formion

Banned
Well, to be frank neither Bengal/Singapore or Indonesia are relevant for the Ottoman Balkans.

It's not a matter of missionaries at all. All the populations at question are Orthodox Christian. It will be ASB the Greeks or Bulgarians or Serbs to aim to propagate their religion in muslim populations. The Bulgarian and Serbian Churches there were not different denominations than the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate. So, any comments on trade spreading ideas are only relevant to national consciousness to a strictly Orthodox Christian population.

If there are any misconceptions on religion used to spread Hellenism, it is strictly due to the fact that the language of the church was greek. So even priests or monks that were by no means nationalists and viewed the Rum Millet as one group, they advocated the learning of greek so that the christian subjects of the Sultan can read the Scriptures. Such an example was
Cosmas of Aetolia. Of course as time goes by, more and more orthodox priests are developing national consciousness. Only after the Bulgarian Church broke up with the Patriarchate, language in service became a national tool. But in any case, the target group was of the same religion, the same denomination.
 
Part 56: A Window to the East
Part 56: A Window to the East

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Ḳosṭanṭīnīye, Capital of the Ottoman Empire

The final, and arguably most controversial policy by the Metaxa Ministry regarded their stance towards the Ottoman Empire. Relations between the Greeks and the Ottomans were complex to say the least given their past histories with one another, histories that were full of violence and bad blood. While emotions had settled since the end of the Greek War for Independence in 1830, it was clear that a general sense of bitterness and resentment remained on both sides. Most held a deep-seated hatred for the other thanks to the various atrocities, massacres, and acts of terrorism committed during the conflict. Others held far older grudges dating back to a time before the war, such as the imposition of the Devshirme system. Despite these cold feelings towards each other, their governments both recognized the importance of peace and benignity between them and begrudgingly worked to normalize relations.

The first step in this process would take place in 1834 following the end of the Albanian and Bosnian Rebellions as the ensuing influx of refugees nearly threatened to reignite the war between the Ottomans and the Greeks. The conflict in the Ottoman Empire had killed thousands and thousands more had been left destitute and homeless. Those that could fled from the devastated regions with many traveling North to Austria while many others went South to Greece seeking asylum from their Turkish oppressors. Complicating matters greatly were the inclusion of several dozen Albanian Beys and Aghas who had originally instigated the revolt in 1830, and were now hiding among the other refugees in Greece. Their presence was an insult to the Sublime Porte who demanded in the harshest terms that the Greek Government extradite them the Empire immediately. The Greeks for their part refused, as they were compelled by their sense of honor and kinship to their Albanian cousins to defend and protect them no matter the cost.

As a result, tensions between the two began to escalate as diplomacy proved insufficient to resolving the issue at hand. Soldiers were mustered, arms were readied, and both nations readied themselves for war. Yet by some miracle hostilities were averted. A compromise was reached, peace carried the day, and war was narrowly avoided. Several months later, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Greece began a series of talks regarding the formalization of relations between the two states. After several weeks of debate and discussion, the two would sign the Treaty of Constantinople in late November 1834.

Under this treaty, trade was formally permitted between the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire for the first time in over 13 years and the borders were formally opened to diplomats, merchants, refugees, and travelers. A Greek consulate was established in Constantinople for the newly appointed Greek ambassador the Phanariot Alexandros Mavrokordatos, although he would only hold the post for a few months before resigning and returning to Greece in 1837.[1] A consulate was similarly prepared for the Ottoman ambassador in Athens, however, it would remain vacant for several years as the Ottoman court continually delayed the appointment of a diplomat to the post for one reason or another. Eventually though, the Sublime Porte would appoint the Phanariot Konstantinos Mousouros as their ambassador to the Greek state in the Fall of 1838, nearly two years after the Greeks had appointed their own ambassador.

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The Turkish Ambassador Konstantinos Mousouros at a Royal Ball in Athens

Commerce and trade would also prove to be incredibly important factors behind the burgeoning détente between the two states as their economies became increasingly connected in terms of the goods and services they provided each other. For the Kingdom of Greece, the Ottoman Empire and their subsidiaries (Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia, etc.) represented their fourth largest trading partner in the early 1840's, behind only the British Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Kingdom of France and by 1850, they would pass France, becoming the 3rd largest trading partner for Greece. Greek merchants were a common sight in the many markets and bazaars of the Empire, while ships bearing the Greek ensign were routinely found in great numbers along the Levantine coast and in the Sea of Marmara. In fact, most bakals (small merchants or grocers) in the Ottoman Empire were Greeks from either the Kingdom of Greece or one of the many Greek communities still within the Ottoman Empire.

The Kingdom of Greece was an important trading partner for the Ottoman Empire as well, although not nearly to the same degree that they were for the Greeks. Even still, a sizeable portion of their wares would make their way to the vendors in Athens, Heraklion, and Patras among others. Greek ships were still responsible for transporting a significant amount of the Ottoman Empire’s exports to Western markets despite efforts by the Sublime Porte to develop their own Turkish merchant marine. The Ralli Brothers (Zannis, Augustus, Pandia, Toumazis, and Eustratios) from the prestigious Chian Ralli shipping family and their allies in the Rodocanachi Shipping family were particularly active in the Ottoman Empire and Greece during this time. With their branches in London, Marseilles, Athens, Chios, Smyrna, Constantinople, St. Petersburg, Bombay, Calcutta, New York, and New Orleans they were a truly global entity and are partially responsible for opening the Ottoman and Greek markets to the greater global market to the benefit of both states.[2] These merchants, shipping giants, and bankers also held great sway over Greek politics during the 1830's and 1840's as their immense wealth and influence provided them a degree of political power in Athens enabling them to push their interests as Greece's interests, and their interests necessitated peace with the Ottoman Empire.

Despite this, relations between the two would remain tepid at best for the next few years until the outbreak of the Second Syrian War and the ensuing Cyprus Affair which would once again threaten to bring Greece and the Ottomans to the brink of another confrontation. Fortunately for both sides, the matter was resolved before any hostilities could occur and relations returned to normal in the course of several months. This swift recovery in relations between the Greeks and the Ottomans so soon after a potentially scandalous incident is largely due to the ascension of the new Sultan Abdulmejid I who would work tirelessly to facilitate peace and stability in the region. Despite being an incredibly young man, Abdulmejid was already an especially capable and magnanimous ruler whose reputation for progressive ideals and sensibilities as well as the enactment of various reforms over the course of his reign, reforms that went well beyond the scope and scale of his father’s many modernization policies. Where Sultan Mahmud II had focused on building a stronger military and a more efficient Government to sure up the flagging fortunes of the state, Abdulmejid worked towards tolerance, emancipation, and political representation to treat the Empire’s various ailments.

In 1843, he issued a Firman declaring the complete abolition of slavery throughout the Ottoman Empire and the immediate emancipation of all those still in bondage. In 1847, he would begin lifting restrictions on the renovation and rebuilding of old churches and synagogues throughout the Empire. Additionally, enlistment in the Ottoman military was opened to Christians and Jews, although very few, if any actually enlisted. In 1848, the Greek Government and the Church of Greece made an appeal to the Ottoman Sultan requesting his aid in convincing the Patriarch to accept the Autocephaly of the Church from the Patriarchate. After some negotiation, Abdulmejid agreed to intercede on their behalf and encouraged the Patriarch to accept the Church's independence from Constantinople. Sultan Abdulmejid was also an avid supporter of education and would see to the establishment of several hundred schools, universities, libraries, and other places of education and learning across the Empire over the course of his reign. This endeavor also included the loosening of restrictions on Greek investment in the Ottoman Empire, enabling them to build their own schoolhouses for their communities, provided they paid for it from their own coffers. His reforms also attempted to create secular courts that would be open to both Muslim and Christian judges and jurors, he established the Ottoman Postal Service, and he implemented various other land reforms and updates to the Ottoman legal system. Lastly, Sultan Abdulmejid would also go on an extensive diplomatic offensive, in a bid to gain new allies and acquire desperately needed foreign investment for his Empire.

Over the course of the last half century, the Ottoman Empire had found itself becoming increasingly isolated on the diplomatic stage with very few allies and many foes. This nadir of Ottoman diplomacy would be most obvious during the Greek War of Independence when the Great Powers of Britain, France, and Russia openly sided against the Sublime Porte in favor of the Greek rebels. Together their ships attacked Ottoman vessels, while their soldiers killed Ottoman soldiers and occupied Ottoman territory. Ultimately, their efforts would see the Morea, Southern Rumelia, Crete, and most of the Aegean Islands severed from Ottoman dominion. Moreover, they successfully convinced the Wali of Egypt Muhammad Ali to make peace with the Greek rebels and abandon the Turks, beginning the chain of events that would lead directly to the First Syrian War in 1831 and the Second Syrian War in 1840.

The Independence of the Greeks in 1830 and the two wars with Egypt would not end the antagonism of the French or the Russians, however, as they continued to look upon the Ottoman Empire with lustful ambitions. Russia continued to vie for the Straights, while France desired to carve out an Empire of their own from the Ottoman carcass. To counter these growing threats by the French and the Russians, Abdulmejid expanded upon his father's policy of seeking rapprochement with the British, the Austrians, and the Prussians and to his delight they proved to be incredibly receptive. The Young Sultan presented an attractive face for the Empire, one that was modern, relatively Western in his orientation, and increasingly open to foreign ideas and foreign investors. Military instructors were sent to the Ottoman Empire by the dozen to train their army and navy in the modern art of war, while numerous loans were floated to the Porte to help them with their many projects and initiatives. Abdulmejid also gained the personal approval of various crowned heads across Europe like Queen Victoria, who would frequently send the young Sultan gifts and letters. Surprisingly, however, Sultan Abdulmejid would enjoy what he considered to be an incredibly strong personal relationship with his neighbor King Leopold of Greece.

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Sultan Abdulmejid I (featured center) alongside the other Sovereigns of Europe

Despite, never meeting in person with one another Leopold and Abdulmejid would write several dozen letters to one another over the years indicating at least a cordial bond between the two men. It is believed that their relationship had been spurred on at the insistence of Queen Victoria and the British government in an attempt to foster good will and peace in the region, and to their credit, it would appear that their efforts payed off. Leopold would send large all-encompassing scripts to the Ottoman Sultan, discussing everything from politics, diplomacy, and economics to family matters, ancient philosophy, and even art. Abdulmejid’s responses were no less thoughtful or intricate displaying a keen mind for a man of his age, as well as a great amount of respect and admiration for the Greek King. However, Leopold’s relationship with the Ottoman Sultan would have a political cost for him and his allies in Greece.

In the 1845 National Elections, the ruling Kapodistriakoi Party of Prime Minister Andreas Metaxas would lose its majority in the House, falling from 57 seats to 41. The biggest gainers in the election were the Koléttikoi, or the Kómma Ethnikofrónōn (the Nationalist Party) as they would later be called, who picked up 11 seats in the election boosting their total to 37 seats in the House, while the Mavrokordátikoi, later becoming the Kómma Filelefthéron (the Liberal Party), claimed the remaining 5 seats increasing their total to 22 seats. Although his supporters still maintained the single largest plurality in the House, this electoral defeat was a stunning rebuke of Andreas Metaxas and the absence of a majority in the Legislature had effectively made his position as Prime Minister incredibly unstable. Making matters were for Metaxas were the emerging differences within the Kapodistriakoi, who were comprised of many different men with many different ideals, who had only been held together by their mutual respect and admiration for Ioannis Kapodistrias and by 1845, these differences had become very evident, especially regarding relations with the Ottomans. Ultimately, Andreas Metaxas would resign from office in late December 1845, ending his Premiership after a little more than 4 and a half years in power.

Although it cannot be completely verified, the collapse of Andreas Metaxas’ Government in 1845 is likely due to his and King Leopold’s relatively cordial relations with the Sublime Porte during the mid-1840's. Many Kapodistrias were opposed to Metaxas' effort to invest in Greek communities within the Ottoman Empire instead of Greek communities within Greece, this issue along with a myriad of other issues drew the ire of many nationalistic and Pro-War Greeks who turned from the Kapodistriakoi towards Ioannis Kolletis and his Koléttikoi. Regardless, if the Greek people were looking to replace Metaxas with a Prime Minister in the mold of Kolettis, they would be sorely disappointed as King Leopold would appoint the Anglophilic Alexandros Mavrokordatos to replace Andreas Metaxas as Prime Minister in early January 1846. Despite their political differences, King Leopold and Mavrokordatos were united in their opposition to Ioannis Kollettis becoming Prime Minister. The need of Mavrokordatos' supporters to form a stable government without having relying upon Kolletis or his Koléttikoi were another important factor behind his selection as PM in 1846.

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Alexandros Mavrokordatos, the 3rd Prime Minister of Greece
Mavrokordatos' Premiership would be marked by his constant clashes with Ioannis Kolettis and his supporters who openly advocated for war against the Ottomans and continually lampooned Mavrokordatos as a coward and a traitor to the Greek people. While Mavrokordatos was generally in favor of maintaining the peace with the Ottoman, he led a coalition government with a relatively slim majority in the House comprised of the divided Kapodistriakoi party and his own Mavrokordátikoi. As a result, he would begrudgingly acquiesce to the demands of the growing “War Party” on several important initiatives such as military spending, defensive works, and infrastructure projects.

In 1847, the Mavrokordatos Government would approve legislation increasing the number of active duty battalions in the Hellenic Army from 36 in 1846 to 44 by the end of 1853. The National Guard, the Ethnofylaki, would also see a modest increase with the addition of 4 more infantry battalions and a regiment of cavalry during this time as well. To fill these new units, the Vouli passed legislation amending the use of conscription by the Hellenic Military. Under these changes, conscription would be a short term of compulsory service lasting no more than 2 years, although it could be extended if needed and it was open to all Greek men above the age of 17 and below the age of 40. Conscripts would be selected via a draft, with no prejudice to location or economic means. An exception would be made for men with important vocations such as doctors, lawyers, or politicians, and draftees could avoid service by finding a willing alternate who met all the requirements for military service.

The Hellenic Navy was similarly expanded with the acquisition of the Razeed Third Rate HMS Warpsite in 1847 and the ordering of five new Screw Frigates, the Hydra, the Spetsai, the Psara, the Samos, and the Chios from the Thames Shipyards. The first two would be delivered to Greece in 1851 and 1852 respectively, but the Psara and Samos would unfortunately be delayed due to political tensions in the region during the mid-1850’s and would not arrive in Greece until late 1856, while the Chios was delayed indefinitely and eventually cancelled mid way into its construction. Defensively, a series of earthworks, fortresses, and supply depots were constructed along the border with the Ottoman Empire with the most prominent being the Froúrio Karaïskáki near Arta and Froúrio Diakos North of Lamia.[3] The long delayed Corinth Canal Project would also begin under his Premiership, although work on the canal would be routinely disrupted by budget shortfalls, the time of completion was gradually pushed back, and prices for the project gradually increased to the tune of 60 million Francs. Nevertheless, it was deemed to be an important development that would provide both military and economic value to Greece in the not so distant future.

Sultan Abdulmejid also experienced a large degree of opposition to his reforms and diplomatic initiatives from broad segments of the Ottoman Empire's populace. Despite formally abolishing slavery in 1843, the practice would continue in secret along the edges of the Empire where the Sultan's authority was weakest. Slave markets could be found in Damascus and Baghdad as late as the early 1860's, while many Circassians and Caucasians were found in bondage as late as the 1880's. The numerous magnates, chieftains, emirs, and Aghas of the Empire were almost unanimously opposed to his broad reforms which chipped away at their powers and privileges, leading some to resort to violence. His efforts to improve religious tolerance in the Empire were almost universally despised by the Muslim population of the Empire who viewed his actions as a flagrant disregard of tradition and the teachings of the Koran. If anything, Sultan Abdulmejid's religious reforms made religious persecution worse as many Christian peoples were subjected to terrible acts of cruelty at the hands of their Muslim neighbors, while pogroms and massacres became common occurrences in the countryside. One such people were the Assyrians of Southeastern Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia.

Nestled between Lake Van to the Northwest, Lake Urmia to the East, and the Plains of Nineveh to the South; the foothills and valleys of Hakkari, Barwari, and Nineveh had served as the ancestral home and safe refuge for the beleaguered Assyrian people for millennia. The safety that the mountainous Assyrian Triangle provided, would enable the Assyrian people to survive countless generations of turmoil, oppression, and brutality, from the Persians and the Romans to the Turks and Mongols. Throughout it all they survived with their communities relatively intact while their kin living beyond the safety of their hills were butchered and enslaved by each passing conqueror or king. When the Ottoman first occupied the region in the late 16th century it was believed that they would be no different than all those who had come before, and for a time they were right.

In return for their loyalty to the Ottoman Sultan and nominal submission to the Sublime Porte through the payment of taxes and fees, the Barwari, Hakkari, Nochiya, and Tyari Assyrian tribes - among many, many others - were permitted to retain a level of internal autonomy in their lands. They could select their own Patriarch who would serve as their leader, they could follow their own customs and traditions, they were permitted to carry arms, and they were entitled to the protection of the Ottoman Sultan and his armies during times of war with a foreign power.[4] Despite this arrangement, the Assyrians would find themselves under constant siege by their Kurdish neighbors who continually raided their villages and towns for slaves and treasure on an annual basis. Nevertheless, the Assyrians of Hakkari endured for generation after generation. However, their situation would dramatically worsen following the First Syrian War in 1831 as their Kurdish rivals, who had been kept in check by the Ottoman Porte, became emboldened by the stunning defeat of their Turkish overlords at the hands of Muhammad Ali and his Egyptians. Within a matter of weeks, numerous Kurdish Emirs and Aghas, in addition to various other magnates and warlords in Eastern Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia began to reassert their autonomy from Constantinople, effectively making them independent states in all but name.

The Emir of Soran, Mir Muhammad would prove to be an especially ambitious man who sought to unite the various warring Kurdish states into a single unified kingdom with himself as its sole ruler and he committed himself to fulfilling this ideal through whatever means necessary. What followed was half a decade of conquest, massacres, and brutalizations by the Emir of Soran who established a mighty domain stretching from the city of Mardin in the West to the Persian border near Urmia in the East making him one of the strongest magnates in Eastern Anatolia. By the Fall of 1837, Mir Muhammad turned his attention to the Emirate of Hakkari which lay betwixt his many territories. Against his substantial hosts, the Emir of Hakkari Nur Allah stood no chance of victory on his own and so he turned to the nearby Assyrians for aid.

The Patriarch of the Assyrians, Shimun XVI Abraham, had been a tepid supporter of the Hakkari Emir for several years, yet their relationship had never been particularly close. Nevertheless, Shimun recognized the threat to his community that Mir Muhammad posed and consented to Nur Allah’s request for aid. Rallying the Assyrians to the side of the Hakkari Kurds, Patriarch Shimun XVI Abraham and Emir Nur Allah managed to successfully fend off Mir Muhammad’s forces until the onset of Winter which forced Mir Muhammad to withdraw. While Mir Muhammad would prepare for a second attempt the following Spring, he would never get the chance to follow through on his preparations as he was soon waylaid by a band of rival Kurds while traveling to his capital Rewanduz in late December. While the attackers were quickly fought off, the Emir and his closest companions were killed in the brief skirmish, bringing an unexpected end to Mir Muhammad's conquests.

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Warriors of the Assyrian Nochiya Tribe, circa 1870’s

While Mir Muhammad had been killed, the conflict in the region would only worsen as new warlords moved to fill the void his sudden removal had left behind. One of which would be the Emir of Bohtan, Badr Khan who opted for a slower, more methodical approach to power by building alliances and pitting rivals against rivals. By the start of the Second Syrian War in late 1840, he had established an impressive network of territories running from the outskirts of Diyarbakir to Sirnak. Feeling confident in his own strength and with the Ottomans distracted once more by war in Syria, Badr Khan made his own attempt at conquering the Hakkari Emirate in the Summer of 1840. However, unlike Mir Muhammad’s invasion in 1840, Badr Khan discovered that the Kurds and Assyrians of Hakkari were no longer united in opposition to their invaders as the Assyrian Patriarch Shimun and the Kurdish Emir Nur Allah had suffered an especially bitter falling out in the intervening years, leaving the two at odds with one another. Taking advantage of the divide between his adversaries, Badr Khan swiftly moved to coerce Nur Allah into an alliance, making him vague promises of recompense in return for his assistance to which the Emir of Hakkari readily agreed.

With the Nur Allah on his side, Badr Khan directed his full efforts against the Assyrian communities of Hakkari with brutal efficiency. Those that surrendered immediately were spared from the worst of his brutality, but those that resisted were punished severely. His warriors destroyed entire villages, slaying all men above the age of ten, raping all the women they could find, and enslaving all those who survived the onslaught. No distinction was made between Assyrians, Armenians, or even their fellow Kurds who had chosen to stand opposed to Badr Khan; regardless of their culture or creed they were all cut down with a viciousness and cruelty unseen since the dark days of Timur. The invading Kurds pillaged anything that wasn’t nailed down, including religious artifacts and relics, before putting everything that remained to the torch. Despite their valor and bravery, the Assyrians would prove to be no match for their adversaries and would watch in despair as village after village fell to their attackers. While they would manage to stave off their complete destruction at the hands of Badr Khan, the Assyrians of Hakkari were thoroughly decimated as a community, having lost 3,000 members of their community to the massacres and raids, and an equal number to enslavement during the campaign.

Despite this success, Badr Khan’s conquest remained unfinished by the start of Winter, necessitating a second campaign to finish the job in the following Spring. In April 1841, a second invasion against the Assyrians was launched, but this time the Assyrians would manage to stave off the main offensive against Qodchanis for several weeks before word reached Badr Khan of the arrival of a large Ottoman army in the region. With the War in Syria effectively over, the new Sultan Abdulmejid I had sent his armies to begin subduing the upstart magnates of Eastern Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia. Badr Khan, Nur Allah, and all the other lords and rulers of the petty Eastern Anatolian principalities were soon forced to submit to the will of the Sultan, ending their ambitions of greatness and saving the Assyrians of Hakkari, Barwari, and Nineveh from complete destruction. However, the price of this intervention was high. In return for Ottoman aid, the Assyrians would lose the remainder of their autonomy and independence; their militias were forcibly disbanded, and the Sublime Porte gained a say in their internal affairs. While it would seem to be a small price to pay at the time given the existential threat the Kurdish Emirates had posed to them, their troubles would sadly continue as Sultan Abdulmejid's Firmans declaring religious tolerance and religious equality would unfortunately lead to further bouts of violence against the Assyrians by their neighbors in the coming years.

Other regions of the Empire were just as contentious as the provinces of Eastern Anatolia; the Emirate of Mount Lebanon for instance would experience its own degree of internal conflict during this period as well. While Emir Bashir Shihab had managed to retain the autonomy of his Emirate, it had only occurred thanks to the mercy of Sultan Abdulmejid and the personal intervention of his ally Ibrahim Pasha, who had vigorously aided the Maronite Chieftain in the defense of his Emirate in 1840.[5] Had the Egyptians been defeated in the Second Syrian War, it is almost guaranteed that Bashir Shihab would have been ousted from power and sent into exile along with his immediate family members. Nevertheless, his continued survival in Lebanon had cost him much of his autonomy and power. He no longer held complete control over his own internal affairs and his domain had been sheered down from the entirety of the Sidon Eyalet, to the size it had originally been before the First Syrian War in 1831.

His enemies, who had never been completely defeated, circled around him like vultures waiting for any opportunity to pounce. The Druze and Maronites both opposed him for varying reasons; the Druze hated him for having betrayed their trust and converting to the Maronite faith, and the Maronites resisted him for imposing heavy taxes on them and forcibly conscripting them into his armies. Revolts were a constant threat to the Shihab clan who held onto their power as tightly as they could for fear of losing it. Clashes between the Druze and the Maronites were a prevalent fixture in Lebanon during the 1840s as both groups vied for dominance in the region. A revolt against his rule in 1844 would see the neighboring Ottoman Wali of Sidon intervene to establish himself more prominently in the region, heavily diminishing Bashir's already weakened authority. Yet through his own force of will and the aid of his Egyptian allies and their mutual benefactor, the Kingdom of France, Bashir Shihab would survive for another 9 years before finally succumbing to old age in February 1850.

Egypt would also experience a fair amount of upheaval as the great Khedive of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Kavalali died on the 7th of April 1847 at the age of 78. His final years had sadly been marked by frequent bouts of tuberculosis and a gradual descent into dementia making for a sad end to the Great Wali. His son Ibrahim Pasha would succeed him as Khedive of Egypt and the Sudan, and the Wali of Damascus and the Hejaz, yet his rule would be troubled from the start. The Arabs of Palestine and Damascus continued to oppose Egyptian rule and riots against his strict governorship would become a regular feature of his reign. His attempts to quell the unrest, while successful, lacked the same effectiveness they had held in years past. Under normal circumstances, Ibrahim would have led his forces to subdue the dissenters with ruthless efficiency, but by 1847, Ibrahim was suffering from a litany of ailments and past injuries that had effectively relegated him to his palace in Alexandria. More problematic was the deterioration of the Egyptian military as the last war against the Ottomans had also cost him thousands of his most experienced officers and soldiers who had served with him in Arabia, Greece, and Anatolia. His navy had also been thrashed and his economy had been upended by the conflict in Syria. Nevertheless, Ibrahim would persevere through the all trials facing him, proving himself to be not only a brilliant commander, but also a capable administrator who would preserve his father’s legacy for the duration of his comparatively short reign as Khedive of Egypt.

Finally, along the Western edge of the Empire in the Eyalet of Tripoli, the Fezzan War raged on as the remaining Karamanli brothers and their allies resisted the Ottoman imposed government in Tripoli with all their might. Although their eldest brother, Ali Pasha Karamanli had been deposed and their benefactor Egypt had been greatly humbled, the two remaining brothers (Mehmed and Ahmad) mounted raid after raid upon Ottoman outposts in the country from the relative safety of the Sahara Desert. Their attacks were generally successful in the early years of the conflict, inspiring various adventurers and malcontents to join them for blood and booty. Nevertheless, their success would make them overconfident and careless, leading them to advance out from the safety of the desert and make their attacks on the coastal cities of Tripoli, Tobruk, Sirte, Misrata, and Benghazi in quick succession. As was to be expected, they were defeated leading to the death of the youngest Karamanli brother, Ahmad and a large number of their supporters during their assault on the small coastal city of Benghazi in 1843. The death of Ahmad would effectively end the Fezzan War as a formal military conflict as the few remaining Karamanli loyalists degenerated to banditry and tribalism. Nevertheless, the Sublime Porte’s authority would remain limited beyond the coastline for many years to come.

Next Time: The Sun Throne and the Tricolour
Author's Note: After an incredibly long, and largely unplanned hiatus, I am back with the next chapter of this timeline. I do apologize for the delay, 4 weeks is much longer than I intended, but to make up for it I've made this update a bit larger than usual and I've already started on the next two parts which will be ready in the next few days.

[1] Mavrokordatos served as the Greek Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in OTL as well, although it was a few years later than ITTL, and he only served for a few months there as well.

[2] The Rallis of Chios were a prominent merchant family who traded everything from silk and textiles to grain and fruit. The Greek War of Independence and the Chios Massacre in particular would cause the Rallis to flee Chios for Mareilles and then London which was the economic capital of the world in the 19th Century. Soon their business would grow to include several tens of thousands of employees, several dozen ships, and branches all across the British Empire, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Americas among many other locations.

[3] These are named in honor of the fallen heroes of the War for Independence Theodoros Kolokotronis, Georgios Karaiskakis, and Athansios Daikos who died well over a year before the POD in this timeline.

[4] Unlike the Eastern Orthodox Church or the Papacy, the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East (which is a traditionalist subset of the Greater Church of the East) developed into a hereditary position that was inherited by members of the Shimun family, kind of like the Title of Holy Roman Empire which became dominated by the House of Hapsburg.

[5] Bashir Shihab was ousted from Power in OTL following the Second Egyptian-Ottoman War, although surprisingly, the British and the Ottomans gave him multiple opportunities to split from Muhammad Ali to save himself. Therefore I don't think its too outlandish for him to remain in power ITTL especially considering the fact that the war effectively ended in a stalemate. That said, his position is extremely tenuous and Lebanon was not a particularly peaceful place during the mid-19th Century.
 
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Wonder how you're gonna handle the 1848 Revolutions ITTL...

Glad you're back; I wondered what happened...

Waiting for more...
Thank you. I Hope I didn't concern too many people with my sudden disappearance, but now I'm back and not planning on going anywhere anytime soon.

The 1848 Revolutions will be the next major arc of the timeline covering about 12 parts, a number that is subject to change. I will be jumping around alot between various countries over the course of this arc, so I apologize in advance for those wanting me to keep this a purely Greece oriented timeline, but the ramifications of this arc will have an important effect on Greece going forward even if they don't necessarily effect it directly. Hopefully, what I establish in the next few updates makes for an entertaining experience for you all and helps create a more interesting world going forward.
 
Interesting stuff and welcome back.

By the way, you may want to remove those footnote links that go nowhere by selecting everything and pressing the following button:

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A minor language note, kastro does mean castle yes and its used in common language and literature but any fortress would be would be either φρούριο (literally fortress) or οχυρό, probably the former frex in Greek military histories Verdun is always frourio Verdun, with ochyro for the individual works.

That said I'm not altogether certain what's the military logic employed by Maurokordatos here. OTL Greece wasn't very big on fortification but granted fortifying the area of Lamia makes a certain degree of sense, it can be used as a launching pad for an invasion into Thessaly and on the reverse makes an invasion south a bitch as long as the fleet is doing it's part. But I don't think it's practical to sink money to put fortifications around Athens... any sensible line of defence is probably way further north in the approaches to Attica and how many more frigates and screw liners can you build for the same money? Besides this if the standing army has been increased to 44 battalions this means what 30,000 men or more in total? You probably need to introduce conscription on the Prussian model to manage this. Which of course makes certain sense for a country like Greece just as it did for Piedmont doing the same...
 
Hooray, you’re back!

Part of this endeavor also included the loosening of restrictions on Greek investment in the Ottoman Empire, enabling them to build numerous schools and churches of their own from Ioannina and Monastir to Gallipoli and Burgas among many more

*Mr. Burns voice*

Excellent

Very interesting update visiting the Ottoman Empire—can I assume most of this is as IOTL?

By the way, when I asked for a mention of the Assyrians I didn’t mean it like this :'(

EDIT: and it seems the Greek public and politicians aren’t much fond of getting along with the OE
 
A minor language note, kastro does mean castle yes and its used in common language and literature but any fortress would be would be either φρούριο (literally fortress) or οχυρό, probably the former frex in Greek military histories Verdun is always frourio Verdun, with ochyro for the individual works.

That said I'm not altogether certain what's the military logic employed by Maurokordatos here. OTL Greece wasn't very big on fortification but granted fortifying the area of Lamia makes a certain degree of sense, it can be used as a launching pad for an invasion into Thessaly and on the reverse makes an invasion south a bitch as long as the fleet is doing it's part. But I don't think it's practical to sink money to put fortifications around Athens... any sensible line of defence is probably way further north in the approaches to Attica and how many more frigates and screw liners can you build for the same money? Besides this if the standing army has been increased to 44 battalions this means what 30,000 men or more in total? You probably need to introduce conscription on the Prussian model to manage this. Which of course makes certain sense for a country like Greece just as it did for Piedmont doing the same...
That was generally the plan for the forts along the border, but you are certainly right about the ones around Athens, they don't really make much sense in the grand scheme of things so I'll edit that accordingly.

The Hellenic Army and Navy are generally staffed with volunteers, although they are permitted by the Greek Government use conscription during times of war or in the case of an emergency.

Hooray, you’re back!

*Mr. Burns voice*

Excellent

Very interesting update visiting the Ottoman Empire—can I assume most of this is as IOTL?

By the way, when I asked for a mention of the Assyrians I didn’t mean it like this :'(

EDIT: and it seems the Greek public and politicians aren’t much fond of getting along with the OE
Thank you, glad to be back.

*Mr. Burns voice*
Release the updates!

For the most part, Abdulmejid's reforms ITTL are essentially the OTL Tanzimat reforms with their dates adjusted somewhat. The same goes for the acceptance of the Church of Greece's Autocephaly which was done in 1850 in OTL. The most significant difference is the increased Greek investment into the Ottoman Empire's Greek communities due to their own increased wealth in this timeline. Granted it isn't all that much, but it is something.

As bad as it may seem, the Massacres of Badr Khan ITTL are actually not as bad as they were in OTL. Although considering how bad it was in OTL, this isn't saying much. Nevertheless, this won't be the last we see of the Assyrians in this timeline so don't you worry Cmakk.

I do hope we'll see Napoleon junior pop up again during the '48.
I've been meaning to do an update on him, fortunately, he will be showing up very soon and in a big way.
 
Isn’t Abdulmejid’s decisions kind of impossible to implement? Admittedly I am not knowledgeable regarding the inner politics of the Ottoman Empire during the second half of the century, but

1. abolishing and emancipating the slaves

2. freedom of religion

3. outlawing the persecution of minorities

4. having the Patriarchate of Constantinople under the authority of the Greek church

5. going on a row to build hundreds of schools

6. allowing the Greeks to build places that promoted their culture and religion shortly after the last war

7. promoting secularity

8. land reforms which would most definitely be against the old aristocrats

all these in less than 5 years seems a lot. Especially if we take into consideration that all these happened shortly after two devastating wars less than two decades ago.
 
all these in less than 5 years seems a lot. Especially if we take into consideration that all these happened shortly after two devastating wars less than two decades ago.
I foresee a very violent death and rollback of all of his reforms in the very near future, maybe with a war party coming in power intent on reclaiming lost honour.
 

formion

Banned
ITTL seems that the Greek Kingdom will have a more capable military than in OTL. King Leopold has been personally involved with military affairs and I think that the size of the army is also bigger. The need to staff a bigger army and constription will produce a totally different and presumably more capable military. IOTL there was a significant deficiency in officer training as well as NGO training. So new attitudes and traditions are being introduced in the greek army early on.
 
Isn’t Abdulmejid’s decisions kind of impossible to implement? Admittedly I am not knowledgeable regarding the inner politics of the Ottoman Empire during the second half of the century, but

1. abolishing and emancipating the slaves

2. freedom of religion

3. outlawing the persecution of minorities

4. having the Patriarchate of Constantinople under the authority of the Greek church

5. going on a row to build hundreds of schools

6. allowing the Greeks to build places that promoted their culture and religion shortly after the last war

7. promoting secularity

8. land reforms which would most definitely be against the old aristocrats

all these in less than 5 years seems a lot. Especially if we take into consideration that all these happened shortly after two devastating wars less than two decades ago.

Well considering what he accomplished in OTL when it looked like Wali was ready to take the whole of the Empire he’s in a much better position in this TL than ours. Mahmud was more militaristic but in a sense he had to be but these ideas and reforms were all their and were planned to be implemented when the time was right... sadly Mahmud couldn’t last a bit longer but luckily he did gut the Egyptians of their experienced army, Abdulmejid May be kinder but I don’t have a doubt he’ll impose on Egypt when the issue of who is Master, and who is is Vassal comes up again.

His laws while technically come into effect the minute he wants them too, implementing them obviously takes more time and even than we still might see issues out in the Ottoman Back Country. But I do agree that having the Patriarch of Istanbul submit to the Greeks is too much, but at least those that would revolt against him have been defeated, Egypt has been humbled, the Albanians, and Bosnians beat down with a lot going into exile. So at least he has a free hand in the 40’s which lucky for him is right around the time the rest of Europe explodes in revolutions and revolts, so hopefully he’ll have a few ministers around that will advise him that properly punishing Egypt while France and the rest of continental Europe is distracted is a great idea, and also he should strengthen his North African holdings and really enforce that Ottomanization on the Balkans.
 
Isn’t Abdulmejid’s decisions kind of impossible to implement? Admittedly I am not knowledgeable regarding the inner politics of the Ottoman Empire during the second half of the century, but

1. abolishing and emancipating the slaves

2. freedom of religion

3. outlawing the persecution of minorities

4. having the Patriarchate of Constantinople under the authority of the Greek church

5. going on a row to build hundreds of schools

6. allowing the Greeks to build places that promoted their culture and religion shortly after the last war

7. promoting secularity

8. land reforms which would most definitely be against the old aristocrats

all these in less than 5 years seems a lot. Especially if we take into consideration that all these happened shortly after two devastating wars less than two decades ago.
Berat2beti is right in that most of these initiatives were enacted OTL as well, with the only major difference being that they occurred a few years earlier in TTL due to the stronger position of the Sultan and Sublime Porte ITTL. That said, just because Sultan Abdulmejid made a declaration, it didn't mean that it was particularly effective or well received by the people of the Empire. In fact, many of the Tanzimat reforms were fiercely opposed by conservative elements within the Ottoman Empire and in many cases his rapid reforms made things worse.

1. Slavery was formally abolished in 1847 in OTL, but it would continue to be common practice until the 1870's as many people utilitized various loopholes to continue slavery and slave trafficking. Nevertheless, the Ottoman Government took steps to crack down on the slave trade in the Empire and punish those found owning or trafficking slaves.

2. The Hatt-ı Hümayun of 1856 promised to provide full legal equality for citizens of all religions. Granted this was issued after the Crimean War so its probably not something that is going to happen during the 1840's, especially when the Ottoman Empire isn't under the thumb of the British and French. Even then it was fiercely opposed by many within the Empire and was not implemented very effectively.

3. Among other things, the Edict of Gulhane issued in 1839 guaranteed certain rights to Ottoman citizens of all religions and ethnicity. Obviously this is impossible to fully implement in practice, but is in keeping with Abdulmejid's character to create a more tolerant and equal Empire. As with the Hatt-ı Hümayun of 1856, this was fiercely opposed by segments of the Ottoman populace and had limited effects.

4. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not under the authority of the Church of Greece, the Sultan - at the personal request of the Greek Government - merely made him acknowledge that the Church of Greece was Autocephalous from the Patriarchate. This very thing happened in 1850 in OTL after the Church of Greece appealed to Sultan Abdulmejid, so I don't think it is that outlandish here especially when relations between the Ottoman Empire and Greece are slightly better ITTL compared to OTL, but I'll amend the last update to make it clearer.

5. Sultan Abdulmejid was very supportive of education initiatives in OTL. He established the Ottoman Ministry of Education, teachers schools, universities, and academies. Also, the hundreds of schools/academies/universities/libraries/etc. that I spoke of in the update take place over the course of his entire reign, not all at once.

6. You are probably right in that is happening too soon after the Greek War for Independence, so I'll make some adjustments and push this back a few years. Generally though, Greek merchants during this time were permitted to establish, or rather reestablish schools provided they paid for it out of their own pockets and they could make repairs or renovations to local churches as well. As Lascaris said a few pages back, response #1077, Greek Merchants were usually followed by Greek Priests and Greek teachers so I don't think its that unbelievable.

7. I don't believe I had Abdulmejid promoting secularity here. If I did I'll fix it accordingly, but as far as I can tell Islam is still the official religion of the Empire and that isn't changing anytime soon.

8. Abdulmejid, and his father Mahmud II did crack down on landed aristocrats in OTL. In fact, Abdulmejid fought a series of bitter conflicts with the Albanian and Bosnian Beys, the Derebeys of Anatolia, and the Kurdish Emirs of Eastern Anatolia/Northern Mesopotamia during the 1830's, the 1840's, and the 1850's, trying to limit their autonomy and power. With the stronger position the Empire is in ITTL, Abdulmejid and his father were able to go after them earlier and more thoroughly.

Hopefully these are satisfactory responses that can help clarify the decisions by Abdulmejid in the last update.
 
Berat2beti is right in that most of these initiatives were enacted OTL as well, with the only major difference being that they occurred a few years earlier in TTL due to the stronger position of the Sultan and Sublime Porte ITTL. That said, just because Sultan Abdulmejid made a declaration, it didn't mean that it was particularly effective or well received by the people of the Empire. In fact, many of the Tanzimat reforms were fiercely opposed by conservative elements within the Ottoman Empire and in many cases his rapid reforms made things worse.

1. Slavery was formally abolished in 1847 in OTL, but it would continue to be common practice until the 1870's as many people utilitized various loopholes to continue slavery and slave trafficking. Nevertheless, the Ottoman Government took steps to crack down on the slave trade in the Empire and punish those found owning or trafficking slaves.

2. The Hatt-ı Hümayun of 1856 promised to provide full legal equality for citizens of all religions. Granted this was issued after the Crimean War so its probably not something that is going to happen during the 1840's, especially when the Ottoman Empire isn't under the thumb of the British and French. Even then it was fiercely opposed by many within the Empire and was not implemented very effectively.

3. Among other things, the Edict of Gulhane issued in 1839 guaranteed certain rights to Ottoman citizens of all religions and ethnicity. Obviously this is impossible to fully implement in practice, but is in keeping with Abdulmejid's character to create a more tolerant and equal Empire. As with the Hatt-ı Hümayun of 1856, this was fiercely opposed by segments of the Ottoman populace and had limited effects.

4. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not under the authority of the Church of Greece, the Sultan - at the personal request of the Greek Government - merely made him acknowledge that the Church of Greece was Autocephalous from the Patriarchate. This very thing happened in 1850 in OTL after the Church of Greece appealed to Sultan Abdulmejid, so I don't think it is that outlandish here especially when relations between the Ottoman Empire and Greece are slightly better ITTL compared to OTL, but I'll amend the last update to make it clearer.

5. Sultan Abdulmejid was very supportive of education initiatives in OTL. He established the Ottoman Ministry of Education, teachers schools, universities, and academies. Also, the hundreds of schools/academies/universities/libraries/etc. that I spoke of in the update take place over the course of his entire reign, not all at once.

6. You are probably right in that is happening too soon after the Greek War for Independence, so I'll make some adjustments and push this back a few years. Generally though, Greek merchants during this time were permitted to establish, or rather reestablish schools provided they paid for it out of their own pockets and they could make repairs or renovations to local churches as well. As Lascaris said a few pages back, response #1077, Greek Merchants were usually followed by Greek Priests and Greek teachers so I don't think its that unbelievable.

7. I don't believe I had Abdulmejid promoting secularity here. If I did I'll fix it accordingly, but as far as I can tell Islam is still the official religion of the Empire and that isn't changing anytime soon.

8. Abdulmejid, and his father Mahmud II did crack down on landed aristocrats in OTL. In fact, Abdulmejid fought a series of bitter conflicts with the Albanian and Bosnian Beys, the Derebeys of Anatolia, and the Kurdish Emirs of Eastern Anatolia/Northern Mesopotamia during the 1830's, the 1840's, and the 1850's, trying to limit their autonomy and power. With the stronger position the Empire is in ITTL, Abdulmejid and his father were able to go after them earlier and more thoroughly.

Hopefully these are satisfactory responses that can help clarify the decisions by Abdulmejid in the last update.

Well I’m content and this does back up some of my ideas that things like Slavery while technically illegal would most likely be ignored by an Ottoman governor in say Baghdad cause he can ignore the “servants” in the wealthy homes of the Baghdad Eyalet. Cause most likely said governor is trying to get the fuck out and get a better posting. Now he can crack down on public auctions but all that does is drive the auctions underground but hey to the governor “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil”.

But will any Pro-War Ottoman ministers come into the fray? Like ones that feel like finishing off the still somewhat uppity Egypt and dragging Wali’s bastard son back to Istanbul? Abdulmejid may have lucked out and his dad Mahmud already gutting the Albanian, and Bosnian Pasha’s and Bey’s, but just beating down Dereby, and Emir’s in Anatolia isn’t exactly spectacular... but beating Egypt and even if Wali’s son might live in a golden cage it still will shore up support for his regime, give him some major prestige which he can translate into political backing for his reform faction, and get the army firmly on his side as a sultan like his dad before him. Oh and return Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, and the Nejd fully back into the Ottoman Empire.

Also what are Ottoman Russian relations? Cause if the Ottomans are anti-French that kinda throws how the Crimean War starts out of wack, cause maybe the Ottomans don’t care that France has interests in Lebanon Christians cause they’ve already and kindly and most diplomatic way possible told Napoleon the III(if he rises to power in this TL) that he can shove his proposal up his own ass. The reason I ask is cause I heard before the Crimean War the Ottomans relationship with Russia was weird sort of a “hate-hate relationship, but let’s not keep killing each other every 5 minutes” sort of deal?
 
Well I’m content and this does back up some of my ideas that things like Slavery while technically illegal would most likely be ignored by an Ottoman governor in say Baghdad cause he can ignore the “servants” in the wealthy homes of the Baghdad Eyalet. Cause most likely said governor is trying to get the fuck out and get a better posting. Now he can crack down on public auctions but all that does is drive the auctions underground but hey to the governor “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil”.

But will any Pro-War Ottoman ministers come into the fray? Like ones that feel like finishing off the still somewhat uppity Egypt and dragging Wali’s bastard son back to Istanbul? Abdulmejid may have lucked out and his dad Mahmud already gutting the Albanian, and Bosnian Pasha’s and Bey’s, but just beating down Dereby, and Emir’s in Anatolia isn’t exactly spectacular... but beating Egypt and even if Wali’s son might live in a golden cage it still will shore up support for his regime, give him some major prestige which he can translate into political backing for his reform faction, and get the army firmly on his side as a sultan like his dad before him. Oh and return Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, and the Nejd fully back into the Ottoman Empire.

Also what are Ottoman Russian relations? Cause if the Ottomans are anti-French that kinda throws how the Crimean War starts out of wack, cause maybe the Ottomans don’t care that France has interests in Lebanon Christians cause they’ve already and kindly and most diplomatic way possible told Napoleon the III(if he rises to power in this TL) that he can shove his proposal up his own ass. The reason I ask is cause I heard before the Crimean War the Ottomans relationship with Russia was weird sort of a “hate-hate relationship, but let’s not keep killing each other every 5 minutes” sort of deal?
That's exactly my point. Just because something is outlawed, doesn't necessarily mean that it just disappears immediately with many things like slavery continuing long after they are "formally" abolished.

There are certainly many within the Ottoman Government who could be considered members of a "War Party" and they will appear in due time. There will definitely be one last confrontation with Egypt as well in the not so distant future as Damascus and the Hejaz are still under Egyptian control.

Russo-Turkish relations are pretty much as you said; they certainly don't like each other, but they aren't exactly willing to go to war with each other anytime soon. I haven't exactly determined how I want to handle the Crimean War in TTL, but I think its safe to assume that it won't happen in the exact same manner as OTL due to the much worse relations between France and the Ottomans ITTL. The Crimean War, or something comparable to the Crimean War, may not even happen in this timeline given the divergences from OTL. Then again, anything could happen.
 
2. The Hatt-ı Hümayun of 1856 promised to provide full legal equality for citizens of all religions. Granted this was issued after the Crimean War so its probably not something that is going to happen during the 1840's, especially when the Ottoman Empire isn't under the thumb of the British and French. Even then it was fiercely opposed by many within the Empire and was not implemented very effectively.

The edict in OTL was followed by about 20-30,000 people showing up in the Pontus area declaring they really were Greek Orthodox Christians in reality and not Muslims and asking to be recognized as such, these were the Kurumlis and Stavriote communities. Needless to say the Ottoman authorities were not entirely amused, after recognising several thousands in the initial surprise, started refusing to recognise any more till 1912 when finally they got recognized. Political considerations certainly played a role, as recognized Christians the cryptocristians would not be eligible for military service at the time. If the edict comes a decade early effectively...
 
That's exactly my point. Just because something is outlawed, doesn't necessarily mean that it just disappears immediately with many things like slavery continuing long after they are "formally" abolished.

There are certainly many within the Ottoman Government who could be considered members of a "War Party" and they will appear in due time. There will definitely be one last confrontation with Egypt as well in the not so distant future as Damascus and the Hejaz are still under Egyptian control.

Russo-Turkish relations are pretty much as you said; they certainly don't like each other, but they aren't exactly willing to go to war with each other anytime soon. I haven't exactly determined how I want to handle the Crimean War in TTL, but I think its safe to assume that it won't happen in the exact same manner as OTL due to the much worse relations between France and the Ottomans ITTL. The Crimean War, or something comparable to the Crimean War, may not even happen in this timeline given the divergences from OTL. Then again, anything could happen.

Well I’m gonna call it and say it’s an Ottoman Empire strikes back scenario, cause those Pasha’s and Bey’s who felt they could push around the Sultan aren’t really around anymore to do said pushing, and though not as glorious but putting all the Emirs, Deyeber’s, religious, and ethnic groups in their place in Anatolia should at least net Abdulmejid some glory, that he’s a tough modernizing Sultan, and I just don’t see Egypt fielding an army capable of beating the Turks, Hell they can barely handle Palestine nvm the new Viceroy if Egypt is sick and old too not exactly the strong man who invaded Greece.

While the Turks can say they came off from stalemating Egypt(something that only happened cause Mejid foolishly offered truce...) beat the Albanians, and Bosnians, and are currently handling every Kurd, Assyrian, Maronite, Armenian Emir, Pasha, Chief, and Bey with delusions of grandeur and a militia in Anatolia. So the Ottoman army will be a veteran force of quite a few conflicts, and sure the last is more a policing action but hey any experience they can get us better than none. Nvm the training they get from British, and Prussian advisors.
 
I suppose allowing non-Muslims to volunteer for military service while putting equal eligibility for conscription on the table would lessen some of that(everyone is an equal citizen and yes that means equal liability for conscription). Maybe allowing for limited expansion(i.e. an unlimited right to rebuild houses of worship on the same footprint or same plot of land) and for people to declare a new religion as you described but implement rules requiring a formal endorsement from someone?
 
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