The Empire in 1936 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Once the grand islamic power of Europe, threatening every corner of the continent, now, the inheritor of Rome faces it's last breaths.
Over the course of the 18th century, the grand islamic power has slowly been shown to be outdated and outgunned. Egypt has been taken by the British, now acting as the base of a grand canal separating Africa from Asia. Cyprus handed over the anglo hand. The balkans reduced to merely the city of Constantinople, trudging along as the grand seat of power. All in the meanwhile, a genocide against the Armenians, a revolt using tactics unseen in Arabia since the Pax Mongolica, the murder of the Three Pashas, an economy stagnant, and a military considered a failure since the Crimean War.
Now, what remains as a hope lies in the vision of a former military officer, known reformer, and secular icon Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Of course, we've all heard of what glory he holds from his supporters.
The Empire lies at a turning point. The Prime Minister, Kemal, seems to be slowly growing weaker every day. A search for a successor seems to be in order, however hushed the government is about this job. The Arab revolt and the formation of Hejaz act as humiliations, but also as the last, best chance for the Ottomans to wake up from the depressive slumber they've been in since the reformation of Greece.
Well, good luck to them.
The Great Turkish Coronary | Kemal's Personal office, Southeastern Constantinople | May 6th, 1936 ----------------------------------------------------------
Constantinople often experiences the same 24/7 hustle and bustle every other capital enjoys. Of course, the only quiet really comes in the homes. To some, their office is their home. This applies to one Mustafa Kemal Pasha, Prime Minister of the Ottoman Empire "under" it's almighty sultan, the Caliph of the Islamic world.
"Ah, welcome to my small abode. This is where I.. figure out my more private plans, Ismet. Recently bought it under a false name and all to achieve some secrecy." Within the small, rectangular, yellow walled, rustic office, lit by maybe 3 candle-lamps seemingly right next to Constantinople's poorer districts, Lied the most powerful man in the empire, or at least the most powerful man with the most agency within the empire, that being Mustafa Kemal Pasha. In front of him stood a man roughly his age, Ismet Pasha, who steadily sat down in a "plush" chair. "Well.. it's something. Why did you call me here, though? The letter you sent me only mentioned a vague "location."
For a moment, the two sat in silence as Kemal poured raki for the both of them. This was soon followed by Kemal revealing an extensive map with various scrabbled words written about it, centered on Mesopotamia and the Levant. Pasha could soon notice reports seemingly from Aceh, Java, Morocco, and among others, seemingly strewn about the room. They are all thoroughly stained with alcohol and seemingly coffee.
"As everyone in this godforsaken empire knows, there is a.. grand problem relating to the Arab revolts. They seem to be acting in asymmetrical warfare, meaning I have been studying the greats of counter-insurgency. I'd like you, being one of the generals high up enough to be playing politics on the side, to.. spread these stategies. I'll need you to lead our military while I attempt to stop foreign.. forces from hounding our borders, so that economic reform can happen for once. Now, to do that, a dictatorship will need to be inplaced. This is where you come in doubly so. Make the war seem as if it is.. tiring us to the government. They will inevitably grow fearful, and give the Prime Minister a temporary position as dictator to "save" us. We keep the good news coming to the public, of course though. if all goes correctly, we will manage a victory, even if through slim margins. I'd like this insurrection to end by perhaps even the end of 1937 so that we can continue reforming in peace."
Combing through the map, a few notable plans are shown, all extending through far and between the southern reaches of the empire. Soon enough, Pasha decides to comment on the map. "Huh. This would be the first use of our aviation in large scale. You wish to put all 80 of our military planes in the sky for this "scouting expedition" of yours? It is not the worst idea I have heard. As for land movements.. The Euphrates' River basin is genuinely your only move? The Arabian desert seems to be where they hold their manpower, military assets, whatever it be. Would we not stretch ourselves thin with a longer frontline?" for a second, Kemal takes a quick shot of the raki left on his table, before responding.
"This insurgency rules itself on the promise of free Arabia. Hejaz has already fallen to an organized, free Arab state. Because of this, it is their downfall. They will participate in the formation of a genuine army. We hold almost a millenium of military tradition, and a formed army. They will suffer the formation of their own standing army of plucky farmers. As for Iraq, there is a solution to their quick indoctrination of the peoples. How well can a desert rebellion hide in a fertile river valley, the home of the first civilizations? That is the stomping ground for large, organized forces to cordon off the desert from the rebellion's food, their connection to the ocean, or whatever else there be. In treating the peoples correctly and using our leverage as the caliphate, the true spokesman of Allah, we can convert them to follow us. This is a war of hearts and minds, and the bulk of our infrastructure budget will go to the Fertile Crescent and the levant, to appease the peoples and take great advantage of the oil fields to fuel our war effort and our economy. There is so much more in plan, but I'd like this to be in effect by roughly july?"
As Pasha for longer and longer pondered the map, and it's notes, he had come up with but a simple phrase to respond.
"It will be done, my friend."
Effect: The Ottoman air corps begins regular training and drills, ottoman first and second armies are set to go to Fertile Crescent, Fourth army to the Levant after professional training and preparations in August. The Ottoman Empire begins searching for foreign training
This Warrants a Pay Rise, Right? | Damascus Telegram Office, Ottoman Syria | May 8th, 1936
"Hey, uh.. excuse me, Hasan? You're aware of the government taps emplaced in these lines from the Three Pashas period, yes?"
Within this rather small room, interfaced with boards and whatever other technological doo-dads, two men sat staring at various instruments, roughly on opposite sides of the room. The larger one, Hasan, turned his head towards the smaller, Abdel.
"I suppose so? It is part of the reason we are here rather than in Smyrna operating for the government, yes?" replied Hasan, seemingly confused. "Well.. there's no easy way to say this, but we have this.. influx of telegrams passing by us towards the rebel heartlands." Within a second, Hasan's eyes seemed to "dial in" to the rather discreet box seemingly connected to the telegraph poles.
"Okay, keep going Abdel.."
"Seemingly from various cities all over Europe."
"In an encryption that isnt ours. Someone's talking to the Rebels. We don't have any proof of whom, what, or whatever it be, but uh..
This is an issue. I'll send this to Constantinople for processing."
Effect: The ottoman empire is now suspicious of foreign interference within the Arab rebellion, though this is only known within the deepest reaches of the Empire. Intelligence department is given a boost in funding and a mission to scan and decrypt the messages entering rebel territory.
Ismet Pasha, Commander of Ottoman military staff, requests in a telegram sourced through German allies in the Balkans and Central Europe for german assistance in training the Army and Air corps, specifically in both conventional and counterinsurgency forms of warfare. An additional request would be to purchase German bombers.