by Max Barry

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The Democratic Commonwealth of
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

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6

History of Hellenic Empire

** Alternate reality **

October 13, 2013: The Prime Minister of Turkey was assassinated along with his family in the capitol Ankara when a massive bomb exploded in the Prime Minister's residence, there were no survivors.
External suspicion was that hard line Turkish conservatives resistant to the Prime Minister’s reforms carried out the murder. However within the country unfounded rumours soared that the Greek-Cypriot terrorist organization EOKA B had re-immerged seeking revenge for the illegal Turkish invasion of the small island-nation since 1974.
The Turkish military seized control of the government under a "State of national Emergency" and after a blatantly biased and tainted two day "investigation" the Turkish military launched a pre-emptive attack on the weaker Republic of Cyprus in the name of anti-terrorism.
Cyprus implored the EU nations for help as the Cypriot national-guard was quickly defeated by the Turkish military in just under 2 days, suggesting that the Turkish forces were on alert and ready to invade beforehand.
Greece was the first to openly declare support for Cyprus, condemning the Turkish invasion as an illegal and aggressive tactic to destabilize the EU. Turkey dismissed the Greek ambassador and cut all diplomatic ties with Greece while sending troops to all borders. Greece officially escalated its status to DEFCON 2 placing all Greek forces on defensive alert and closing all borders with Turkey. The Greek Prime Minister lobbied intensively in the EU parliament to send a coalition of armed forces to protect Cypriot sovereignty.

In return the Turkish navy and air-force formed a blockade around Cyprus, cutting the island of all travel through air and sea as the Turkish invasion was completed. In a matter of 6 days the entire island of Cyprus was occupied by the Turkish military. Any captured remnants of the Cypriot Military and Police were "interrogated" and many died in custody but not before signing prepared confessions validating the existence of EOKA B and the implication of key Cypriot citizens. Turkey declared this as evidence for its attack and mass arrests and persecutions of Greek Cypriots ensued.
The UN Security Council attempted to pass sanctions against Turkey however the United States vetoed the decision claiming the Turks were fighting a righteous war on terror, leading to a hostile response against the US from the remainder of the Security Council including Russia which committed itself to aiding Cyprus.

As the members of the EU severed all ties to Turkey and fiercely debated the next steps, a fleet of Italian and Israeli transport ships carrying Russian humanitarian aid to Cyprus was sunk by Turkish submarines; within a matter of hours the EU Parliament sent a harsh and public message to the Turkish regime.

QUOTE

To the interim military government of Turkey:

We, the members of the European Union, conclude that you have illegally and intentionally invaded a member state and have fired upon and sunk a naval vessel clearly flying the European Union and Italian flags. This has been interpreted as an act of war. An attack against a Union member is an attack against the Union itself.

It is the decision of the united peoples of Europe to demand that you:

A. Withdraw all Turkish forces to north of the Attila line in Cyprus within 24 hours

B. Disassemble, the non-democratic and oppressive military junta ruling the Turkish nation and re-install a democratic government with elections to be held in one month.

C. Agree to immediate negotiations with the EU to discuss reparations for this illegal military campaign.

Failure to fully meet these stipulations will result in grave consequences.
We implore you in the name of peace and humanity; do not force our hand.

Oct 25th 2013, the NATO members of the EU voted for expulsion of the Turkish state from the NATO alliance, with one country voting against (USA) and two abstaining (Canada and UK). Following the essential end of NATO a combined European “Army of the Union” consisting of German, French, Greek, Italian, Hungarian, Austrian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Polish forces began mobilizing for war and placed on full alert: DEFCON 1 in case Turkey did not agree to the EU stipulations.

24 hours after the EU ultimatum, Turkey launched it's 2nd pre-emptive attack on Greece, alleging their long-time enemy was harbouring EOKA B terrorists. Greece enacted its Mutual Protection Pact with the EU and was granted use of the Army of the Union, but not before suffering devastating losses in its regions of Thrace, and western Macedonia; loosing the entire area to the Turks. Greek forces entrenched themselves just outside of Thessalonica to face the Turkish onslaught calling it the “Dimitrius Line” named after the Patron Saint of Thessalonica.

It was now all out war. The UN implored for peaceful negotiations but both sides were far from the negotiating table. Greek forces with the assistance of the Army of the Union managed to stop the Turkish ground advance at the Dimitrius Line. Hundreds of aircraft on both sides were engaged in endless dogfights. Turkish missiles turned the majority of the Greek islands to rubble, but the combined European navies managed to control the Aegean blocking any occupation fleets from capturing any significant islands.

Turkey on the surface was holding it’s own against the entire European Union forces, however all experts agreed that they must have been receiving weapons, logistics, and intelligence from other sources. Speculation was that the CIA was providing the primary aid to the Turkish military, however there was no way to prove this publicly. Eventually the US recalled their ambassador in Athens based on “sustained security threats” from public rage, protests, and riots at the US Embassy in regards to what everyone knew was going on behind the scenes.

The Kurdish and Armenian minorities in eastern Turkey seized this opportunity to openly revolt essentially starting a bloody and effective guerrilla campaign against the Turks. This was the beginning of the end.

After 4 months of bitter fighting EU forces finally began to make progress, and the Turks began a systematic “scorched earth” policy as they retreated from Greek land. Independent media sources documented burning of infrastructure and salting of the land by the retreating Turks, as well as executions of POW's and male civilians, resulting in a harsh backlash towards Turkey from the global community.
Even the USA had to condemn these actions. This change in momentum worked well for the Union Army within 3 months the European forces found themselves within 200 kilometres of Ankara's borders (The Turkish capital).
Fighting continued for another 6 months, slowly but surely the Turkish forces were losing more and more ground and staggering losses as thousands of Turk soldiers were ordered to commit suicide rather than be captured. Finally, in March of 2015 Ankara fell to EU forces and a week later after two unsuccessful counter-attacks Turkish officials were forced to sign an unconditional surrender conceding defeat to the European Allied Forces.
Harsh stipulations were forced upon Turkey. All Turkish military forces and occupying leadership were expelled from Cyprus, effectively reunifying the country after over 40 years of partition under the internationally recognized nation of “Republic of Cyprus”. Top Turkish military officials were placed on trial for several crimes against humanity and were eventually executed at the Hague.
As further punishment for crimes against humanity, and for using illegal warfare (chemical weapons) within Greece, Turkey was forced to concede land, specifically its entire western and northern shores to Greece. Greeks from abroad flocked en-mass to the new territories, however Greece quickly declared the new lands as autonomous republics under EU protection, in order to avoid insurgent revolts from the Turkish population.
The new nations were Republic of Byzantium: north-western part with the capitol Konstantinople (formerly Istanbul), Republic of Nicea: western Peninsula, with the capitol Smyrna (formerly Izmyr) and Republic of Pontus northern peninsula with the capitol Trebizond.
Turkey was also forced to recognize and grant independence to all the new republics including an expanded Armenia and the Republic Kurdistan splitting the Eastern part of former Turkey.
In the end five new nations were born.
Fast-forward 20 years later, and the republics of Byzantium, Nicea, and Pontus for the first time have a majority population that identify themselves as "Hellenes" as the original Turkish population either moved to what is left of the Republic of Turkey (dis-armed and under UN supervision, located in south-central Anatolia) or migrated overseas (mostly to the USA) looking for a better life.
Holding national referendums, the citizens of the Autonomous Republics of Byzantium, Nicea, and Pontus overwhelmingly agreed to form a new joint federation:
The Democratic Imperial Hellenic Commonwealth; unofficially known as the Hellenic Empire with its capitol city of Konstantinople.

After a period of economic recession, the empire recovered quickly thanks to abundant EU aid, low interest rates, talented diplomacy, and excellent business ventures. The empire’s economy has become the most stable one outside of EU members in the region.
The primary industries comprise of tourism, marble, steel, and food exports, with secondary industries of fur, gold, coal, iron, silver, and copper producing the majority of wealth.

Three years later, The Hellenic Empire was accepted within the ranks of the UN and granted “Preferred Partner” Status with the European Union involving prosperous free trade and numerous economical and political relations. The Hellenic Empire is viewed as an “Autocratic Democracy” and has been called “New Byzantium” reflecting the nostalgia of the old Byzantine Empire over 1000 years ago.
Over the years it has been credited with mediating many disputes in the Balkans and has enjoyed warm relations with the majority of it's neighbours, including Turkey.

Politically speaking, vying for government leadership are five main political parties:

United Hellenic Front – Right-wing, nationalists - party-color: Black & Purple
Imperial Republican Party – Moral Conservatives - party-color: Blue
Progressive Democracy – Centre-Liberals – party color: Gold
Pan-Hellenic Socialists – Left-wing socialists – party color: Green & Yellow
People’s Socialist Commune – Border-line Communists – party color: Red

The government structure is comprised of the "Imperial council" consisting of one democratically elected leader per Republic; an "Autocrat" from Byzantium, Nicea, and Pontus. Although there are 3 Autocrats presiding over the council, there are 5 seats, in the hopes that in the future Greece and Cyprus will join the empire.
The council presides over the Imperial Senate consisting of 27 senators each one elected from each province of the commonwealth.
The senate also has three special envoys and advisers with the title of “Honourable Advisers” These consist of a Moral Adviser: The Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch. As well as two special advisers: The special European Union Envoy and the ambassador from Greece. The Honourable Advisers can be called on occasion by the Imperial Council to take part in senate debates but leave the chambers when a vote is about to take place since they are not elected by the people.
Elections for Autocrats of the Imperial Council occur every 8 years. Senate elections occur every 4 years, both the Autocrats and Senators are voted in by the general citizens of each republic.
The senate can dissolve the Imperial council by declaring "no confidence" on one or more of the Autocrats and ONLY with a 75% majority decision in the senate, or with a 60% public support from a referendum. A new election must be called within 6 months if this were to ever happen.

The Democratic Imperial Hellenic Commonwealth has produced a serious shift in economic power in the region sparking an age of advancement and prosperity for its people. The Empire is viewed as an example of a peaceful, and surprisingly successful federation, and once again the region has been restored into a bright and vibrant gateway between Asia and Europe enjoying very warm relations in the international stage.

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