So, let’s address the obvious - Turkey did not formally enter the Second World War until 1945, and never participated in any active fighting, yet as a nation they consistently held the dubious honour of being able to fundamentally alter the war’s trajectory with their own participation throughout almost the entire conflict. They were courted by every alliance but maintained and leveraged their position of strength so that they could maintain their neutrality while still winning all the favours of courtship from the Allies, the Comintern, and the Axis. The other factor in considering Turkey for a rework was… well, a lot of people love to play it. Turkey, to this day, remains the most played non-reworked minor in Hearts of Iron IV! So, it was very important that playing Turkey felt like playing a country with a potentially winning hand, but in a scenario where if they lost they’d lose everything.
The Turks had some prior experience with wars where they’d have everything to gain by winning, and everything to lose by failing. When the Ottoman Empire exploded, the Entente imposed one of their signature devastating treaties on the Turkish people by carving up the new Ottoman state into a small rump state in Anatolia. This state of affairs didn’t sit too well with many of the Turkish people, so an alliance of revolutionaries set to work - the most prominent of which was the legendary Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (more on him in a bit!). The Turkish revolutionaries repulsed the Entente and the encroaching Greeks (who we discussed two weeks ago), and cast down the Ottoman Sultanate in favour of the nascent Republic of Turkey. Of course, Turkey was not totally let off the hook as a former Central Powers member, but compared to their former comrades-in-arms the Turkish Republic got off relatively light!
By Hearts of Iron IV’s start, the Republic of Turkey was a mere twelve years old! Atatürk’s Republican People’s Party (the CHP) wasted no time in reforming Turkish society top-to-bottom in order to modernise and westernise (to a degree) the entire nation. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey’s messianic founding father, was dedicated to the concept of a liberal democratic Turkish state but that doesn’t mean every Kemalist figure was. Kemalism was the unique ideology of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the framework through which the entire Turkish state was supposed to be moulded, but even though Atatürk’s own views were unshakeable Kemalism itself was very flexible as an ideology. Kemalism, all at once, had elements of socialism, western liberalism, and Italian fascism - and these elements could be enhanced or obliterated at the snap of the Atatürk’s finger. It could be (and has been) argued that it was the dynamism of Kemalism that shielded the Republic of Turkey from the worst of the Great Depression.
Turkey would remain a one-party state under the CHP until May of 1950, where under the leadership of İsmet İnönü the Kemalists received a thumping in the elections and gave the conservatives a majority until they were couped out by the Kemalist officers. However, there were attempts to hold multi-party elections during Atatürk’s lifetime - but when these opposition parties were inevitably taken over by Islamic Conservatives the opposition parties would be banned and the elections called off. Now, I love my history but I do not belabour my points for the sheer fun of it - Turkey’s very recent history all plays a part in the Turkish rework, which we should waste no more time in getting into.
Compared to many of the Balkan nations, Turkey’s position looks surprisingly stable - but that strength is very tenuous. The Kemalist system of governance seems infallible with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in charge, but once the Father of the Turks passes away things consistently become much more uncertain. Let’s have a look at what makes Turkey’s position so fragile, and why a Turkish government might have good cause not to rush headlong into war…
Something the recently collapsed Ottoman Empire left behind for the Turkish people as a little present was its insurmountable debt. The Ottoman Public Debt Administration was restructured into the Debt Council: an organisation chaired by Entente victors. However, Turkey was not Greece - the Allies had very little interest in bullying Turkey to the point of alienation, and the whole situation is much easier for Turkey to deal with in general. The Debt Council, as one of the only controlling interests in the Turkish economy, occupies Turkey’s starting Industrial Concern as an unremovable spirit. Is it crippling? No, but you’re probably going to want to reorganise the entire entity into a more distinctly Turkish entity so you can actually get rid of it!
Even though the elite of the Turkish armed forces was in an excellent state, the army was absolutely ruined after the exceptionally brutal and hard-fought War of Independence. With a centrally managed economy, Turkey has had to be particularly picky with how it allocated its resources during its intricate processes of nation-building. With Atatürk’s mantra of ‘Peace at Home, Peace in the World’, the armed forces - and the army in particular - has fallen a little behind the curve compared to the rest of the world. But don’t count the Turkish Armed Forces out just yet, because as the 1920s proved the Turkish forces can show their greatest qualities in a time of crisis.
The best of the Turkish Armed Forces can be found in its dedicated, experienced, and loyal officer corps. Well… they’re loyal most of the time… it really does depend on just how committed you are to the ideals and principles of Kemalism! Stay true to the vision of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and you’ll enjoy some healthy buffs, but straying from the path may lead to some… adverse effects for your country…
Speaking of adverse effects, let’s look at Turkey’s unique internal situation. The verdict: it’s not good. Kurdish rebels to the east, hardcore traditionalists in the hinterlands, and Kemalists in the west and north. Turkey is not fractured along ideological lines like Bulgaria and Greece, rather its divisions are all of an ethnic or religious element. What’s more, these divisions are not drawn along party lines, but rather by geography. So, let’s take a look at Turkey’s own faction system.
But before we do that, let’s just take a quick detour to look at the reworked states and provinces for Turkey! State lines and categories have been corrected to be closer to the real deal, and those unsightly mega-states have been carved up into smaller states. Istanbul is now also a separate state, so any would-be conqueror who wants their own occupied Regime of the Straits can now make that a reality without taking all of Edirne with it! What’s more, the Turkish provinces have been corrected to be closer to reality: in short, the centre of Turkey is no longer one gigantic desert!
It should be noted, this relationship - the one between a developer and a player - it’s a give-and-take relationship. I know this might be contentious to some people, but for DLC owners none of the Kurdish core states in Turkey will start as a core of Turkey. So let’s talk about that, let’s look at the Kurdish role in the faction system.
I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that the quest for Kurdish statehood inside of Turkey is a somewhat controversial issue. The thing is… it’s always been pretty controversial. There were a number of Kurdish rebellions between the Republic of Turkey’s foundation and the beginning of Hearts of Iron IV, and there was another rebellion that took place during Hearts of Iron IV’s timeframe. Instead of hard-scripting that event, I wanted to make it more dynamic, and the new resistance mechanic introduced in La Résistance seemed an excellent medium to interact with in this regard.
Kurdish state modifiers ensure that governing Kurdish areas feels like a constant tug-of-war between the national government and the people in the states. The modifiers can scale up, getting worse in their intensity, or they can be brought down to the point where they cease to be a problem. Many of the ahistorical paths encourage the whittling down of resistance and the building up of compliance for the purposes of getting a core on the states, but I hope for reasons that don’t need to be explicitly stated it’s understandable why the historical path focuses more on the placation of these states rather than their coring.
Remember how I mentioned the give-and-take relationship? Here’s some more of that take. Yes, Turkey is treated to an abundance of redrawn and recategorised states, but many of them also have an… issue… with the government. One of the most divisive elements of Kemalism was its staunch and unfaltering commitment to secularism and separating religion from state. Funnily enough, not all of the Turkish people were so hot on the idea of Islam being split from their government and being stowed into their private affairs.
Traditionalist modifiers, like the Kurdish modifiers, scale: and they can get worse or they can get better. If your government isn’t a Kemalist government, they can get WAY better! But that might not necessarily be a strat to depend on, because if we take a look over at the Kemalist states…
Yeah, they’re really good. Kemalist modifiers aren’t plentiful, and spreading them can be an expensive affair, but the Kemalist modifiers can be found in most of Turkey’s most urbanised and industrialised regions of the country. It creates the desired effect that the player, even though they can build anywhere in the country, is encouraged (like the historical government) to invest in these richer regions due to the added boons and ease of access. Kemalist regions also give additional recruitable population to help offset the loss of those Kurdish non-cores.
Not every state starts aligned on game start, and the player might find themself in a race against time to apply as many of their own state modifiers as possible while the A.I. applies opposing state modifiers.
But enough about these peripheral features, let’s get to the meat of the rework: the focus tree! I know, I know, I took my time getting here but we’re in it now!
Turkey was in a very unique situation in 1936, and I really wanted the player to feel like they were playing a pivotal part in Turkey’s nation-building process. All the paths are there: two non-aligned paths, two fascist paths, two democratic paths, and a communist path. Let’s dissect it a little!
The tree is broken up in a way that should feel rather interconnected, and that’s because of Turkey’s unique political situation. All the paths in the political tree save for one are not about conjuring a fascist party out of the thin air or a magical communist revolution, but about redefining what the ideology of Kemalism is and what it means for the state. On the left, you can see the liberal and democratic paths - tied in with Turkey’s little industry tree which for the most part is actually built into the decision tab. In the centre are Turkey’s historical action focuses, and yes - Hatay is a state that has been added to the game! To the right you have the wide-sweeping authoritarian government forms, in which you’ll find the historical path starting down from Peace at Home.
Everything starts with the Montreux Convention, which kicks off an event chain where Britain, Turkey, and the Soviet Union start a quarrel over the Bosporus and permissions to them. Try to be deft with your approach, and do not underestimate the Bolshevik hunger for your Turkish Straits - it may just come to war…
Survive the first crisis, and you can side with Celâl Bayar and his liberal-democratic minded ilk by integrating the İş Bank and its political sponsors into your government, or maintain the one-party state by continuing the state economic policy of Etatism as sponsored by future historical president İsmet İnönü. Etatism is a powerful boon that can help rapidly industrialise the mostly empty Turkish state, but if you try to juggle your centrally managed economy with a war economy you might find that you get more than you bargained for.
Here we have the two likeliest successors to the Kemalist legacy after the Father of the Turks passes away: İsmet İnönü and Fevzi Çakmak. İsmet İnönü’s left-wing non-aligned path is accessible through Peace at Home where you try to juggle and appease all sides while never making anybody truly happy. Fevzi Çakmak’s right-wing non-aligned path is accessible through Reinvigorate Turkish Nationalism, and focuses on appeasing the Traditionalists without totally shirking your Kemalist ideology. Fevzi Çakmak can additionally take the role as a Francisco Franco-like fascist dictator through Fatherland First!
Next, we’ve got the more radical Kemalist candidates: Recep Peker and Şevket Süreyya Aydemir. The fascist and communist paths are not about fully tilting Turkey into any particular ideological mould, but rather about remodelling Kemalism along their more radical lines. To that end, both paths are free to intervene in the Spanish Civil War, and put a focus on clamping down on Traditionalist sedition while uplifting the Kurdish people into a position where they are equals in the Turkish state.
On the other end of the tree, we have the democratic path featuring Celâl Bayar, who’s batting for the Kemalists, and Adnan Menderes, who’s pitching for the Conservatives. Once you open up the floodgates of a free and fair election, there is no going back.
So, the election goes down and either the Kemalists are provided a democratic mandate to rule, or their reign is cut short by Menderes and his Demokrat Parti. If the latter course of events takes place, then what you’ve done is essentially fast-tracked Turkish history, and you shouldn’t expect the end result to differ too much from reality. One should be weary of old ghosts returning to haunt the state when you pander to their views and topple their enemies…
So, you’ve established your state of choice and now it’s time to stop looking inwardly and time to start looking at the rest of the world at lar- [Troy GIF on fire]
Alright, so… the world’s in a bit of trouble! Looks like the whole ‘Peace in the World’ aspect of Kemalism isn’t working out so hot, and maybe it’s time to directly intervene in matters. Or alternatively… why not just bask in the love of your secret admirers in Berlin, London, Rome, and Moscow? The foreign policy branch lets you play the historical route of letting things play out until 1945 without getting involved (which the historical A.I. should do), or you can beeline straight for your faction of choice so you can jump into the action!
Some of the favours you can garner from your gallant sponsors are pretty neat, and can be very useful to a Turkish state trying to build up to preparedness for total war. Every faction path has a way for Turkey to expand either peacefully or through more traditional means.
Join up with the Allies, and see if they might be willing to sponsor your hegemonic aims in the Middle East (I know, how uncharacteristic of Turkey). Join the Axis and cause chaos in the Middle East by sponsoring the Golden Square’s coup in Iraq, or ready your troops for the long winter march to Moscow through the Caucasus. Align with the Comintern and ditch your phoney Turkish socialism for some honest-to-Stalin Turkish Bolshevism by lifting the Turkish Communist Party’s exile! Or perhaps the normal factions aren’t cutting it, perhaps a more independent route is warranted. Well, you can do that too - form the Covenant of the Mediterranean with Italy, or invite Republican Spain to the Anti-Bolshevik Accord.
Or cut the major powers out of the picture entirely for a truly independent route. Under a Kemalist government, the player will be free to continue the government’s long-standing foreign policy aims of a stable and free Balkans. Extend the Balkan Pact into a formal Balkan Entente, and stand tall as the paragon of the Balkans - ready to stand up to any threats whether they come from the north, east, south, or west. Although, perhaps you don’t want to play the good guy… maybe you’re invested in this to cause a little chaos...
...well, we have you covered. Of course, no Turkish rework was going to be complete without some sort of Ottoman restoration path. Yes, topple the Kemalists in the election and you can wager they’ll use their clout in the military to try and take you down, and when they do that’s when the Faustian Bargain can be struck.
Root the Kemalists out of their cities one-by-one and prepare the weakened nation for the return of the Sultan. The glorious Sultan: the one who will restore the Empire, the one who shall conquer the world, the one who shall make the Western Imperialist hounds kneel to kiss his royal scepter, th-
-oh, he was actually a pretty gentle guy. Well, that’s okay - because his court is absolutely clogged with vengeful former exiles who have been restored to the Ottoman Sultanate frothing for a second chance to right the humiliating end of the Great War which saw their prestige and identity annihilated.
Should they exist, you can get the old band back together and link up with the Central Powers! If they don’t but the Austro-Hungarians do, then you can still reform the Central Powers. If you’re alone, that’s alright, press the Austro-Hungarian claim for them and cause some mayhem in the southern Balkans in their name. When the Sultanate has been cemented, the option to make a bid to reclaim your empire and the title of Caliph will become available once again. But conquering territory in the Middle East is thirsty work! That place is real hot, and there’s so much sand! Good news, we’ve got you covered.
Introducing… the camelry unit! They’re more reliable and resource efficient than cavalry, but they’re slower, tougher to train, and they cost more equipment. Cavalry is also good in a variety of environments, while Camelry is great in a select few environments but not so good in most others. However, with an even higher level of suppression than cavalry they make fantastic garrisons in a pinch. Turkey will gain access to Camelry units if it conquers parts of Arabia. Other countries that operated camelry units during the time period (colonial powers like Britain, France and Spain as well as countries on the Arabian Peninsula) will also gain access to them.
Well, that’s about everyth-
Oh no, wait, there’s more! Hearts of Iron IV can be an unpredictable game, you never know which way it might go! The world post-WW2 might be left in a state unpalatable to your senses, so following any branch to the end in the Reconfigure Turkish Foreign Policy let’s you take on the role of a rogue state trying to serve its own interests against the wills of the major powers. Mind you, a sudden heel turn in Turkish foreign policy isn’t always going to be received positively by every major faction leader, and you might find yourself thrown out on your ass if you cause too much of a ruckus.
Of course, if you’re going to play the role of a rogue state then why not go all the way and become the ultimate pariah state?
Well, that’s all for this week! Before signing off, I’d love to give a special thanks to our beta testers for all their hard work testing the pack, Indyclone77 for his help with many of the art assets (including the portrait double-ups in this diary!), and withche.07 for his prolific Turkish suggestions forum thread! Farewell, and see you soon for the first stream!