Alternative History
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Western and Central Asia

The world was all before them, where to choose

Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.

(John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book XII, line 646)

Western and Central Asia comprises part of Eurasia - stretching from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north - Levant, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Iran (Persia), Armenian Highlands, South Caucasus, Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.

Historically, Western Asia is the birthplace and spiritual center of the three main monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For Islamic history it is also the core region of the historical caliphates (Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid) and Ottoman Empire - the Dar al-Islam and home of the Holy Places, Mecca and Medina.

Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road. It has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe, Western Asia, South Asia, and East Asia.

Western and Central Asia State and Polities

Western Asia (Middle East)

Western Asia includes Anatolia, Iran, Afghanistan, Mesopotamia and partly Transcaucasia. Western Asia is considered to be separated from Africa by the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt, and separated from Europe by the waterways of the Turkish Straits and the watershed of the Greater Caucasus. The main states are the Ottoman and Iranian Empires. The Russian expansion in Transcaucasia as clashed with the Ottoman and Iranian empires as it occurs in the current Caspian and Crimean crises, both sources of diplomatic and military clashes.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (eight pointed star).svg Ottoman Empire or Ottoman State Absolute monarchy -> Constitutional monarchy

(Sultan)

Istanbul 1299 to date
Flag of crimea (Fidem Pacis).png Crimean Khanate Monarchy

(Khan)

Bakhchysarai 1449 to date Vassal of Ottoman Empire.
Flag of Herat until 1842.svg Durrani Empire or Afghan Empire Monarchy

(Sha)

Kabul 1747 to date
Flag of the Khanate of Kalat.png Khanate of Kalat Monarchy

(Khan)

Kalat Former vassal of Afghanistan, de facto independent.
Tricolour Flag of Iran (1886).svg Lion and Sun Emblem of Persia.svg Persia (Sublime State of Iran) Monarchy

(Shah)

Tehran 1789 (Qajar Dynasty) to date

Arabian Peninsula or Arabia

Arabian Peninsula or Arabia for short, is a peninsula in the south-west of Asia, is bounded W. by the Red Sea, S. by the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, and E. by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Its northern or land boundary is more difficult to define. It is divided into four distinct regions: Hejaz (Tihamah), Najd (Al-Yamama), Southern Arabia (Hadhramaut) and Eastern Arabia.

Nominally the Ottoman Empire rules over Hejaz, Najd and Eastern Arabia. Southern Arabia is an independant polity (q.v. Yemen). Arabia is the home of the Muslim religion that has the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Both are the pilgrimage destinations, Hajj in arabic, for large numbers of Muslims from across the Islamic world.

Arabia is mostly arid and has few lakes or permanent rivers. Most areas are drained by wadis, which are dry except during the rainy season. Plentiful ancient aquifers exist beneath and where this water surfaces, oases form that allowed limited livestock and agricultural activity.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Flag of The Imamate of Oman.svg Imamate of Oman Theocracy

(Iman)

Nizwa 751 to ... Merged into the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
Flag of Muscat.svg Sultanate of Muscat Monarchy

(Sultan)

Muscat 1650 to ... Merged into the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
Flag of Bahrain.svg Coastal Sheikdoms / Emirate of Bahrain[1] Monarchy

(Sheik)

Doha Independant Sheiks / federation of sheiks
Flag of Oman.svg National emblem of Oman.svg Sultanate of Muscat and Oman Monarchy

(Sultan)

Muscat
Flag of the Second Saudi State.svg Emirate of Diriyah Monarchy

(Emir)

Diriyah 1744 to ...
Flag of Arabia (This is the Dream).svg Coat of Arms Yemen Arab Republic (Ctg).png Yemen Arab Republic[2] Arab Republic

(Rais)

Aden 1827 to date First independent republic (non-French sister republic) in Islamic history. Established from the Sultanate of Lahej after its sultan and the Ottoman governor were overthrown by a military coup in 1827.

Caucasus

The Caucasus is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions on Earth. It stands midpoint between the Russian, Ottoman and Russian empires. The Caucasus region is separated into northern and southern parts – the North Caucasus (Ciscaucasus) and Transcaucasus (South Caucasus), respectively. The Caucasus has been an arena for political, military, religious, and cultural rivalries and expansionism for centuries from these three empires.

The Middle Age Kingdom of Georgia, once the main entity of the region, was succeeded by several rival Georgian kingdoms and principalities in the 15th century.

Throughout its history, the Transcaucasus as been usually incorporated into the Persian world and usually aligned to it by a series of vassal states. However rivalry between the Persia, Russia and Ottoman Empires over the control of the Caucasus have maintained and encourage the political and cultural fragmentation of the region.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Kingdom of Imereti Monarchy

(King)

Kutaisi 1455 to date Vassal of the Ottoman Empire (1555)
Principality of Abkhazia Monarchy

(Mtavari)

Sukhumi 1463 to date
Kingdom of Kakheti Monarchy

(King)

Gremi (1465-1664)

Telavi

1478–1762 Vassal of the Persian Empire. Merged with Kartli (1762)
Principality of Guria Monarchy

(Mtavari)

Ozurgeti 1460s to date
Kingdom of Kartli Monarchy

(King)

Tbilisi 1478–1762 Vassal of the Persian Empire. Merged with Kartli (1762)
Principality of Mingrelia Monarchy

(Mtavari)

Zugdidi 1557 to date
Flag of Marghehids.png Khanate of Karabakh (or Qarabag) Monarchy

(Khan)

Bayat, later Shusha 1748 to date Vassal state of Persia until 1767. Union of the khanates of Sheki Kuba, Baku, Shirvan and Dagestan, under Panah-Ali Khan Javanshir and Ibrahim Khalil Khan of Karabakh.
Khanates of the Caucasus Monarchies

(Khans)

1748 to date Vassal states of Persia.
Flag of Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti.svg Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti Monarchy

(King)

Tbilisi 1762 to date Union of Kartli and Kakheti. Vassal of Persian Empire until 1789.
Flag of Azerbaijan 1918.svg Emblem of Azerbaijan.svg Azerbaijan Democratic Republic[3] Republic

(Rais)

Shusha Former Khanate of Karabakh.

Central Asia

Central Asia is an extremely large region of the Eurasian Steppe that stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. Central Asia has a varied geography, including high passes and mountains (Tian Shan), vast deserts (Kyzyl Kum, Taklamakan), and especially treeless, grassy steppes.

Historically relations between the steppe nomads and the settled people in and around Central Asia were long marked by conflict. The dominance of the nomads ended in the 16th century, as firearms allowed settled peoples to gain control of the region. Russia, China, and other powers expanded into the region and have slowly expanded their influence and territorial incorporation.

Russian expansion into Central Asia and the resistance of locals prompted the involvement of the Persian and Hindustani empires backed by France and the Commonwealth in "The Great Game" (Persian: بازی بزرگ). Bukhara backed by Persia and its conquest of Kokand became a key piece against the Russia Empire after the later established its influence over Kazakh and Khiva as protectorates o territories.

Flag Coat of Arms Country Regime Capital Established Notes
Bandera de Khiva abans 1917.svg Khanate of Khiva Monarchy

(Khan)

Khiva 1511 to date Russian protecorate
Flag of Kazakhstan (1861 HF).svg Kazakh Khanate Monarchy

(Khan)

Tashkent 1456 to date Conquered by the Russian Empire
Bandera de Kokand.svg Khanate of Kokand Monarchy

(Khan)

Kokand 1709-1845 Independent from and reconquered by Bukhara.
Flag of the Emirate of Bukhara.svg Emirate of Bukhara Monarchy

(Emir)

Bukhara 1785 to date From the Khanate of Bukhara (1506–1785). Established by the Manghit Dynasty.

Notable polities

Persia

Sublime State of Persia
دولت علیّه ایران‎
Dolate Eliyye Iran
OTL equivalent: Iran (Qajar dynasty)
Flag Coat of Arms
Anthem "Salâm-e Shâh (Royal salute)"
Capital
(and largest city)
Tehran
Other cities Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj and Tabriz
Language
  official
 
Persian (Iranian)
  others Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Arabic, French, English and various other regional languages
Religion
  main
 
Islam (Official)
  others Yarsanism, Christian, Judaism and Zoroastrian
Ethnic Groups
  main
 
Persian (or Iranian)
  others Azerbaijani, Kurdish and Europeans
Demonym Persian or Iranian
Government Absolute monarchy
Shahanshah
  Royal house: Qajar dynasty
Grand Vizier
Currency Iranian toman, rial and quiran
Time Zone UTC+3:30

Persia (or Iran) is a sovereign state in Western Asia. It has been ruled by the Qajar dynasty, an Iranian royal dynasty of Turkic origin since 1789. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserting Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects.

In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty was in conflict with the Russians over the control of it.

  1. Eastern Arabia
  2. Includes OTL Yemen, Aisr and Najran regions. Also the island of Socotra.
  3. OTL Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan and parts of Dagestan and Iranian Azerbaijan.
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