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Gurkani Sultanate (English)Timeline: Principia Moderni IV (Map Game)
گورکانیان سلطنت (Persian)
Ours is the Fury (English)
مال ما خشم است (Persian)
The Gurkani Sultanate in 1410, at its establishment
|Other cities||Adana, Aleppo, Ardabil, Baghdad, Baku, Balkh, Basra, Bukhara, Diyarbakir, Erbil, Erzurum, Gamrun, Herat, Iskenderun, Kabul, Kalat, Kandahar, Kerch, Mashhad, Merv, Mosul, Najaf, Ormara, Qazvin, Samarkand, Sheraz, Tabriz, Tbilisi, Theodoro, Van, Yerevan|
|Official languages||Persian, Arabic|
|Regional Languages||Kurmanji, Balochi, Pashto, Chagatai Turki, Azeri Turki, Armenian, Georgian|
|Ethnic groups||Persian, Arab, Kurd, Armenian, Georgian, Pashtun, Baloch, Turkic|
|-||Sultan||Tahmasp Shah Mirza|
|-||Caliph||al-Mu'tawakkil Yahya Sharif ad-Din|
|-||Grand Vizier||Amanullah Khan|
|-||Upper house||Shura e Amur Mazhabi|
|-||Lower house||Shura e Sultanate|
|-||Establishment of the Gurkani Sultanate||1410 A.D.|
|-||Proclaimation of Al Mansur as the first Zaidi Caliph||1449 A.D.|
|-||Creation of the post of Grand Vizier||1497 A.D.|
The Gurkani Sultanate, sometimes referred to as the Sultanate of Gurkan or Gurkaniyan, is a state that borders the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Persian Gulf and controls the majority of Central Asia. The Sultanate is generally regarded as a successor state to the Timurid Empire, established by Timur's heir and son, Shahrukh Mirza.
Following decades of political, economic and cultural success, the death of Timur Beg Mirza in 1406 shook the foundations of the Empire he had built, pushing it into civil war. Timur's son and designated heir, Shahrukh Mirza would fight his own brother, Miran Shah for the Empire whilst Timur's grandson, Pir Muhammad would crown himself the Khan of Crimea.
The Battle of Sarai in 1409 however would lead to the capture of Sarai, the capital of the rebellious forces by Shahrukh Mirza. He would proceed to execute his brother, Miran Shah and reunite the Timurid Empire under a single banner. However, not keen on repeating the mistakes of his father, Shahrukh Mirza would subsequently announce the establishment of the Gurkani Sultanate to signify a new united and progressive era.
For more information in regards to earlier history, see main article: History of the Timurid Empire
The establishment of the Gurkani Sultanate on September 22, 1410 under Sultan Shahrukh Mirza was seen as a turning point in Persian and Turkic history, as the region had never been united under a proper Kingdom since the days of Seljuk Turks. During the early days of the Sultanate, the Imperial authorities had taken note of the need for the Gurkani to develop diplomatic ties with its neighboring states, and therefore the Sultan had soon established matrimonial alliances with the Ottoman Empire, and the Abbasid Calipate. To further expand the scope of Gurkani influence, the Sultan had established the Compact of Iskenderun in the same year to facilitate trade between Europe and Asia. The revenue collected annually from the tariffs levied on merchants utilizing the Compact would very soon exceed what the Sultan, and many of his courtiers had expected; allowing for the Sultanate to divert funds towards the construction of naval fleets in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and the Persian Gulf as well as the development of cannons and firearms. It would indeed be this very period during which the Sultan would establish a marvelous Sunehra Quila (Golden Fort) at Isfahan. By 1414, seeking to ease tensions between the Turkic authorities and the Tatar locals, the Sultan had married his daughter, Marian Mirza to the leader of a major tatar tribe, Karimov Ishakiv and subseuqently granted independence to the Astrakhan Khanate. The Khanate under his son-in-law would not however survive for much long, as it would very soon be invaded and conquered by the Russian Boyardom. With the Sultanate completely cut off from the Black Sea, the Gurkani army invaded the Kingdom of Georgia the same year, and defeated the Georgian forces at the Battle of Tbilisi. The Sultanate would continue to peacefully co-exist with it's neighbouring state until 1420, primarily due to the Sultan resorting to spending hours in the company of his harem and his wife, the Sultana managing the affairs of the state. In 1420 however, with the Fall of Constantinople, the army invaded Genovese territories in Crimea in order to strengthen Gurkani presence in the Black Sea. Despite the harsh environment, and resilient defense; the Gurkani army would eventually prevail after winning the Battle of Theodoro. The same year, the rulers of Trebizond would capitulate peacefully to the Gurkani Sultanate, having no other alternative due to the end of the Byzantine Empire and the growing threat of an Ottoman invasion. Following this, a period of peace and prosperity would exust throughout the Sultanate until the outbreak of a major famine in 1430. Whilst initially causing a major issue in Central Asia due to continuous raids on caravans carrying foods to the starving populace, the famine would finally be dealt with by 1432. In the aftermath of the famine, the Amirs of Samarkand and Bukhara would be assigned with the task of rounding up all those suspected of having engaged in raids, a decision the Sultanate would later suffer grievely over. In 1434, Ulugh Beg Mirza ascended the throne following the death of Shahrukh Mirza and immediately set out to fund the development of educational madrassahs throughout the Sultanate. The same year, the Sultan established the House of Wonders in Isfahan, however his works would prove to be of little value to the increasingly discontent Turkic population of Central Asia. On 1439, a rebellion by the Turkics would spark a major conflict in the region. The Turkic rebels proclaimed the Uzbek Sultanate, and occupied most, if not all of Central Asia. They would proceed fo execute the Crown Prince stationed at Samarkand and declare sovereign rule. The Jalayirids would simultaneously stage a revolt, and would call the Abbasids to intervene. The Sultan would soon find himself caught up inbetween two major revolts and invasions by the Ottoman and Abbasid Empires. Regardless of that, the Sultan would remain steadfast and assign Zeeshan Beg to Mosul whilst Mahmud Mirza to Trebizond. Despite the hard and difficult battle, the Gurkani forces would finally defeat the Abbasids at Mosul, capturing and slaying the Caliph Al Najm. In Trebizond, the Ottoman forces would similarly be defeated and their offense repulsed. In 1440, the Russians would launch an attack from the North, overtaking Crimea whilst the Sultan reorganized the Gurkani forces. In 1441, the Russian forces would however be encountered by a major army led by Mahmud Mirza in the Caucasis, leading to a hasty retreat by the Russians back to their territories. The Gurkani forces would chase the Russian forces until Rostov on Don at which point the Sultan would finally accept a white peace offer by the Russians. A simultaneous white peace offer by the Ottomans would also be accepted in 1442 whilst the Uzbek Sultanate would collapse on their own due to inter-ethnic differences. Whilst the people would celebrate to rejoice at the victory, in truth, the Gurkani had won only a pyrrhic victory. The massive territorial loss of the eastern section of the Empire would severely weaken the power of the Sultan, forcing him to abdicate the throne in 1445. In the brief period between the wars end, and his abdication, Balochistan was reconquered and annexed by Gurkani troops. Following Ulugh Begs abdication, Zeeshan Beg Mirza would ascend the throne and due to his marriage with Saima Daula; they would officially unite the Gurkani and Jalayirid thrones. The new Sultan would quickly establish an alliance with the Delhi Sultanate in 1446, in 1447; in one of the most important events to have occured in the Middle East, the Gurkani Sultan denounced the Abbasid Caliphate and converted to Shia Islam. This action would practically destroy any and all Abbasid influence in Persia whilst elevating Gurkani sovereignty. Seeking to establish themselves as the true Caliphs and leaders of the Muslim World however, the Sultan would invite the Zaidi Imam to Persia and declare him the Caliph in 1449. In the coming years, the Bahamani Sultanate and the Mogadishu Sultanate would similarly convert to Zaidi Islam and drastically expand Gurkani global influence.
The Sultanate is an absolute hereditary monarchy, and the legislature upon which the Sultanate is based was written by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.
The legal matters of the Sultanate are governed by the Shura e Sultanate or otherwise known as the Imperial Council and is based in Isfahan. It is headed by the Grand Vizier who is appointed directly by the Sultan, and has complete power of attorney; with only the Sultan capable of dismissing him. It is usually customary for a Gurkani Monarch to appoint a new Grand Vizier upon his/her ascension. The Council is composed of fifteen Viziers from each of the fifteem divisions of the Sultanate, with the Grand Vizier representing the 16th division, Isfahan. The fifteen Lesser Viziers are essentially representatives of the 15 divisions that are selected by the 'Appointed Ruler' of each individual division (with the Sultans approval) to aid and advise the Grand Vizier on matters that include drafting of new laws, amendments to already-existing laws, development of infrastructure, foreign affairs and numerous other matters. The Imperial Council in essence manages the Sultanate daily affairs in the Sultans stead, making most if not all of the decisions. For a proposal to be passed, a majority is required in the Imperial Council following which the Grand Vizier may choose to either approve or reject the proposal. In case of a aupermajority (75%), the Grand Vizier has no option but to approve the draft and pass on to the Sultan. The Sultan may choose to either approve the law and in turn transfer it to the Council of Religious Affairs or reject it in which case the Viziers may amend their draft. As such, despite being the Sultanates lawmakers, proposals passed by the Imperial Council still do require the approval of the Sultan and the Council of Religious Affairs, both capable of vetoing any decision deemed unfavourable or blasphemous. The Imperial Council generally also works side by side with the Council Bereaucracy, the latter being responsible for the drafting and publishing of imperial decrees; issuing of documents for the appointment of posts; preparation of material for the Council; keeping record of its decisions and the Sultanates history. Due to the major responsibilities of the Council, it is called into session every single day and if the Sultan wishes to, he may attend the meetings.
Whilst the Grand Vizier and 15 Viziers are usually the only officials attending the Councils, there are particular exceptions when the number of officials present at the Council drastically increase. This happens five times annually when the Sultan, the Caliph, the Grand Vizier, the lesser Viziers, the Grand Qazis, the Grand Dewans, the Rais of the Armed Forces, the Sipah Salar of the Naval Forces and the Agha of the Sepah e Najaf gather at Isfahan to discuss major issues related to the distribution of the imperial budget, foreign affairs, security threats, and the appointment as well as removal of officials & clerics. Decisions pertaining to the distribution of the imperial budget in usually happen at the end of the year. Generally, all the decisions made during these Councils require the approval of the Sultan who is essentially the supreme authority on all issues including the selection and dismissal of any official regardless of his rank, the only exception being the position of Vizier in which case the proposal is made by the Amir and the decision to approve it rests with the Sultan.
The religious matters of the Sultanate are governed by the Shura e Amur Mazhabi, a Council composed of nine Shia Grand Ayatollah, five Sunni Grand Mufti, a single Christian Patriarch and a single Jewish Chief Rabbi. Each Grand Ayatollah is selected from one of the nine Shia-majority divisions of the Sultanate. Similarly, Grand Mufti's are selected from the five Sunni-majority divisions. In case of the Christians, the Patriarch is selected from the Christian-majority division of Armani'yya by the Armenian Apostolic Church. However, unlike the Muslim clerics, the Patriarch essentially represents the entire Christian community residing in the Sultanate. Similarly, a Chief Rabbi is selected by the Jews of Isfahan or Bukhara to represent the entire Jewish community residing in the Sultanate. The only division being an exception to this assignment of clerics is the Baghdad division which despite being Shia-majority cannot select a Grand Ayatollah due to being the seat of the Caliph.
The Shura is headed by the Caliph, and is based in the city of Baghdad. The members of the Shura in essence primarily serve to advise the Caliph, and make decisions concerning Islamic fiqh or reviewing drafts proposed by the Imperial Council and approved by the Sultan. The Shura can then either choose to approve the draft, or reject it. In case of a majority, the Caliph has the choice to accept or reject the decision made by the Shura. In contrast, when a supermajority (75%) is reached, the Caliph has no option but to accept the decision. As such, the Shura in theory serves as the supreme authority on religious affairs and legal matters in the Gurkani Sultamate. In truth however, the Caliph who heads the Shura is simply a figure-head that is appointed by, and can be disposed of by the Sultan. The clerics similarly can only enter the Shura with the approval of the Sultan. In fact, the Sultan is also capable of overturning a 'veto' by the Shura to ensure that laws made by the Imperial Council are not removed. Nonetheless, irrespective of the 'hidden power' held by the Sultan, the Shura is still an exceptionally influential body in the Sultanate. The Shura is generally called into session each week for theological debates, religious concerns, and the inspection of laws. When a decision is passed by the Shura, the Grand Vizier is informed who in turn informs the Sultan. Once the approved draft reaches the Sultan from the Shura, the Sadr e Azam or Chancellor draws the Sultans seal on it to make it official. Once this is done, the Grand Vizier sends copies to Grand Dewans to inform them of the law so that from that point onwards, they may make their decisions in accordance to the new law.
With the above considered, it essentially clarifies that the Imperial Council are the lawmakers of the Sultanate, and once a law is drafted, it is passed on to receive the Sultan's approval. If rejected by the Sultan, the Imperial Council amends the draft and proposes it once more. This continues until the draft receives the Sultans approval and then it is passed over to the Council of Religious Affairs. They review the draft and if they dislike it, they can veto it. In some cases, the Sultan can intervene and overrule the veto. In case the Council approves the draft, it becomes the law following which the Sultan and the Imperial Council is informed. They then inform the officials of each Gurkani division. tl;dr
Once a decision is made or a law is passed, the Grand Qazi of each division is informed so that he may make his decisions accordingly. The Grand Qazi is generally also responsible for informing the Amir and the Grand Dewan of his respective division of the decisions so that they may act accordingly. Similarly, the Dewans of the Nahya (Districts) are expected to be informed as well so that their decisions are made in accordance to the law.
The Gurkani Sultanate generally has 16 divisions, with an Amir or 'Ruler' appointed over each division by the Sultan, with the Sultan himself being the appointed ruler in some cases. The general responsibility of the Amir is to maintain peace and calm in his rrspectuve division. The Amir are responsible for the imposing of educational, agricultural, social and infrastructural reforms in their respective divisions in order to modernize and develop them, with each division being given a specific budget from the state treasury based on the resources, population and size ofthe division. The Amir is also responsible for raising a specific number of soldiers annually, through military colleges and institutions who would then be enlisted into the national military. The divisions are usually further divided into districts which similarly have Amils or District 'Mayors' appointed over them to rule. Besides the Amir, a Grand Qazi is appointed by the Sultan for each division, as a judge to make decisions based off the Shariah Law in cases concerning major issues which the district Qazi cannot solve. The Grand Qazi has jurisdiction over legal matters concerning Muslims as the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) are not tried under Shariah Law, and are faced with their own laws based off their religion. The Grand Qazi also has authority over the district Qazis in his respective division. A Grand Dewan is also appointed by the Sultan for each respective division, and is responsible to maintain finances, regulate the receipt, and for the management of revenue in conjunction with the Bait ul Maal. The Grand Dewan is generally aided in this task by the district Dewans who are responsible for the collection of tax such as zakat, jizya, kharaj and usher. Tax collected by the district Dewans is transferred to the Grand Dewan who in turn separates zakat from the rest of the revenue. A committee responsible for the disbursement of zakat amongst the needy and poor is handed over the zakat whilst a specific percentage from the remaining revenue is transferred to the Imperial Treasury; generally depending upon the total sum of the revenue colected as some divisions are wealthier than others. The remaining revenue is stored by the Grand Dewan as reserves for use during famine, warfare or for the purpose of development if requested by the Amir.
It is importsnt to note that the Amir, Grand Qazi and the Grand Dewan are not answerable to one another. In fact, whilst all of them are generally answerable only to the Sultan, the Grand Qazi and Grand Dewans are somewhat more closely linked to the Council of Religious Affairs and the Imperial Council respectively.
The current division of land in the Gurkani Sultanate is into four different types. An Astan is essentially a province with a 'non-hereditary elective system' in place where the Sultan directly selects the Amir to rule over the province for a specific time period ranging from an year to life. They maintain a certain amount of autonomy but are generally linked to the central authority. The Parizga are are more autonomous territories with special needs or are considerably far away from central authority. They are generally ruled by members of the Gurkani Dynasty, usually close relatives of the Sultan. Their rulers are hereditary, have broad control over what happens in their own realm, and can, within limits, raise and manage their own armed forces. Nonetheless, they are also bound by the legal system and are incapable of making their own laws. The third type, Bakhsh are essentially "federal districts" with the Sultan directly ruling over them. In most cases, they are generally cities with significant important to be put directly under the Sultans rule. Finally, the last division of the Sultanate is referred to as Hakumat e Roohaniyat in reference to divisions under the control of the Caliph. In case of these divisions, the Caliph assumes the position of Amir and rules over the division.
The Gurkani Military is the descendant of the legions and navy of the Timurid Empire. The military has historically been famous for its strength and power, and it still maintains that prowess.
ArmyThe Gurkani Army is based on the organizational unit called the Kateebat, and each regimental commander is known as a Quaid. The overall commander of the armed forces, aside from the Sultan, is known as the Rais. The size of the standing army is roughly around 10,000 soldiers with hundreds of thousands maintained in reserve. Aside from the standard military, an elite infantry corps exists known as the Sepah e Najaf led by their own Agha. The corps is primarily responsible for protecting government officials, senior most clerics and to conduct reconnaissance and sabotage operations against hostile targets. Aside from these two, Imperial Guard units such as the Isfahan Guard exist whos essential purpose is the protection of the Sultan.
Since the military reforms of Shahrukh Mirza, a battalion has been changed from a formation of 300-500 soldiers to one of 1000 soldiers. In addition, the technology possessed by the Imperial Guard units has been substantially improved.
The military was reformed once again following the ascension of Ulugh Beg. The basic unit of the new Army was renamed Faleeq, although the size of the regiment remained unchanged. The Khursheed e Shere were also now instructed to guard the Majlis e Shura and any of the Majlis e Aam while they are in Isfahan, as well as receiving certain benefits.
During the Timurid Interrugnum, the Gurkani Army was left vastly underfunded and manned, resulting in large-scale instability and revolts. At that time the most common equipment of the Army were swords, spears, and crossbows along with shields and chain mail. As the Sultanate recovered and could afford more training and advanced weapons for its troops.
Later however, during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Gurkani Army was one of the strongest in Asia, capable of fielding over 400,000 on the field and perhaps more depending on the severity of the situation. It was also one of the most technologically advanced in the region, with sophisticated line tactics, siege artillery, and the finest cavalry available.
Prominent Gurkani generals of the modern era include Shahrukh Mirza, who famously won at the Battle of Azov and Mahmud Mirza, responsible for securing victories in the Battles of Trabzon, Kalat, Kandahar and Moscow.
The Gurkani Navy was developed during the reign of Shahrukh Mirza, who imported ships from Castile and employed Castilian, Venetian and Epiriot men to construct the Gurkani fleet. Later, Milanese and English men would also participate in the building of the Gurkani fleet. The Sultanate has major shipyards at Iskenderun, Kerch, Gamrun, Basra and Adana to monitor piracy and secure the protection of merchant ships.
The total size of the navy stands at around 400 warships.
Directly after the Gurkani Interrugnum, the Royal Treasury of the Gurkani Sultanate had largely been reduced to a few coins, and the Sultanate faced difficulty in maintaining its integrity as it increasingly faced revolts. Initially, increased taxes to fill up the royal treasury sufficed, but eventually the Gurkani Sultanate was able to regain control over the global spice trade. With time, the nation expanded upon its borders and soon established dominance over the Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea whilst opening itself to the Mediterranean and Black Sea; thus obtaining control of various trade routes to Asia. Since then, the Gurkani Sultanate has established a massive trade empire and asserted itself as a major center for international commerce.
The former capital of the Sultanate, Samarkand exists as a major commerce and cultural center in India, largely being utilised as a land route for China. The importance of the city has grown with time, in particular due to the establishment of the Second Compact of Iskenderun, and the opening of China to foreign merchants. As such, given that Samarkand acted as the only viable route to China, it therefore played a major role in South East Asian and Far East trade. The Gurkani Sultanate itself exists at the junction of trade routes on the Silk Road, leading to the Russian Principalities, India and China. Besides Samarkand, the Gurkani capital of Isfahan exists at a strategic location and has helped to solidify Gurkani control over the Persia, whilst the port city of Gamrun has allowed the Sultanate to maintain proximity with the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz.
The currency was reformed by Sultan Shahrukh Mirza in 1410, standardizing the currency and also officially introducing gold currency due to a desperately needed reform. The official currency in the Gurkani Sultanate is the Gurkani Ashrafi, so named after the Ashrafi coins used by previous Persian dynasties. The well-regulated gold-based Ashrafi is widely utilised in the Sultanate, and plays a major role throughout the the world as the major currency in commerce and trade.
Bait-ul-Maal, (literally, The house of money) is the department that deals with the revenues and all other economic matters of the state, based in Isfahan where the royal treasury is also present. It is headed by a High Khazanadar and he is assisted in this task by a set of 30 Khazanadars specifically appointed by mutual consultation between the Sultan, the Imperial Council and the Council on Religious Affairs. Both the High Khazanadar and the Khazanadars are eunuchs to ensure no embezzlement of the money. A separate Accounts Department is also set up and it was required to maintain record of all that was spent.
The most senior noble in the Sultanate is, as expected, the Sultan, his Royal consort and their closest relatives. This is followed by the Caliph and the Grand Vizier, both supreme officials having jurisdiction of religious abd legal matters respectively. The former in truth however serves simply as a figure-head and holds no actual power. Below them are Amirs, particularly those linked to the Gurkani Dynasty followed by the rest of the Amirs. Grand Qazis and Grand Dewans are essentially considered on the same level as the Amirs. Military officials such as the Rais, Sipah Salar and the Agha are similarly placed on the same level. Below them are the Viziers and religious officials such as Grand Ayatollah, Grand Mufti, Chief Rabbi and Patriarch. Below them are the remaining members of the Royal family, primarily those belonging to side branches, members of the Sultan's Isfahan Guard as well as minir nobles.
Most of the Sultanate is composed of commoners, or people who have no noble blood or reward. Despite this, it is entirely possible for commoners to become nobility, if they were ever to marry into the royal family or were awarded the status by the Sultan.
There are no serfs in Gurkani society nor have there ever been, although a system does exist where locals are provided with daily wages by landlords. Slavery is legal in the Sultanate, although it is generally discouraged as a social stigma and possessing Muslim slaves is a crime. As such, the majority of the slaves possessed are Non-Muslim and usually foreigners
The Sultanate is known for its many versions of art. The medieval art of the Sultanate has existed for more than a thousand years, and it is now a characteristic part of traditional Persian culture. Murals and sculptures are also prominent in Gurkani art, and such art is recognized by the liberal elite as having a major role in Gurkani culture. In contrast, the conservative masses denounce molding of sculptures as immoral.
ArchitectureThe Sultanate has a wide array of architecture that sets it apart from the rest of the world. Some prominent structures include the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Gur-e-Amir, Eram Gardens and the Agha Bozorg Mosque.
Gurkani cuisine has evolved over the millennia, but at the current mostly consists of meat, particularly mutton or chicken, vegetables and dairy products, along with luxury foods like honey. The Sultanate is a melting pot of cuisine, and it has changed widely over time.
The Gurkani Sultanate uses the Islamic Calender, which puts the date of 1400 A.D. as 802 A.H. (After Hijri). One of the first reforms of Shahrukh Mirza was to make the Islamic calender official along with the Persian Calender which had historically served as the Calender for the authorities of Isfahan. As of now both calenders, that is Islamic and Persian are officially used in the Sultanate.
The Sultanate is noted for its distinct way of referring to ethnicities. While all members of the Sultanate are generally considered as part of the same Ummah except for Non-Muslims, it has a diverse background of Persians, Oghuz Turks, Uzbeks, Tatars and Arabs etc.
In referring to other ethnic groups outside the Sultanate, Usmani is used to describe Turks. In the same manner, Hindu is used to describe people of Indian descent, Ispanvi is used to describe people of Iberian descent, Roosi is used to describe people of East European descent, and Misri is used for people who are of Arabic descent; generally those from the Abbasid Sultanate.
Interestingly, derogative terms are also used to refer to particular groups. For example, the term Wahshi (savage) is used to refer to Central Asian hordes and tribes. Similarly, the term Kafir (infidel) is used to refer to the numerous Non-Muslim religious groups in the Sultanate, excluding Christianity and Judaism; the latter two being from the People of the Book.