be a deeply interesting and outstanding poet and individual to this very day, with what remains of his beautifully complex poetry painting a beautiful picture of the spiritual and political landscape of his long life during the chaotic 13th century.

    However, the civil war in the west continued to rage on. Kilij Arslan managed to hold off Kaykaus’s expansion in the west, forcing him to venture north and attempt to reach Iconium via a longer route through central Anatolia. However, in 1256, a sort of ceasefire was agreed to between the brothers, putting the fighting to an end for a period. The line of warfare that crossed central Anatolia in the west had soaked the parched soil with the blood of peasants and soldiers, and famine engulfed the area under Kaykaus’s control. In need of some recuperation, the agreement between the brothers was struck. Then, just as Tamar and her son began construction on a new mosque in the city of Kayseri, Kayqubad died. It was 1258 when he succumbed to his weak health and perished, leaving the throne vacant. Normally, the Mongol horsemen would use this as an opportunity to invade during a time of weakness, but this was not a normal time for the Mongols either. Guyuk Khan had taken all of his forces, recuperating them along the way, and had invaded the Kingdom of Poland, in an effort to subjugate it and push west. Most of the Mongol forces in the Middle East were focused on the newborn Mameluk Sultanate, and the rebellious prince was still held off by the forces of the only eligible prince: Kilij Arslan. He raced to Iconium, to be crowned as the new Sultan, Kilij Arslan IV.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  17. Sceonn Peace at a Bargain Price

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    Bummer, I was hoping for a more Islamic Greeko-Turkish East Anatolia a mirror to the Christian Byzantine West Balkan.
     
  18. marsworms Well-Known Member

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    Feb 15, 2018
    While Greek influence will still be felt in the culture of the region, it won't be nearly as strong as the influence of some of the cultures to the east. While the ruling dynasty is Turkish, its people are increasingly influenced by other peoples (to a certain extent the ruling family is already very Persianized, however).
     
  19. Marse Lee Well-Known Member

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    Sep 23, 2017
    I'm interested in this TL. However, I don't know much about this era. Sooo.... what's the POD? The Rumites hold off the Mongols?
     
  20. marsworms Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is the POD! Between the victories at Kose Dag and at Malatya, the Mongols never put forward enough of a force to conquer the Seljuq Sultanate of Rum. For the Seljuqs this just means they never collapse into the myriad small beyliks and emirates that they did IOTL, but for the rest of the world... with Mongol efforts put toward different regions, much of world history is shifted in different directions. Also, thanks so so much for liking it!!!
     
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