by Max Barry

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A short history of the Imperium

The Beylik of the Hamitoğulları was one of the 14th century Anatolian beyliks that emerged as a consequence of the decline of the Sultanate of Rum and ruled in the regions around Eğirdir and Isparta in southwestern Anatolia. The Beylik was founded by Hamid Bey (also called Felek al-Din), whose father Ilyas had been a frontier ruler under the Seljuks. Felek al- Din's brother Yunus Bey founded the Beylik of Teke centered in Antalya and Korkuteli, neighboring the Hamidid dynasty to the south.

The founder of the Hamidiyeni Imperium, Hamidoğlu Mustafa Bey, was born in a mountain village of eastern anatolia in Antalya around 1285 AD. He and his extended family and friends ended a feud his family had with a neighbouring tribe by conquering them around 1300 AD, absorbing their surrendering warriors into his growing tribe. His family ruled already over a sizeable Beylik, founded by his grandfather Hamid. Mustafa Bey was a Ghazi, a religious warlord, and a seccesful one at that. His breakthrough into history came in 1310 when he and his followers sacked the city of Antalya, making him Emir of the whole of his province and a power of the region to be reckoned with. 1312 marks the official foundation of the Empire named after him. This has been the uniting theme for the centuries, his son Mehmed setting out to enlarge the Empire even before Abdul Hamid died in 1333. The target has been the very same from 1300 till today: Power and Money. The rest hardly matters in the Imperiums ruling classes, the Sultan wants both and if the subjects do not deliver there will be violenct action. However as long as they deliver they may live their lifes in relative freedom. The Empire is a multiethnical state, united by the will (and repression) of the Sultan.

Sultan Mehmed the first, son of Mustafa Bey (1309-1347)(idealized protrait from the 17th century)

The reign of Sultan Mehmed.

Mehmed ascended to the Throne after the death of the founder of the Imperium, Abdul Hamid, in 1333. His years of rule mark the development from a tribal warlord fief to an actual state, as well as the first mention of the title of Sultan. 1333 Mehmed was Emir of Birsa, chief of the tribe of Abdul Hamid and leader over several bands of unruly warlords. He recruited troops from Birsa province, forming the first actual standing army of the nation, the Kapıkulu Ocağı. 1338 his rule was well established, him having integrated the sons and heirs of the warlords into his modernized army and state as the Pashas and Beys of his rule. He attacked the neighboring sultanate of Kalk, a long established state that had existed for centuries. His city army, well paid, trained and armored, made short work of the levies of farmers and tradesmen of the enemy and the light mounted troops of his warlord pashas raided almost unopposed, hearding the enemy troops onto the rock of his infantry. He developed a defensive style of battle, forcing the enemy to attack his troops on ground favourable to him. The enemy, tired and harrassed by missile cavalry, made it into the heart of his formation, only to meet the Kapıkulu standing firm, wielding heavy armor and halberds, behind them the banners and bands and the direct leadership of Mehmed and his generals. Mehmed was a daring, warlike sultan, not caring much for peace and administration, and this would be his ruin: hit by an enemy arrow at conducting a siege, he died of infection in 1347. The Empire was twice the size at the time of his death than what it had been under his father Abdul Hamid. He died as Sultan in 1347, having finished with Kalk. He firmly established that it was the right of the sultan to decide who should follow on the throne, leaving no doubt that his son Mustafa was to be ruler.

The reign of Sultan Mustafa II.

Hamitoğulları, the sons of the great, mythical Hamid Bey, , were now a tangible power in the region. 1348 his favourite shezade Mustapha was inthroned and sworn as the Sultan of Kalk, Emir of Birsa and a lot of smaller titles. This annoyed him much, he was no emir here and sultan there, he was the ruler! All within his domain was for him to do with as he saw fit, his personal property. Thus he had communicated the state to be 1. a single entity, and 2. renamed to reflect this: Devlet-i ʿAlīye Hamidīye, "The Exalted Hamidiyan State". 1350 saw the first mention of this name, and a record number of executions of high officials; in modern terms Sultan Mustafa was a totalitarian. Tax reforms, centralism, strict regulations of travel and government... Mustafa was a warrior, but he was an administrator first. Unfortunately he also was rather weak of constitution, and today speculations about pioson run within historical circles, for Sultan Mustafa-ı Evvel died after short sickness in 1355. History gave him the name "IslahatÁı", the improver. He first divided the state authority in the two bastions used till today: the Bey and his subordinates handle physical power and the Defterdars handle the money. Both keep each other in check, for without money no soldier fights and without physical power money is worthless.

The reign of Sultan Suleyman

History gave Suleyman the name "the warrior", for that is what he did. Within his reign from 1356 to 1401 the Empire was at war for all but 1 year, his agression and ambition knew no bounds. "Let`s march on their bones" he was fond of saying, his infantry the envy of the region. All of anatolia, from the sea of Marmara to the shores of Trebizond, bordering the Mamluk empire in the south, that was the "exalted state" Suleyman the conqueror left his heir Mustafa.