My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.
O is for Ottoman Republic: February 18, 1856 – In agreement with the international community, headed by Kanata, Albion, France, and the Rurikids, Ottoman statesman, Mehmed Emin Âli Pasha, announces that Jerusalem and the port of Jaffa, plus the land between them, are to become a Free Protectorate, open to all religions, especially as the area was sacred to many faiths. A founding new edict, “granted that all forms of religion could be freely worshipped, no subject could be hindered in the exercise of the religion, nor be in any way annoyed. No one shall be compelled to change their religion.”
Furthermore, the area would operate as a free trade area in line with the Kalmar League and protected by all the members of the League. All the neighbouring nations, including Egypt, agreed to this arrangement and both Christian and Jews began to freely return to the Protectorate.
In our timeline: Jerusalem was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1517 to 1917, although from 1831 to 1840 the Viceroy of Egypt annexed the city. Some improvements to the city were made and Christians and Jews did return, although, under the British mandate from 1917, problems flared between the religious communities. Attempts to reach an international settlement after the First World War proved fraught with problems, which still remain.
Mehmed Emin Âli Pasha was one of the Ottoman Empire’s most enlightened statesman and some would say one of the architects of many of the reforms that led to the founding of modern Turkey.
Could a different attempt by the international community to resolve the Palestine-Israel question have been resolved? Could the Kalmar Union have evolved into an early League of Nations/United Nations with the power to avoid some of the conflicts that have ravaged our timeline? Or is that repetitive conflict inevitable and escalating?
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