What if the Seljuk Empire Reunited Today?
First published: Saturday October 23rd, 2021
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At its territorial height in 1092, during the height of the First Crusade, the Seljuk Empire was one of the largest empire's in its time, stretching continuously all the way from modern-day Turkey in the west to modern-day Kazakhstan in the east, and is still regarded as one of the largest and most significant empires in history today. During this time, the Seljuks practically dominated the Middle East and most of the Islamic World and with a huge military for its time, their Golden-Age seemed to be endless. However, like all empires, its Golden-Age did not last for ever and gradually, it started to lose the power and influence it once had until finally in 1194, it finally collapsed, marking the end of the Seljuk Empire. But what if it reunited today?
Population and Land
As always, the first thing we need to think about a reunited Seljuk Empire is the population and land it would control. For starters, a total of 19 different modern-day countries would lose all or some of their territory to the empire: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. All of these would be located in Asia.
Due to so many countries making it up, the empire would also have a huge land area, standing at around 1,510,000 Square miles (3,900,000 Sq km). This would be enough to make it the 7th largest countries in the world, even larger than other massive behemoths like India (3,287,000 Sq km) and Argentina (2,780,000 Sq km), but still significantly smaller than others such as Australia (7,692,000 Sq km) and Brazil (8,515,000 Sq km).
The Seljuk Empire would also have a gargantuan population, standing at around 280 Million which would make it the 4th most populous country worldwide. This number would be comparable in size to modern-day Indonesia's population of 273 Million and also well ahead of some other very populated countries like Pakistan (221 Million) and Brazil (212 Million), but still remaining quite behind others like the United States (331 Million).
As well as a massive population and land area, a reunited Seljuk Empire would also boast some massive cities within its borders, too. The capital city would most likely and in my opinion be Tehran, located in Iran, as not only was that the historic capital of the empire, but is also one of the most significant population and economic hubs in the Middle East and even the entire world, today. Despite this, Istanbul, in modern-day Turkey, would actually be the biggest city, however, with a population of 16,200,000, which is just slightly larger than Tehran's 15,500,000. Here would be the rest of the top 10 most populous urban areas within the Seljuk Empire:
- Istanbul (16,200,000)
- Tehran (15,500,000)
- Baghdad (7,150,000)
- Amman (5,700,000)
- Dubai (5,700,000)
- Ankara (5,150,000)
- Damascus (3,900,000)
- Tashkent (3,300,000)
- Isfahan (3,250,000)
- Mashhad (3,250,000)
Money and GDP
A reunited Seljuk Empire's economy would also be huge, bringing us to the next topic. First of all, the empire's Nominal GDP would stand at a whopping $2.771 Trillion, which would easily be enough to boost it to 8th place, in terms of Nominal GDP, beating up many other big economies like Italy ($2.106 Trillion), Canada ($1.883 Trillion) and South Korea ($1.806 Trillion), but remaining just behind France ($2.938 Trillion) and India ($3.049 Trillion).
Despite having a huge GDP, the Seljuk Empire's GDP Per Capita wouldn't be as impressive as its counterpart, mainly due to some impoverished areas within its borders, like Syria, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Taking all of this into consideration, the empire's Nominal GDP Per Capita would stand at around $10,150. This is not actually that bad, however, and would still be enough to place it in 83rd place, in terms of Nominal GDP Per Capita, slightly ahead of Nauru ($10,125) and Bulgaria ($11,321), but also just slightly more impoverished than the conditions in Malaysia ($11,604) and Russia ($11,654).
A reunited Seljuk Empire would also be a major exporter of oil and crude petroleum, which would most probably become its largest export too, as there would be many large oil reserves located in the deserts of the Middle East and western Iran.
Religion and Ethnic Groups
The next topic we need to think about a reunited Seljuk Empire is the religious and ethnic groups prevailing within its borders.
Starting off with Religion, Islam would overwhelmingly be the largest followed faith within the empire, at a very significant majority of 95% of the population, split very close to equally between 50% Shia and 46% Sunni. Jews would be the next largest religion in its borders, mainly focused in Israel, at a big drop down to only just 2.9%, which would be closely followed by Christianity at 1.1%. The final 1% of the population would be made up of Atheist and irreligious people.
Focusing on Ethnic Groups now, Arabs would be the largest ethnicity within the empire at 22%, still not a clear majority of 50%, however, already giving a sense of how diverse it would be. Turks would be the second largest, closely trailing behind at 20%, which would be followed by Persians at 18%, Kurds at 13%, Azerbaijanis at 11% and Uzbeks at 9%. The final 7% of the population would be a mix of various other small ethnicities prevalent within the Seljuk Empire.
Green = Islam
Purple = Christianity
Light Blue = Judaism
Similar to the religious and ethnic groups in its borders, the languages spoken in a reunited Seljuk Empire would also be very diverse. Turkish would be the most spoken language within its borders at a significant 28% of the population but still not enough to make a clear majority of 50% though. Persian would be the next most spoken language, represented by 25%. This would be followed by Arabic at 18%, Uzbek at 10%, Azerbaijani at 9%, and Kurdish at 7%. The final 3% of the population would be a mix of various other small languages spoken within its borders.
One specific official language for the Seljuk Empire would be quite difficult to predict but I suspect there would be many different official languages, based on the most spoken of them all.
The last thing we need to think about a reunited Seljuk Empire is its military size, which of course would be completely no disappointment. Starting with manpower, the empire would possess a huge 1,943,100 active-duty personnel, which would be the 4th largest force in the world, ahead of other massive militaries like North Korea (1,280,000 troops) and Russia (1,014,000 troops), but still smaller than the military juggernauts of the United States (1,388,100 troops), India (1,445,550 troops) and China (2,185,000 troops).
The budget to fund the Seljuk's military would also be large, standing at a significant $80.2 Billion, which would be the 3rd highest budget in the world, ahead of India ($71.1 Billion) and Russia's ($65.1 Billion) budgets, but only smaller than the massive budgets of China ($261 Billion) and United States ($732 Billion).
The Seljuk Empire would also be a Nuclear power, inheriting all of Israel's arsenal of bombs. A specific clear amount would be impossible to predict but an estimation would be between 80 and 400 nukes at its disposal. However, would Israel allow this to happen?
Frankish Empire | Brazilian Empire | A united CANZUK | Russian Empire
And finally, that brings us to the end of this part of the series. If you have any other new suggestions for any significant empires you want me to cover then please let me know in the comments. But for now, I would like to thank you all so much for reading and goodbye! :)
Russian Empire | 6 votes | 1st Place
Brazilian Empire | 5 votes | 2nd Place
Frankish Empire | 4 votes | 3rd Place
A united CANZUK | 1 vote | 4th Place
Amazing blog as always. Who don’t like BGG’s blogs, comment “cheese biscuits of granny” (don’t ask me why this word).
the last y was actually written in cyrillic so i'm not saying i don't like bgg's blogs
Я голосую за Российскую Империю
it's translating time
Я добавлю ваш голос в опросы :)
Wait, so we didn't have to the whole operation in Turkey and Iran, you were just going to give us?! Okay, I guess we just need to take Arabia now.
I vote for Поссия.
i have a song prepared for it as well like yugoslavia
I'll add your vote to the polls too.
I can't wait to here the Russian national anthem haha thats not it ;)
CANZUK = Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom.