Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra

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The Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra
سلطنة الدولة الإسلامية في اسطنبول وسامراء
Flag of the Sultanate
Map of the Sultanate at the end of Civcraft 2.0
General
Location2600, 1300
Activity level14 people at one point
Capital cityIstanbul
Government
• Sultan
GTAIVisbest
Formation
Foundation dateAugust 2014
Culture
LanguageArabic, English
ReligionSunni Islam
AbbreviationISIS

The Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra (Arabic: سلطنة الدولة الإسلامية في اسطنبول وسامراء) is a nation founded in mid-August 2014 after the unilateral declaration of Istanbulite independence from the Holy Krautchan Empire. The Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra is comprised of two towns, Istanbul, the political capital in the south, bordering Mount Augusta, and Samarra to the north. The northern part of the Islamic Sultanate is completely comprised of the Great Desert (صحراء الكبر), a large, mostly undeveloped sand desert.

Cities

Istanbul-Augusta Border Crossing

Istanbul

The administrative and political capital of the ISIS is Istanbul, a very old city and historical center of the +,+ region. The administrative stronghold of the Sultanate is located in the government offices of Istanbul, near Bab al-Takhzeen. Since the Islamic city-state of Istanbul was the predecessor-state of the ISIS, many government buildings and government infrastructure can be found with signage dating back to the independence of the Sultanate.

Samarra

Samarra is a town built into the northern face of the Arab Gulf, on the southernmost point of the Great Desert. Constructed by late Qadi SKNDR, the town boasts the Samarra mosque as well as marketplaces, factory buildings, factory infrastructure, storage rooms, and a large sugarcane farm. The residential district of the city is built in directly into the side of the large mountain overlooking the town. The current Qadi (de-facto) is HavanaNights.

History

Skepsian Caliphate

The very first Istanbulite state was the Skepsian Caliphate, founded in June of 2013 by player Skeps100 and his entourage. The caliphate drew inspiration from the real-life Ottoman Empire, as well as mixing Levantine, Persian, Turkik and other vaguely eastern cultures into its government and architecture. The nation was focused around the downtown core of its capital, Istanbul, which was the first large-scale urban development in the immediate region.
Skepsian Caliphate over modern borders (Green for the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul, Blue for Mt. Augusta)
The Skepsian caliphate rapidly expanded and integrate other players, coming into contact with very early Augustan Basin settlements and cultures, including Griffen, Petrania, Carthage and Plankton. Although the Skepsian Caliphate was founded upon the ideals of a nomadic steppe-warrior culture (giving credence to the Kattar-Skepsian cultural theory[1]), the government was not tyrannical, and its own population enjoyed liberties and freedoms while relations with neighboring states were good.

The Skepsian Caliphate entered a rapid decline as the Bloodcrew Hordes moved into the region, possibly from their ancestral homelands near Kappi (0,0). Contact between the Bloodcrew and the Skepsians was brutal and violent. Although the Skepsians mounted a formidable defensive force with their local allies, they were overwhelmed and witnessed the destruction of their capital city. With most of Istanbul under lava, the Skepsians left the region and declared Istanbul abandoned.

Grundesweigan Protectorate of Istanbul

There was always a tenuous and contested link between the original Skepsians and the proto-Grundeswegians. Famous ancestral Grundeswegian player Kovio has often claimed that Skeps100 himself as well as King_Devleti were part of the proto-Grundesweigan playerbase and, as such, claimed that the Skepsian Caliphate was itself a Grundeswegian predecessor state. However, some surviving written sources attest the opposite, and make a clear distinction between Istanbulites and "Kovkoriumites" (Kattars). By late 2013 the proto-Grundeswegian peoples, the Kattars, had set up encampments surrounding the abandoned city. They conducted frequent raids on it to glean building materials from the structures. The Grundeswegian Empire was established across the map, after the nomadic Kattar peoples had migrated Eastwards and abandoned the Kattar Khaghanate ruins next to the city of Istanbul. Returning later, once Grundeswald had been established, They nominally took control of Istanbul, and converted the old Skepsian office building into the local administrative seat of power for the Istanbul colony of the Grundeswegian Empire. Most of the lava was cleared, revealing the severely scarred ruins, although the great Maqam Bayati Fountain remained intact, with water still flowing from its reaches. Grundeswald chose not to develop the land, only clearing the lava for ex-Kattar pilgrims who chose to make the occasional trek to their ancestral homeland outside of Istanbul.

During the protectorate era, Mt. Augusta was founded directly to the south of Istanbul. The city would come to grow into the biggest and most populated urban center in the entire basin, giving rise to the name "Augustan Basin". As Mt. Augusta rapidly expanded, the old Istanbulite farms at the southern foothills of Mount Istanbul were integrated by Augusta, and some friction started occurring between the Augustans and the Grundesweigens, who had reorganized their territory under the banner of the Holy Krautchekan Empire.

During this time there were some attempts to rebuild the city that were quickly shut down by both the original Caliphs and Grundeswald.

Return of GTAIVisbest

By early August 2014, player GTAIVisbest was attempting to build a francophone commune in the wilds of the +,- by himself and received a message from Grundeswegian account Cuthulu1. GTAIVisbest and Cuthulu1 had often spoken together in Arabic on the subreddit, and the Grundesweigan account PM'd GTA with a link to the resignation of mayor zaphod100 from the city of Mt. Augusta. The link-drop was a coordinated attempt by the HKE government to get GTA to return to Mt. Augusta, run for mayor and help align Mt. Augusta towards a policy of friendship and collaboration with the HKE. During this time, Mt. Augusta was rapidly expanding and entering into conflicts with ancestral Grundesweigan claims in the Augustan Basin, and the HKE desperately needed a local ally to shore up their claims.

However, GTAIVisbest didn't understand the message, and instead interpreted Cuthulu1's PM as him admitting that Cuthulu1's main account was zaphod100. Confused, but excited, GTAIVisbest hurried back to Mt. Augusta and searched for zaphod100. Finding him logged out, GTA located the "Phod Tower", zaphod100's commercial tower, and covered the lawn in Arabic-language signs. Zaphod100 later logged in and cleaned up what he thought was newfriend grief when GTA was logged out.

Players Spada100 and Goldenegg, local Augustans and old friends of GTA, intercepted him when he returned to his old Augustan house. They had their eyes on Istanbul, and wanted to build a mansion on the summit of Mount Istanbul for their personal use, away from the authority of Mt. Augusta. They brought GTA to the ruins of Istanbul, a town he remembered as he had held a government position in the original Skepsian Caliphate. GTA was amazed that Istanbul had remained completely unchanged for so long. Spada and Goldenegg informed GTA that the Grundeswegians had "unjustly" claimed Istanbul, and that GTA was the only player that could rightfully take back Istanbul and restore it to its former glory.

GTAIVisbest was moved by the efforts of his friends, and promptly moved into the ruins of Istanbul. He started clearing up the ruins and grief, preparing to take action against the unseen Grundeswegian overlords. He was contacted by Shadejon, the incumbent Augustan mayor, who had heard of his plans to declare independence from the HKE. Both Shaded and GTA knew that Grundeswald, with access to multiple combat accounts, could easily put down any kind of rebellion in their territory. Shadedjon proposed that GTA declare independence as the District of Istanbul, which would be considered an Augustan homestead and therefore be a semi-autonomous region of Mt. Augusta. This would guarantee GTA's safety and the safety of Istanbul after the declaration of independence. GTA, eager for military support, agreed in principle to the offer, but both parties came to an agreement that the understanding was preliminary and not necessarily binding.

War of Independence

On August 17th, 2014, GTAIVisbest posted an official declaration of independence on the subreddit. The post did not specify what the new polity in Istanbul would be called, but instead focused on the fact that GTA would rebuild Istanbul and return it to "its former glory". Due to the HKE's conflict with Mt. Augusta and their large ancestral land claims, their relations with the server were already tarnished, and when news of Istanbul's secession became public, an overwhelming majority of the server rallied behind GTA, promising military and financial aid. This rendered the previous agreement with Shadedjon moot, as GTA realized he would be able to militarily defend the city from any HKE attack.

An artist's CivBall rendition of independence day, Istanbul

Istanbul fell under the banner of the Dawla al-Istanbul, an Arab-themed state rather than an Ottoman-themed one. The Dawla quickly adopted a white star and crescent on a green background as their national flag and begin hoisting banners and flags throughout the ruined city. ShadedJon, mayor of Augusta, sent a large amount of builders and Augustan citizens northwards into the city to help start clearing grief. Furthermore, geared Danzilonian accounts flooded into Istanbul to guarantee its sovreignty. The very first building erected in Modern Istanbul was the Danzilonian embassy, which was built in one day.

The HKE reaction to the secession of Istanbul was muted. Their original plans had collapsed, and the loss of Istanbul was viewed as unacceptable. Very shortly after the independence of Istanbul, Grundeswegian combat accounts were spotted in New Detroit, but due to the large presence of foreign nationals in Istanbul they did not advance into the city. Instead, over the span of the evening, they appeared at the edge of the city when other players logged off and griefed some of the ruins. They also placed pro-HKE signs, but were chased off by other players. By the next day, the War of Independence was over, and the Dawla al-Istanbul was safely de-facto independent. Independence day is celebrated in Istanbul on the 17th of August. Many consider the victory of the Istanbulite Independence War to be the primary cause of the following Grundeswegian power vacuum.

Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul

In the following weeks, most foreign aid workers and builders from Augusta slowly went back home as the majority of the old Istanbul ruins were cleaned up. Almost immediately, GTAIVisbest went to work on placing down Middle-Eastern architecture in the city, making good on his promise to restore Istanbul. In the frenzy of construction, many original Istanbul ruins were torn down, including the smaller and unnamed version of the Maqam Bayati Fountain that was completely torn down to make room for the main Istanbul mosque.

Politically, GTAIVisbest had categorically rejected the previous political agreement with Shadedjon. Although the Augustan mayor wanted to push the issue and force Istanbul to reunite with Augusta, his term was ending and he was soon to be voted out. The new mayoral hopeful, ProgrammerDan, was much more pragmatic and had indicated that he would allow Istanbul to become an independent polity. GTAIVisbest, on the other hand, had entered into negotiations with Danzilona and Orion for military aid in the event Augusta attempted to enforce the terms of Shadedjon's agreement.

As it became clear that Istanbul would not fall under Augustan sovereignty, GTAIVisbest announced the end of the Dawla al-Istanbul and the creation of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul, a monarchy with GTA as the Sultan. GTA was changing course, pushing Istanbul's identity away from a Ba'athist or Islamist Republic and instead towards an Arab Monarchy. As both HKE and Augustan authority disappeared from the land, this allowed GTA to do as he pleased without the existence of official laws or any sort of constitution.

Southern expansion and irredentism

In the days following the creation of the Islamic Sultanate, the political situation in Mt. Augusta was destabilized due to border disputes with Grundesweigan Gensokyo that were threatening to break out in armed conflict. Another territorial war with Grundesweigan Gensokyo was underway, pitting the forces of the DZF against the HKE during the battle of Yurtstead. Due to the Islamic Sultanate's close relations with the DZF, Istanbul publicly joined the war against Gensokyo in the last days of the war, although no Istanbulite forces participated in any offensive.

During this time, Sultan GTA thought it necessary that additional territory be secured around Istanbul's core. He shared his plans with his close aides at the time, one that entailed building a sprawling re-creation of Battlefield 3's "Grand Bazaar" or "Operation Swordbreaker" maps. Furthermore, GTA was anxious to establish a firm border with Augusta, preferably on even terrain, to allow for an intricate border station to be built. Drawing further inspiration from Battlefield 3, GTA began planning the construction of the Grand Bazaar, to be carved into the side of Mount Istanbul. These goals would only be achieved if the Sultanate could obtain territory at the southern foothills of the mountain. Furthermore, it was common knowledge at the time that the majority of the Augustan public farms at the foothill of Mount Istanbul were originally Skepsian farms built by MadCow457 himself. GTA's ultimate goal was the re-integration of all previous Skepsian lands into the Skepsian successor state, the Islamic Sultanate. This foreign policy initiative, dubbed el-'Aoudeh ila l'watan ("repatriation"), was pursued by the government of Istanbul until the mayorship of ProgrammerDan and the passing of the Autocracy act in Augusta.

To this aim, GTA surveyed the farms at the foothills of the mountains and found them owned by Augustan player RennyB. He contacted RennyB through reddit and asked for a fair price for which to purchase the farms. RennyB offered to give the farms up if the land would be put to good use, which GTA readily agreed to. As such, the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul quickly came under the possession of the "Renny Strip", a small piece of territory at the southern foothills of Mount Istanbul. The farms were demolished, and a border wall was erected with Augusta.

Shortly after the acquisition of the Renny Strip, a surveying team from Augusta arrived on the Waterfront Region, an unincorporated territory of Augusta. They hoped to develop it and create a small neighborhood there, but were unsure of who to contact for permission. The leader of the surveying team, mindful of Istanbul's proximity, chose to contact both Sultan GTAIVisbest and Mayor ProgrammerDan for permission to build on the site. While ProgrammerDan signed off on the project, GTAIVisbest agreed to sponsor the development of the Waterfront Region if it was developed under political administration of the Sultanate. The builders agreed without notifying Augustan central authority, and Dar el-Beida was erected over the span of a few days, adding a large chunk of territory to the Islamic Sultanate. A border wall was built parallel to a street running through the region.

After the Autocracy Act was passed in Mt. Augusta, mayor ProgrammerDan forced a bill solidifying Augusta's borders and authorizing the use of military force to assure the sovereignty of Mt Augusta. Due to this, the southernmost borders of the Islamic Sultanate were fixed at their current position, in a position favorable to the Islamic Sultanate, controlling several of the public farms and allowing room for future Istanbulite development.

Arrival of SKNDR

In September of 2014, a newfriend player named SKNDR arrived in Istanbul. Instead of passing through Mt. Augusta like the majority of newfriends, he seemed to have previous knowledge of Istanbul's location on the map. He spoke Arabic and claimed to have Middle-Eastern heritage, encouraging Sultan GTA to recruit him directly into the state's government. SKNDR promptly went to work on recruiting other newfriends and undertaking various projects within the Sultanate. After building a house in Istanbul, SKNDR focused his energy on building a new Sufi-inspired city on the southern coasts of the Sultanate's windswept northern desert.

There were some early signs that something was amiss with SKNDR's sudden appearance. His Istanbul home was griefed by local raider New_Yardbird, revealing a sign hidden inside, reading "Not all who wander are lost". This common phrase from the book The Lord of the Ring was a popular greeting amongst oldfriend players of the HKE and Gensokyo, at times used as sort of a secret password. Furthermore, it was found that a Grundeswegian raider alt, possibly the same player behind the alt Cuthulu1, had the name "sikandar" and also spoke Arabic. There were hints dropped from HKE players that the two accounts might be related, although SKNDR vehemently denied this.

Northern Expansion

By early October, SKNDR's new development area just north of the Dar el-Beida district of Istanbul stretched the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul's borders further to the North, making it a much larger state. As talks proceeded within the government as to how to incorporate the new lands, SKNDR pushed for the new Sufi-inspired town to be called Samarra. He assumed regional control of the city and continued building locally. By that point, the political entity of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul found itself controlling the two cities, and therefore GTAIVisbest reshuffled the state and created the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra (ISIS) as a nation, replacing the city-state of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul.

In the week following the creation of the Islamic Sultanate, northern expeditions from Samarra became more and more frequent. As the Great Desert north of Samarra was mapped out, border surveyors established there were no active or past locals of the area remaining, and no active land claims on the desert. Eager to lay claim to the vast wealth of sand, sultan GTAIVisbest expanded the border of the Islamic Sultanate to claim the entirety of the desert. Announcing his decision later that day, talks were held with representatives of the Acacian Empire (at that time heavily involved with Gensokyo) to determine any claims conflict. Acacian officials were at first hesitant, but agreed to sign off on the Islamic expansion.

During this time, the Channer Migration occured onto Civcraft. The ABR was formed by HKE and Grundeswegian officials, themselves originally Channers, to unite the new Channer towns under the leadership of Kovio herself. However, some of the migrating Channers resisted these efforts, including an Islamic-themed town, "Int/IS", recently formed on Civcraft from new Channer migrants. As this was the only other Islamic themed town on the server at the time, the Islamic Sultanate quickly entered into contact with Int/IS leaders and eventually found itself covertly supporting their insurgency against the HKE-linked ABR regime in Viridian. The rebellion ultimately failed, and the HKE became even more wary of the GTA regime in Istanbul, internally pledging to avenge their meddling with the Channers.

Rise of Samarra

Under the rule of SKNDR, Samarra quickly became developed with an architecture unique to the northern reaches of the Sultanate. Contrasting with the modern Arab urban buildings of Istanbul, Samarra was primarily built with sandstone and had a much cozier vibe. SKNDR was also highly active and therefore skilled at bringing in many newfriends into Samarra. As development in Istanbul remained tightly-controlled under GTA, Samarra was able to see a boost in organic development. SKNDR found himself highly popular and influential amongst his group of players in Samarra, far outgrowing the meager population of the capital city.

While Sultan GTA was happy to see the northern town flourish and bring more clout to the Sultanate as a political entity, the sentiment was not shared by the newfriend builders of Samarra. Seeing themselves as the real center of power in the Sultanate, they disagreed with GTA's RP-heavy rule as an Arab despot. SKNDR had founded Samarra on the basis of democratic Sufism, and he secretly began preaching ideas of independence and revolution to the Samarran citizens. It was around this time that the Samarran Revolutionary Front was founded in secret by SKNDR and other Samarrans. They ventured out into the far northern reaches of the great desert and built a small compound nestled deep within to further radicalize its members. Outwardly, the SRF disguised itself as the Samarran Reading Friends, a book club, to avoid detection by the government of the Islamic Sultanate.

Decline of Samarra and Stagnation

Sultan GTA started to become suspicious of the Samarra when he felt unwelcome in town. Suddenly, one day in late November 2014, SKNDR went inactive and never logged on again to the server. GTA attempted to reach him but was unable to, and treated his loss with great sorrow. He began to search for a replacement for Qa'id of Samarra.

Within the next couple of days GTA received an urgent memo from Augustan government agent Ladezkik of a plot against the Sultanate. According to sources in Augusta, the Samarran Revolutionary Front had been in contact with Gensokyo and the HKE for quite some time. Intelligence pointed towards an upcoming event that had been planned between SKNDR and Kovio, which had to do with the Samarran Revolutionary Front.

Sultan GTA immediately detained and questioned some Samarran citizens, but it was his long-term government ally Soccer37222 who chose to inform GTA of the plot. SKNDR had secretly planned an uprising and had set the date for early December. Unbeknownst to the radicalized citizens, he had been in close contact with the HKE to ensure their immediate support of the declaration of independence of Samarra from the Sultanate. The HKE was to move combat accounts into the newly-founded Republic of Samarra to guarantee its independence, and therefore regain lost territory in the form of the satellite state of Samarra. In fact, evidence had been mounting that SKNDR himself was a Grundesweigan alt-account and had played a long con with GTA in order to subvert the unity of the Sultanate. Enemy forces in the HKE and in neighbouring Gensokyo were ready to move on SKNDR's signal, and in fact it was only because he had suddenly gone inactive that the uprising had not proceeded as planned.

In response, GTA was shocked and felt he could no longer trust those around him in the realm. He immediately exiled all co-conspirators from Samarra, which comprised almost all of the town's population. Samarra became a ghost town almost overnight. He further brought in a loyalist outsider, player HavanaNights, to become Qa'id of Samarra. Discovering the secret SRF compound in the northern deserts, he tore down the signs and older buildings and transformed it into the military camp of Tazmamart, a secret prison that would be used to store the pearls of any antigovernmental dissidents that would choose to remain in the area.

Publicly, Sultan GTA chose to not talk of the plot and referred to the inactive SKNDR with great honour. Many locations in Samarra were named after him, on condition that SKNDR remain "exiled" (inactive) on that account.

Modern History

The Islamic Sultanate never truly recovered from the attempted plot in Samarra. The Sultanate retained a mysterious and closed-off reputation to the rest of the server, being seen as a poor totalitarian state and a staunch ally of Augusta. Newfriends steered clear of Istanbul and GTA was too paranoid to delegate power to any other local leaders, and as such no new cities were founded. The population of the Sultanate remained at around 4 or 5, and development slowly continued, although the nation would never break away from isolation and poverty.

Due to the proximity of Istanbul to New Detroit and other Augustan Basin states, the Sultanate gradually improved its relationship with Gensokyo. By mid 2015, Sultan GTA was quite close with Gensokyojin officials and had even entered negotiations to purchase Kattaristan from the HKE in exchange for official recognition. The Sultanate even went to war with Shadup Gahar, a state with somewhat friendly mutual relations, over their attempted annexation of HKE Kattaristan.

In August of 2015, the Goten Crisis broke out between the HKE and Mt. Augusta. Originally, Gensokyojin officials convinced the Islamic Sultanate to join into a coalition, ostensibly to help defend each state's territorial integrity. However, it quickly became apparent that the coalition was a military alliance designed to go to war with Augusta over the imminent annexation of Goten. Sultan GTA promptly left the coalition and pledged his full support to Augusta, entering the war against Goten when hostilities eventually broke out.

Politics

Government Type

The ISIS is based on an Arab monarchy, where the Sultan (currently Sultan GTAIVisbest) rules as political and spiritual leader. The Sultan has complete control over the city's politics and most of the city's economy.

Government Infrastructure

The government of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra has many administrative structures in its political capital, Istanbul. A courthouse, dating from the Skepsian-Ottoman Calpihate era, is still intact and serves as the Sultanate's courthouse after it was seized by pro-independence forces during the War of Independence. As well, the government main offices are located next to the Masjid el-Bouzzazi in the al-Idari neighborhood of Istanbul, in what was previously the Grundesweigan administrative building for the Grundesweigan province of Istanbul, before the War of Independence. That building was itself taken over during the original Grundesweigan colonisation of Istanbul, thought to have been built originally by Skeps100 in June 2013.

Relations With Other States

The ISIS maintains very friendly and close relations with most states in the greater Augustan bassin. Mt. Augusta, the largest regional +,+ state, is the ISIS' strongest and oldest ally, mostly due to the historical allegiances of Sultan GTAIVisbest and Mt Augusta's support in the War of Independence against Grundeswald. The population of modern-day ISIS are descendants of GTAIVisbest's Augustan friend group, and cultural closeness has greatly helped foster constant positive relations.

Gensokyo, while originally being a fervent enemy of the ISIS, and having fought against Istanbul during the Istanbulite War of Independence, is now a local political and cultural ally of the Sultanate. This is a result of a gradual anti-World Police ideological shift in the government of the ISIS, as well as Mt. Augusta, since January 2015. Gensokyo since its creation was aligned with Grundeswald and the HKE, entities hostile to the World Police since early 2.0. The political shift of the Augusta-ISIS-Acacia bloc resulted in a political harmonization of the region in an anti-World Police stance.

The Danzilonan Federation, one of the first nations to recognize the nascent Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and deliver aid to the city, was a very staunch ally and supporter of Istanbul after independence. However, due to the ideological shift of the ISIS away from the pro-WP stance it held during 2014, Istanbul-Danzilona relations became tense and strained, as the Danzilonan Federation was intricately tied to the World Police organizations. Since then, open combat between ISIS Islamic Militias and pro-WP elements of the Danzilonian militia have erupted multiple times.

Istanbule-Orion relations have endured a similar fate as Orion gradually lost relevancy and remained tied to the World Police in 2015. Originally, ISIS' foreign policy was almost completely linked with Orion's, up until the Riptide Incident severed most remaining friendly ties between the two nations.

The historical ISIS-Gensokyo conflict, during its time, was mostly limited to cold war and proxy wars (such as the int/IS uprising and the Samarran Revolutionary Front). However, on multiple occasions, the conflict risked igniting a hot war and drawing the region into conflict. During the Riverford War, Istanbul officially joined the Danzilonan side of the war before its conclusion. The Islamic Sultanate was one of the members of the Islamic-Augustan-Danzilonan league (unofficial, now defunct) and sided with Mt. Augusta during the frequent Augustan-Gensokyo conflicts, although none of them ever escalated into open war. Relations between the ISIS and Gensokyo were further worsened in the first months of ISIS independence by a number of Gensokyo-Islamic diplomatic incidents.

  • On August 17th, 2014, as part of the War of Independence, Gensokyo officials were closely involved with the Grundesweigan negotiators and some members of the Gensokyo militia served as Grundesweigan troops deployed to the Istanbul region during the stand-off. No Istanbulite or Gensokyo casualties were reported.
  • On October 11th, 2014, a border dispute between the Sultanate and East Ridge, a satellite state of Gensokyo, broke out when the Islamic Sultanate cemented it's expansion north in the Great Desert. The issue was resolved without force when Gensokyo relinquished all claims to the Great Desert
  • On October 12th, 2014, the Gensokyo militia pearled an Istanbulite citizen on Gensokyo territory for breaking local laws. Gensokyo refused the extradition request by the ISIS government.
  • On October 19th, 2014, a diplomatic envoy from Chanada touring the region sought refuge in the Islamic Sultanate after being attacked in Gensokyo by members of the Gensokyo militia. A tense stand-off occurred at the border, and Gensokyo militiamen entered the borders of the Sultanate, although the situation was later resolved without force.
  • On October 24th, 2014, an expedition from the Islamic Sultanate to the Kattan Khaghanate, a small abandoned town holding Gensokyo claims past the western borders of the Sultanate, was intercepted by members of the Gensokyo militia and told to leave under threat of force. A tense standoff occurred during the next hour as both parties refused to move. Eventually, the Islamic expedition turned around and returned to the Sultanate.
  • Later on October 24th, 2014, members of the Gensokyo militia violated the Sultanate's sovereignty by entering the state, heading to the suburbs of Istanbul and pearling an Istanbulite citizen inside his home, possibly as a reprisal against the events earlier that day. The citizen was released and the militiamen fled the city before the Islamic militias could mobilize to the scene. Sultan GTAIVisbest addressed the nation later that night and threatened "consequences" for Gensokyo in case of another violation of sovereignty.
  • On November 9th, 2014, a group of hooligans threw snowballs and punches at members of the Islamic Militia. The militiamen gave chase to the fleeing hooligans who returned to New Detroit and barricaded themselves in a house. Members of the Islamic Militia surrounding the house were told to leave Gensokyo by members of the Gensokyo militia, which they did after a 30-minute standoff.
  • On December 6th, 2014, The Islamic Militia was mobilized alongside the Augustan Armed Forces when a citizen of Mt. Augusta was pearled by Gensokyo. Gensokyo officials handed the pearl off to Grundesweigan forces, who were then chased by a combined Etherium-Carbonite-Augustan-Istanbulite army to Breslau and then to New Salisbury, where it was vaulted in Grundeswald's world border vault. A standoff occured at the vault, and after five hours, the various militias began returning home, leaving the vault. Player clone2204 and his conglomerate then ambushed the Augustan militia as they were returning home from the standoff, attempting to pearl Augustan militia member CheshireLulCat. The rest of the Augustan militia repelled the attack, and returned to Augusta to barricade themselves in their central bunker. Clone2204, as well as his conglomerate members MalenkyDyavol and Dovahkin, gave chase, occupied the city and then left. No conflict occured on the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra.
  • On February 18th, 2015, The Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra dispatched members of the Islamic Militia to Syngrad, a disputed nation claimed by both pro-independence forces and Gensokyo, and with its independence guaranteed by the government of ISIS. The Islamic Militia was joined by independent forces of the Meme Brigade while defending Syngrad's independence during a standoff alongside Gensokyo's eastern border. Eventually, the Gensokyojin forces retreated into their capital of New Detroit. Due to the involvement of the controversial Meme Brigade on the anti-Gensokyojin side, however, forces from independent Augustan militias mobilized to aid Gensokyo in the standoff. As well, the Danzilonan Security Force dispatched security forces to secure the Danzilonan territoy of Riverford, leading to a standoff with the Meme Brigade, and, subsequently, the Islamic Militia. The ISIS forces, unwilling to enter hostilities with the Danzolinan government, retreated back to the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra. The event marked the first time that Augustan militias, as well as the Danzilonan Security Force, had worked together with Gensokyo since the Riverford War, and also served to highlight deeper and more relevant tensions in the region that had replaced the traditional Gensokyo-Augusta divide of the months prior. The February 18th crisis severely tarnished ISIS-Augustan relations as well as ISIS-Danzilonan relations, two of its most important historical and regional allies. In response, the government of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra began to reinforce its alliances with Orion and Etherium, as well as entering into an alliance process with the nation of Fellowship.
Official documentation from the modern government of Istanbul

Economy

The ISIS's primary export is pure sand, exploited directly from its national deserts to the North. Sand sold from the Islamic Sultanate usually winds up being imported into Mt. Augusta to the south for XP production purposes.

The Sultanate has also launched an XP-production campaign. Many XP farms were constructed in the region, especially in the Great Desert, after sultan GTAIVisbest decided to launch the campaign in late December.

Religion

Government Religion

The state religion of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra is Sunni Islam, and the government is an Islamic Theocracy, making the Sultan the spiritual leader as well as the political one. There is no seperation of church and state, and religion plays a significant role in the decisions of the government. Government funds are also used to sponsor a variety of religious projects around the nation, such as the construction of great mosques (Such as Masjiid el-Bouzzazi), religious billboards and signs, and missionary work to attempt to convert many of its citizens, at least nominally, to Sunnism.

Demographic Religion

Demographically, according to a recent census, it is believed that at least half of the population of the ISIS nominally practices the Sunni faith in-game. Efforts have been made by the government to increase that number, although other faiths and beliefs are de-facto tolerated. Any efforts to prothletise towards a different religion, however, are immediately shut down by the government.

Culture and Language

Language

The official and most popular language of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra is Arabic. The government of ISIS uses Arabic in all of its official documentation, and a majority of the signs and billboards in the capital, Istanbul, are in Arabic. However, English is given de-facto secondary language status, and is also used in all official documentation, road signage, and building identification alongside Arabic for ease of understanding. In Samarra, as well as other areas outside the capital, English is much more prevalent, and Arabic signage is not enforced. Efforts have been made by the government of ISIS to promote the Arabic language, and with the development of billboards in Istanbul, the use of Arabic is on the rise. Sultan GTAIVisbest has stated that the linguistic goal of the Sultanate should be to implement lasting Arabic infrastructure and assure the relevancy of Arabic as ISIS's primary language.

Culture

Culturally, the quasi-majority of the current population of the Islamic Sultanate of Istanbul and Samarra hail from the post-Independence migration wave from Mt. Augusta, who were then progressively Arabized by the government policies of the ISIS and Sultan GTAIVisbest. Therefore, the cultures of the two cities are very similar, and the two populations are almost culturally interchangeable. Most of the Augustan population is very friendly and fond of the population of ISIS, and the citizens in the Sultanate that are of the primary culture of ISIS view the Mt. Augustans as being closely related.

More recent migration from Mt. Augusta to Istanbul and Samarra has resulted in a small ethnic population that has not been completely Arabized, and as such has developed a unique cultural dialect of Augustan.

Beginning around January of 2015, the culture of the ruling elite of the Islamic Sultanate was propagated into a close group of friends from Mt. Augusta, Istanbul, New Detroit and East Ridge known as the Meme Team. The creation of the Meme Team and its associated groups (Meme Militia, MIGP, etc) was a direct symptom of the region's ideological shift towards a more unified and anti-WP ideology. When the members of the Meme Team (apart from GTAIVisbest) founded and joined the city of Atolia, an XP farming cooperative, the unique culture with heavy Istanbulite influence was propagated further, mixing with pan-Augustan culture and propagating itself throughout Atolia, and, later, to the XP cooperative of Pemberley. Meme Team culture also had an influence in ISIS, where multiple signs were erected in the Meme Team dialect, most of them celebrating the wedding between air_wrecka of Mt. Augusta and Soccer37222 of Istanbul, both integral members of the Memers.

Furthermore, the ISIS mumble channel, hangout of the Meme Team and citizens of the ISIS, became extremely popular during the end of January until the beginning of March 2015. Due to this, many players and citizens of diverse nations, including Donetsk, Fellowship, and Mt. Augusta were influenced by Arabic-language ISIS culture. This unique blend continues to live on in certain areas of the server.

References

  1. "On the 25th of May, only 6 days after the Creation, a caravan of weary nomads descended upon Mt. Istanbul. These travelers would later become known as the proto-Istanbulite-Kattar peoples, ancestors of both the Krautchan and the Skepsian cultures that would one day rule over the Augustan Basin and Grundeswald, nestled in the deep +,+." -https://www.reddit.com/r/civclassics/comments/g7zxe4/civcraft_20_unfinished_piece_i_discovered_in_an/