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The Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful political entities of the second millenium, having completely changed the scenario of the Middle East, the Balkans, northern Africa and, indirectly, the whole West. The house of Osmanoğlu, with its headquarters in present-day Turkey, struck the final blow to the world's longest-lasting empire and shaped what we today know as Islam. But what if, instead of the Ottomans, another group had risen to power in the Anatolian peninsula? What would the world look like?
The idea for Amber Dawn first appeared in 2014, as a background for a fictional nation. It was not originally meant to be an alternate history timeline, so, in order to make it fit in the real world, a lot had to be changed, and dozens of research hours were spent.
Our point of divergence (PoD) is something that may seem completely insignificant at first. Until around the 15th century, the divergences between our timeline and the real world are much more local, with little impact on the rest of the world. But, as you have seen in the pre-introduction (meh, no better name for it), you will soon start to see the profound changes that this PoD has brought to our society. So hop on the ship and let's start!
- Whenever I refer to AD, I'm talking about the Amber Dawn alternate timeline.
- Please don't edit this file. I've been putting a lot of work in the project for almost two years, so it wouldn't be nice if someone just came and threw it in the trash
- If you have any mistakes or suggestions you would like to point out, please put them in the talk page.
Special thanks to Ilkay K.
Before the divergence
The Turkic Khaganate, also known as Göktürk, was the dominant power in much of Central Asia during the early middle ages. However, in 581 CE, the fourth Khagan of the Turks, Taspar Qaghan, died, leaving a power vacuum in the realm. While Taspar had supported his nephew Töremen as the next Khagan, traditional Turkic rule was that Taspar's son, Amrak, would assume power. After Taspar's death, the Kurultay (Turkic council) chose Amrak as the next Khagan, in compliance to traditional succession laws. This made the government highly unstable, forcing Amrak to give the throne to his ally Shetu. Shetu then became the de jure Khagan under the name of Ishbara, although the other claimants to the throne were not subdued. Two powerful claimant factions were at conflict: one comprised of Töremen and his ally Tardush, who was the yabgu (Turkic equivalent to viceroy) in the western portions of the realm; other, of Amrak and his ally Shetu, who was Taspar's cousin.
The point of divergence (PoD) - CE 583
What happened in OTL (and not in AD)
In 584, a civil war between Ishbara and Töremen was sprung when the former raided the latter's territory. Töremen then sought exile with Tardush, who sent his army against the Khagan. Ishbara, however, allied himself to Sui China (隋朝) and managed to defeat Tardush by poisoning his water wells. Nonetheless, Tardush, who was also a claimant to the high throne, kept control of the western territories, which eventually led to the split between Western and Eastern Khaganates in 603.
What happened instead
When a civil was in the verge of breaking out, Tardush, Töremen's biggest ally in the West, was killed (probably by Ishbara's men). This made Töremen's faction much weaker, and so he was forced to accept Ishbara as the Khagan. Amrak, as the second head of the clan, became yabgu in the west and the Khanate once again met stability under the reign of Ishbara.
583 - 659 AD
The 7th century saw a rapid and brutal Turkic expansion towards the west. By 601, under the reign of Tulan Qaghan, the Turks had conquered all of the Caucasus and the Crimean peninsula. Nine years later, in 610, the Sassanids declared what would be known as the first Perso-Turkic war, claiming control over the land south of the Aral Sea. The war lasted two years, and ended with a decisive victory of the Turks, which, by 612, controlled most of northern Persia. Another powerful enemy in the West was the Byzantine Empire. In 618, Tarük Qaghan declared war against the Byzantines over the Anatolian Peninsula. The war was also a victory of the Turks and, in 622, the Khaganate reached its greatest extent.
Rise of Islam and fall of the Turks
Meanwhile, in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the world's largest series of military conquests was taking place. Soon after the death of Arab prophet Muhammad (مُحَمَّد), the Rashidun Caliphate (الخلافة الراشدية) was established in Arabia and started its quick expansion in northern Africa and west Asia. The Byzantines, much weakeaned by the loss of Anatolia, proved no match for the Islamic armies, and so did the Sassanian Persians. In 655, Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (عثمان بن عفان) declared war against the Göktürks, resulting in the decisive victory of the Caliphate and its annexation of Eastern Anatolia. This severely weakened the Khaganate, which was also suffering from wars with Tang China (唐朝) in the East and the Avar Khaganate in the West. In 659 a vassal rebellion broke out, and the rebels invaded Mongolia, killing the royal family and seizing power. This struck the final blow to the Turks in Central Asia, and ended the Khaganate, now split into several break-away states.
After the collapse of the Göktürks, many other nomad states emerged in Asia. In the east, rose the Khanate of Mongolia; south of lake Balkhash, rose the Kyrgyz Khanate; to the northwest, the land was divided into many tribal federations, such as Circassia, Crimea and Ossetia; to the southwest, the Oghuz Khanate covered most of the land south of the Aral; finally, in the Anatolian Peninsula, emerged the Khanate of Qün.
659 - X AD
With most of north and central Asia occupied by sparse nomadic groups, a new age of expansion began to Tang China. Before the end of the 7th Century, it had conquered much of what were once the central and eastern portions of the Turkic Khaganate, and had defeated many of the northern peoples, such as the Jurchens and many of the Siberian tribes.