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New Erzurum is a post-Doomsday Turkish survivor state in Eastern Turkey, also known as the Eastern Turkish Wasteland.
The name "Erzurum" derives from "Arz-e Rûm" (literally The Land of the Romans in Arabic). To the Arabs, the city was known as Ḳālīḳalā (which was adopted from the Armenian name Karno K'aghak'). The town was known in Roman and subsequently Byzantine times as Theodosiopolis, acquiring its present name after its conquest by the Seljuk Turks following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
The modern pseudo-state of New Erzurum takes its name from the Vilayet of New Erzurum, the largest of the vilayets and the seat of the Sendika. However, the official name of New Erzurum is the Coalition of Vilayets, which is commonly called the Coalition by its inhabitants.
Originally an Armenian city in ancient times, the region that is today known as Erzurum was known as Karin and was part of the Armenian Kingdom. In the following centuries, the region fell under Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Arab, and finally Turkish rule. In 1201, the region and city was conquered by the Seljuk Turks, who were followed by various other Turkic rulers until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1514. Under Ottoman rule, the city was transformed into a military and administrative center of eastern Anatolia and became the Turkish city it is today.
In modern times, the city, when under Ottoman rule, fell to the Russians during several of the later Ottoman-Russian Wars. However, the city was always returned in the following treaty. In 1919, the Erzurum Congress was held and gathered together many of the Turkish revolutionaries in eastern Anatolia, including Mustafa Kemal. This congress was one of the first starting points of the Turkish War of Independence. After independence, the city remained the largest and most important in eastern Turkey.
As with the rest of the world, Doomsday came swiftly and caused great destruction in the area. The region suffered heavily on Doomsday due to the presence of a major NATO air base and strategic importance, which gave it the code name "The Rock." The nuclear strikes focused on the Erzurum Airport, which was also a NATO military base and the location of the Turkish southeast air command. The airport was hit with a 100 kiloton nuclear warhead, which annihilated the base and much of the surrounding area. The shock-waves from the blast, followed by the ensuing firestorm, devastated the city proper and sent many of its residents fleeing into the outer edges of the city or the country side. It is estimated that over 72,000 people in Erzurum died in the blast and ensuing chaos. Surviving Turkish military forces in the area attempted to maintain order while deploying forces towards the border to defend against the Soviet invasion, however, the Soviets being the greater priority left many of the survivors without substantial aid from the military.
Rise of the Vilayets
In the months after Doomsday, the outskirts of Erzurum became a major center of Turkish military activity thanks to the distant war with the Soviets on the border. However, as supply lines and central governance broke down, much of the Soviet military withdrew and Turkish Army units began to filter back towards Konya, per the Toplama Order. Other units, weakened and demoralized, scattered throughout Erzurum Province and joined with various communities struggling to survive. With the disappearance of centralized military authority in Erzuzum Province, many of the survivors coalesced and became centered around existing villages and towns. Faced with waves of refugees, rogue Turkish and Soviet marauders in the countryside, and famine, these communities became highly militarized and came to resemble medieval fortress, with walls, militias, and often dictatorial leaders.
For years after Doomsday, these communities fought with each other for survival. After the years of famine subsided and the population stabilized, the warfare and competition for resources only increased. The walled communities soon came to be known as the vilayets. With their small, militia-like armies, they fought with each other for ever shrinking territory. Due to the lack of major equipment, such as tanks and aircraft, a majority of these militias looked nothing like conventional military forces. Instead, they more closely resembled guerrilla forces, like the PKK or mujahideen. Guerrilla warfare was more suited to the situation in Erzurum because the fortifications of many vilayets were too difficult to breach, so they had to fight outside the city for control of the outlying villages or overthrow the city from within. In addition, guerrilla warfare could more easily adapt to the tactics of the marauders. Many of the marauders, who were previously the greatest threat to most communities, were forced to remain in the countryside or capture a village and organize a small statelet there. This cycle of warfare continued for years, interrupted only by the harsh Erzurum winter when all struggled to survive. During these early years, the vilayets were formed, but no central unity had yet been created.
In 1991, the Second Empire of Trabzon invaded the area the come to be known by the inhabitants as "New Erzurum." Led by the tyrannical Emperor Altan I, the Trabzon military occupied many of the northern vilayets, but faced stiff resistance from the militia forces of those vilayets who continued to fight from the countryside. The rest of the region, realizing the threat of Trabzon to their way of life, presented a united front to the invasion and organized a political and military alliance known in the region as "The Coalition," which later become the government of New Erzurum. Despite their lack of conventional military strength like Trabzon, their expertise in guerrilla warfare enabled New Erzurum to compete with Trabzon. Aided by the rough, mountainous topography of the region, Trabzon's advance was stalled and the remaining vilayets remained free from the harsh Trabzonian occupation. However, New Erzurum was unable to dislodge Trabzon from many of the northern vilayets, which remain under Trabzon's rule until today. As a result, a porous border with Trabzon was established, though there are many border conflicts and guerrillas from New Erzurum frequently travel north to aid their occupied brothers.
The newly formed Coalition of Vilayets, collectively called by outsiders New Erzurum, came to recognize the threat posed by other Wasteland states. As a result, the collective militias of the Coalition were tasked with capturing additional territory to the east and west in order to provide a buffer for the core vilayets. Many of the surrounding statelets were organized in a similar fashion to the coalition and were essentially extensions of New Erzurum, which made them easy to conquer and incorporate into the Coalition. Most of these statelets were already unstable due to Trabzonian attack and quickly crumbled after they withdrew. Soon after their collapse, most of these so-called "new vilayets" joined the Coalition or were quickly overthrown.
Alliance with the Sultanate
The dyanamic of the Eastern Turkish Wasteland changed dramatically with the sudden fall of the State of Elazig to the Sultanate of Turkey. While knowledge of the Sultanate was widespread, the suddenness and ferocity of their conquest shocked all the states in the Wasteland. The leaders of the Coalition, seeing the potential of having an ally as strong as the Sultanate, quickly reached out to their leaders and sought an accord with them. The Sultanate, seeing the potential of a state as well trained in guerrilla warfare as New Erzurum and desiring new allies in the Wasteland, quickly agreed. Thanks to their new alliance with the Sultanate, New Eruzurm began seeing a steady flow of investment and military supplies coming to them from their new allies. With their new equipment and supplies, the vilayets were able to engage in minor border expansion. However, major warfare, particularly with their main enemy Trabzon, never occurred.
Thanks to their widely recognized expertise in guerrilla warfare and counter-insurgency operations, New Erzurum became a major destination for militant groups and soldiers wishing to learn from the vilayets. The Coalition, recognizing the potential of gaining influence over these groups, cautiously opened their borders, covertly, to their presence. With the support of the Sultanate, several regional militant groups, such as the MLA set up training camps within the region. However, their existence is not officially recognized or supported by New Erzurum and other countries have little to no hard proof of their presence.
In the economic sphere, access to world markets via the Sultanate has allowed for a major expansion of business, and its shadowy counterpart crime, in New Erzurum. Descended from the close, nearly familial connections of inhabitants of each vilayet, many highly successful business have been started by citizens of New Erzurum, which have since moved out of the country but send much of their profits back to it. This success has been replicated in the criminal underworld by powerful crime families who have expanded used the drug trade, which is legal in New Eruzurm, to enter wider criminal networks.
New Erzurum is a decentralized municipal confederation based in the old city of Erzurum and the surrounding areas. After Doomsday, the city center was destroyed, but the surrounding communities slowly evolved into a form of fortified hamlets, known as vilayets. Each vilayet became a self-sufficient community with its own government system, militia, and public services. In the years after Doomsday, these vilayets came together and united into a coalition to deal with mutual threats.
The coalition is structured as a single decentralized, mixed legislature that serves both legislative and executive functions. The Coalition Sendika, which is the Turkish word for "union", is composed of 34 delegates, one for each vilayet within New Erzurum. Each delegate serves as a representative, legislator, and executive for their vilayet in the confederation government. Beneath the Sendika are a handful of key ministries that serve broad, pan-vilayet functions. These are the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Transportation Ministry, and the Bank of New Erzurum. The largest of these is the Defense Ministry, which coordinates, funds, trains, and unifies the diverse militias of the vilayets.
Each vilayet is politically autonomous with the very little internal interference from the Sendika. The governance structures of the vilayets vary widely from open democracies to autocratic dictatorships. However, a basic acceptance of the rights and duties of the citizens of all vilayets has been established to enable some commonality of governance betweeen the vilayets.
The Coalition is largely composed of the Sendika and its subsidary bureaucracies. The Sendika is composed of the voluntary delegates of the 34 vilayets. Each delegate is appointed or elected by their respective vilayet government and may be recalled at will. Each delegate exercises legislative and executive powers within the Sendika and serves on various committees. The size of the delegation may vary with each vilayet, but the voting power of all vilayets is equal. Typically, to avoid disputes, the Sendika operates on the basis of consensus and avoids most internal political issues. It mainly serves as a body to control foreign policy and overall military coordination.
After Doomsday, the economy of New Erzurum was severely damaged. Much of the industrial capacity of the region was located in central Erzurum, which was heavily damaged by the nuclear strike and firestorm. As a result, much of the industrial capacity of the region had to be rebuilt during the 1990s in the outer vilayets, though a few factories survived on the southern outskirts of Erzurum. To make up the gap from industry, agriculture has seen a major increase. In order to feed the population, increasing amounts of arable land were used for farming and animal husbandry rebounded thanks to the plentiful meadows and fields in the area. In addition, mining has also seen a resurgence as the scarce, but still useful minerals in the region have been continually mined since shortly after Doomsday. During the 2000s, tourism has also seen a rise as visitors, primarily from the Sultanate of Turkey and Patnos, come to enjoy the offerings of New Erzurum.
The New Erzurum Military is a decentralized military apparatus that is composed of the Unified Army and the Unified Air Force. Each is composed of the 34 separate militias controlled by each of the vilayets. They are unified by a joint command based in New Erzurum, which coordinates their military actions, purchasing and usage of military equipment, and training regimes. Despite its decentralized nature, the New Erzurum Military has shown surprising strength and coordination in the face of the enemy and is significantly more flexible than other regional militaries. However, due to the great expense, the New Erzurum Air Force is the only centralized military branch. Above all, the New Erzurum Military are experts in guerrilla warfare, which they had used extensively against the Trabzonians during the Trabzon War. Trainers are sent to other nations, such as the Turkish Sultanate and Patnos, to train their forces in the art of guerrilla warfare.
New Erzurum has limited relations with other countries. Its primary contact, and ally, is the Sultanate of Turkey, which provides it access to much of the wider world. It is also allies with the Republic of Greater Patnos, its southern neighbor. The remaining Turkish state, the Second Empire of Trabzon, is New Erzurum's greatest enemy and former occupier with whom a tense relationship is shared.
In addition to its Turkish neighbors, New Erzurum also maintains contact with countries throughout the Caucasus, Syria, Iraq, and the Black Sea basin.
There are unconfirmed reports that the Muslim Liberation Army (MLA) has set up training camps in New Erzurum, along with a growing logistics and command network. How widespread the support the MLA is receiving is unknown. It could range from individual vilayets to the entire New Erzurum government. Many believe the timing of the establishment of these camps corresponds to the detente between the Sultanate of Turkey and Iran that was rumored to have occurred during a series of secret negotiations in 2010.