This alternate history is based around my fascination with the Ottomans. The last few centuries show a world ruled by huge European empire. The idea of a non-European empire feels like a breath of fresh air. So I chose the Ottomans. They are fully capable of becoming a major world power. So why didn't they? Nobody knows for certain, but the massive amount of resources poured into the invasion of Europe is a likely guess. So if you remove the wars in Europe, you get a less exhausted Ottoman empire. I will not go so far to completely remove the wars, but stop them. The turning point of that era was the Battle of Vienna. If the Ottomans won at Vienna, then they would have been able to cement their hold on southern Europe.
As stated above, the POD of this althist is the Battle of Vienna. But I will go into more detail about the POD. There are actually two, but they happen on the same day, so they can be considered only one. The first one is a successful detonation of a bomb load under Vienna's walls. Let's say the Austrian who found the bomb is shot earlier. So there is a huge gap in the city's walls now. The Ottomans quickly storm the city while fighting off the Holy Leaguers as well. When the Hussars swoop in from the hills, they are ambushed by the Spahis covering the Turkish flank (POD #2). More Ottomans arrive to fight off remaining Christians. The battle wages outside while the original force finishes capturing the city. Turkish soldiers finally capture the city during the peak of the fighting outside. Cannons and guns mounted in Vienna's walls are fired, but not at the Turks. The Holy Leaguers retreat soon after the fall of the city.
Aftereffects of the Victory
The victory at Vienna marks the beginning of the Turkish fortification of Europe. Tens of thousands of soldiers are moved north to the border and form a line of forts and fortifications. By 1690, Janissary training barracks have been established all over the Balkans and Turkish Europe. Many Austrian families send their sons to become Janissaries in the hope of the children one day returning with riches or land. Frequent raids by the Austrian army convinces many Vienna-dwellers that the Ottomans will protect them and the Austrians attempt to destroy.
See Safavid War
After the successful land gain from the Safavid War, the Sultan of the Ottomans decides that expansion is a top priority. The Christians to the north are wary and hard to defeat, the deserts to the west and south are impossible to cross, but the shorelines of northern Africa are fertile and easy to capture. The Sultan sends an expedition to northern Morocco and another one to the Horn of Africa. Both locations were reported settle-able land up for the taking. By 1719, modern Djibouti, northern Somalia, and Morocco were incorporated into the empire. Larger and faster galleys are constructed to bring news and supplies faster and easier. The Northern Indian Ocean is explored. Small Turkish colonies pop up in the Adaman Islands and on Sumatra. Occasional battles with pirates results in more heavily armed galleys being used. European boat building methods are added to galley making. These include more efficient masts, better rudders, a sleeker form, and much more storage room. The Turkish Great Fleet becomes a massive force in the Indian Ocean and most of the Mediterranean. By 1725 small Ottoman ports dot the shores of India and South Asia. In Dutch South Africa, Ottoman traders become more abundant, much to the governor's agitation. Turkish and European ambitions clash throughout this portion of the world.
Conquest of Persia
In early June, 1726, armed Dutch soldiers attack a Turkish merchant ship. Almost all crewmen are killed. The Dutch are attempting to push the Turks out of South Africa with a show of force. Instead, the Ottomans respond with five galleys full of Janissaries. Janissaries are sent to Dutch India as well. The war is small as wars go, but has a huge impact on European-Turkish relations. Dutch South Africa and Dutch India eventually fall into Turkish hands, though. The war is over by early 1728. Mosques and Janissary training centers are built in the new Turkish colonies to cement control of the Indian Ocean. A huge fleet of merchant ships is built with the wood from India. The Turks keep their colonies by being more tolerant towards natives.
Economic and Population Growth
From 1729 to the eve of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire experienced a period of industrial growth and population booms. In the early 1730s, Anatolia and close areas are the "core" regions of the Empire, with outlying regions and colonies being smaller satellite areas. When Anatolia becomes extremely overpopulated, many citizens move out to new territories for a new rural lifestyle. The development of small villages into cities boosts industry in those areas. Algiers and Tunis become as large as Constantinople. Tangier becomes a major port city. Merchant ships use Tangier as a stopping point between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Vienna is a major trade route hub in central Europe. By now, enough Turks had come to the city that the architecture and culture had huge Middle Eastern influence. Religions from throughout the empire are represented in large cities. Buddhist and Hindu temples are not unheard of in unlikely places such as Alexandria and Athens. The Sultan dictates a series of laws that make all Ottoman provinces equal in legislation. New cities are designed and constructed along major routes to bolster trade and transportation. Factories of trinkets and gifts become popular in Turkish Europe and the Middle East. As exotic and rare fashions, food, trends, and styles become popular, more people are hired to manufacture them. Thousands of Indian cooks and chefs are given jobs for making exotic and delicious treats from the east. The Sultan himself enjoys his food with curry occasionally. Zulu art and sculptures are extremely popular in North Africa and command a fetching industry. By 1750, most small central European countries rely on the Turks for industrial capacity.
While the Empire had an Industrial Revolution, a whole other type of revolution takes place. Allured by new jobs and new housing, natives from Turkish colonies and newly added regions show up throughout the empire. Zulu, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and various smaller African religions are practiced in large Ottoman cities. Because the Sultan allows his subjects to practice religion freely, exotic cultures catch on quickly. In Athens or Constantinople, an African sangoma is nearly as influential as an imam or a catholic priest. Curry and other spices from Asia are popularly served to aristocrats and richer citizens.
During the mid-eighteenth century, the countries of Europe created alliances between themselves. When war began looming between Prussia and Austria, the Ottomans knew that they would have been inevitably drawn in to the conflict. The Turkish navy had been growing since the Dutch War. With a French invitation, the navies of France, Spain, and Turkey joined forces to challenge Britain's massive sea force. In addition, British interests in India had been threatening the Turkish colony there. When war started in Europe in 1756, the Sultan had sided with France and Austria.
The Ohio War
In 1754 war between the French and the British in North America. Two years later, war broke out in Europe. From the beginning of the war, Ottoman galleys served the French Admiral. Joseph Brant is shot during an attack on a French fort. Because of this, the Iroquois are not convinced to assist the British and stay neutral. Failure to get supply their colonies with supplies causes the eventual defeat of Britain in North America in 1765. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and British colonies north of Ohio and Louisiana are absorbed into the French territories. Many of the French soldiers settle in the newly received territories. In exchange for their assistance in the blockade, the Turks receive the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Florida. Casualties in the war include Washington, who is shot by an Ottoman Janissary. The conclusion of the war begins Turkish intervention in the Americas.
The Ottomans began colonizing their new American territories vastly, and many of the conquered Spanish colonists became Janissaries as well as the Native Indians. The army's ranks were flooded fall. Soon it was the largest army in the world.