Location of Maqtajer (dark green) in Astyria
and largest city
|642,617.11 km2 (248,115.85 sq mi)|
• 2015 census
|37.55/km2 (97.3/sq mi)|
low · Low
Maqtajer, officially the Maqtajeri Republic (Zalqintili: Rezipubli Maqtajeriyi) is a country in southwestern Sythith, a continent in eastern Astyria. Its capital and largest city is Katashahr. It has a land area of 640,000 square kilometres and a population of 24 million, resulting in one of Astyria's lowest population densities. It borders Hindia Belanda in the southeast and Kuwazavkavan in the northwest.
Maqtajer is governed as a parliamentary democracy with an elected president. The government holds little practical power outside of the capital territory, as traditional tribal and patriarchal hierarchies dominate Maqtajeri society. The national economy is focussed on the production and export of cash crops such as cotton. Its capital, Katashahr, suffers from chronic water shortages as a result of aggressive irrigation structures brought in during the 1940s.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Governance
- 5 Economy
- 6 Society and demographics
- 7 Culture
The name Maqtajer derives from Zalqintili Maqtay jehr, meaning 'land of cotton'. It was first applied to the Maqtajeri state in the 1940s, before which the territory was known as Muzdatijer, or 'desolate land'. The change of name was intended to evoke the country's newfound prosperity as a result of its cotton exports, but over the following decades it became an ironic sobriquet for a nation wracked with environmental disasters.
The name Muzdatijer had emerged during the 1800s in the era preceding decolonisation by Noordenstaat-Scanonia: the shahs of ___, on seeing the territory ceded back to the kingdom under the Treaty of Aliksborg, were so stricken by the devastation inflicted by its former colonial masters that they named the entire country the Desolate Land.
The Yazidi Kingdom of something something Tabadashahr (City on the Hill; Katashahr = City on the Floor [Plain])
Early modern period
A trading post of the Empire of Exponent was established at the mouth of the Dariakozdin, the River of Tears, in southern Somtehing in 1562. A number of other posts were established in the following decades but all were abandoned by 1620. The Scanonian Colonial Company arrived in Sometgib about 1660; Scanonian traders had been visiting ports in the country for over a century, but the Company only conducted peaceful business with the kingdom for three years before violently seizing a number of ports in the west. Over the next four years, Shah Mahazar II fought a losing war against the Company, which under the 1669 Treaty of Place acquired almost a third of the kingdom's territory, including much of what is now Kuwazavkavan.
- Overthrow of the shah for no good reason in 1929
- People don't like him so they wave scarlet sashes around
- Short-lived republic, 1929-1932?
- Could be when Kuwazavkavan gets indep.
1930s—60s: the Irrigation Economy
- Some dictator builds this palace
- Short-lived prosperity;
Imperialist revolution and Spartanian war
In August 1967, the pro-Imperialist Party for a Strong Maqtajer (PSM) seized power in Maqtajer in the Shotemur Revolution. Within months, opponents of the new government launched an uprising in eastern Maqtajer that quickly expanded into a civil war waged by guerrilla troops against government forces countrywide.
In March 1969, Omurtag Bezeklil was assassinated in a coup within the PSM orchestrated by fellow member Fadlan Chuvash, who assumed the presidency. Distrusted by the Imperial Spartanian government on the Insula Fera, Chuvash was assassinated by Spartanian special forces in June 1970. A Spartanian-organized government, led by Murghab Pamir, filled the vacuum. Spartanian troops were then deployed to stabilize Maqtajer under Pamir in steadily more substantial numbers, although the Spartanian government did not expect to do most of the fighting in the country. As a result, however, the Spartanians became directly involved in what had been a domestic war in Maqtajer.
The Spartanian war in Maqtajer resulted in the deaths of over 1 million Maqtajeris, mostly civilians, and the creation of about 4 million refugees who fled the country, mainly to neighboring states. Faced with mounting international pressure and numerous casualties, the Spartanians withdrew in 1987 but continued to support the government of Ulugh Soghdian through indirect means until 1991,
From 1987 until 1991, Soghdian's government tried to solve the ongoing civil war with economic and military aid, but without Spartanian troops on the ground. Soghdian tried to build support for his government by portraying his government as Yazidi, and in the 1990 constitution the country officially became a Yazidi state and all references of the ISE or hopes for an Empire were removed. Despite this, however, Soghdian did not win any significant support, and with the beginnings of trouble on the Insula Fera in October 1991, he was left without foreign aid when the ISE abruptly cut funding. This, coupled with the internal collapse of his government, led to his ousting from power that December. After the fall of Soghdian's government in 1991, the new Maqtajeri Republic was established by the Chanchuvidze Accord, a peace and power-sharing agreement under which all the Maqtaeri parties were united in April 1992, except for the Exponent supported faction of Jizzakh Fergana. Fergana started a bombardment campaign against the capital city, which marked the beginning of a new phase in the war.
Aquitayne and Riysa subsequently supported different Maqtajeri militias and instability quickly developed. The conflict between the various militias soon escalated into a full-scale war. Due to the sudden initiation of the war, working government departments, police units, and a system of justice and accountability for the newly created Republic did not have time to form. Atrocities were committed by individuals of the different armed factions while Katashahr descended into lawlessness and chaos. Because of the war, many leaders increasingly found they had only nominal control over their commanders, who preferred to answer to their immediate tribal elders. For civilians there was little security from murder, rape, and extortion. An estimated 25,000 people died during the most intense period of bombardment and fighting around Katashahr, while an additional half a million people fled Maqtajer.
In late 1997, the government forces were able to quell the majority of the opposition and restore some level of order over the country, reopening courts and establishing a police force and military. Despite this, however, the effects of the war only reinforced the idea that the tribal elders were the ones who held real power in the country, and the President in Katashahr would need to work with them in order to make any progress anywhere in the country outside of his capital city.
Maqtajer experiences a cold desert climate in its interior, with expansive regions of steppe and, in places, sandy desert towards the north and west of the nation. The country has a land area of 624,617 square kilometres (241,166 sq. mi). It is bounded to the south by the western Atlpacinarcticadian Ocean. In the west it borders Kuwazavkavan and in the southeast it borders Hindia Belanda.
Maqtajer's desert landscape is largely characterised by extensive areas of flatland and ridges of low hills. The highest peak in the country is Xudatoy, known as the Mountain of the Gods since before the arrival of Islam, is 1,634 metres (5,361 ft) — just over one mile — in height.
The east and south were once a well-watered land with large bodies of freshwater. These were largely diverted or drained to irrigate vast acreages of cotton cultivation beginning in the 1940s in a period known as the Maqtajeri Greening. Most of the country's lakes have since been reduced to little more than a fifth of their former size and some have been entirely drained. Katashahr, the national capital, stands on the bank of a dusty riverbed once called the Keniy Suva, or Wide Water.
Maqtajer has a low biodiversity, with few native species of either flora or fauna well-adapted to the country's desert climate. Species such as white dune-grass and the Maqtajeri desert fox are adapted to conserve water and avoid the heat of the daytime sun, which can reach temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) in summer. Nighttime temperatures regularly drop below freezing in the summer and are often as low as −30 °C (−22 °F) in winter.
Under the 1999 Constitution of Maqtajer, the country is governed as a parliamentary democracy with a directly-elected president. The national legislature is bicameral. The upper house is composed of 75 representatives, 30 appointed or elected by local governments, 15 from recognised religious groups, 15 from the university constituencies and 15 appointed by the president. Constitutionally, the lower house is directly elected and has a variable number of seats, currently 129.
Elections and parties
Although the 1999 constitution sets out requirements and instructions for local and national government, constitutionally-mandated elections at either level are rarely held outside of major cities and other areas where the national government maintains direct control. Tribal councils and other traditional or ad hoc local governments do not always provide the services they are obliged to by law, and it is common for a province to go without an elected representative to the legislature's lower house for years.
According to the constitution and the presidential decree on electoral law, mayors of cities should be elected through free and direct elections for a four-year term. However, due to huge election costs, mayoral and municipal elections have never been held. Instead, mayors have been appointed by the government. In the capital city of Katashahr, the mayor is appointed directly by the President of Maqtajer.
Maqtajer is administratively divided into 12 provinces, with each province having its own capital and a provincial administration. The provinces are further divided into smaller provincial departments, each of which normally covers a city or a number of villages. Each department is represented by an official known as a Boshliq.
The provincial governors are appointed by the President of Maqtajer and the Boshliqs are selected by the provincial governors. The provincial governors are representatives of the central government in Katashahr and are responsible for all administrative and formal issues within their provinces. There are also provincial councils that are elected through direct and general elections for a period of four years. The functions of provincial councils are to take part in provincial development planning and to participate in the monitoring and appraisal of other provincial governance institutions.
The following is a list of all the 12 provinces in alphabetical order:
The Maqtajeri Armed Forces are under the Ministry of Defense, which includes the Maqtajeri National Army (MNA) and the Maqtajeri Air Force (AAF). The MNA is divided into 7 major Corps, with the 1st Tasqın ("Flood") in Katashahr followed by the 3rd in Tama, 5th Baatir ("Hero") in Jartastı, 7th in Quruq, 9th in Jayit, and the 21st in Newal. The MNA also has a commando brigade, meant for counter-terror operations. The Maqtajeri Defense University (MDU) houses various educational establishments for the Maqtajeri Armed Forces, including the National Military Academy of Maqtajer.
Outside of major settlements, state law enforcement is virtually nonexistent, police having been driven out by gangs and militias. Instead, it is common in many areas for residents to hire private security — itself often drawn from those gangs — for protection. In some instances private security companies will be hired to wage private wars, fighting and killing the security contractors of rivals and seizing their land and property.
Maqtajer is an impoverished and under-developed country, one of Astyria's poorest because of decades of war and a lack of foreign investment. As of 2014, the nation's GDP stood at about $60.58 billion with an exchange rate of $20.31 billion; the GDP per capita was $1,900. Its unemployment rate was reported in 2008 at about 35%, and about 42% of the population is estimated to live on less than $1 a day. It is believed that up to 60% of all economic activity in the country is undeclared and untaxed.
The largest centres of trade in Maqtajer, on both a national and international level, are its capital, Katashahr, and the port city of Ayliahq, capital of the Serhosil province. Ayliahq is a major point of departure for the national cotton export and the main entrance into the country for foreign goods; consequently, it enjoys some of the highest wages in the country. The Greater Ayliahq Statistical Area has a GDP per capita over thrice the national average.
Society and demographics
Much of Maqtajer is sparsely populated, with few large cities and no major towns away from bodies of water. Widespread poverty continues to draw people to the cities, particularly the capital and major ports; conversely, social pressure, including cultural stigma and family pressure, keeps young men and unmarried women from migrating even internally. The twenty-year civil war exacerbated existing cultural differences in the culturally diverse state, with ethnic conflict a major driver of violence in the 1990s.
The 2015 census — the first nationwide census since 1975 — recorded 24,132,693 citizens. 64% of the population resided in 'statistically-significant urban areas,' with much of the remainder living in villages of between 50 and 500 people. Maqtajer's religious makeup is diverse, with 69% of the population recorded as Yazidi, 17% as Sunni (largely in the northwest), 5% as Shia (concentrated near the border with Hindia Belanda) and 5% as Catholic (chiefly in the southern, port cities).
The Shias of Maqtajer predominantly follow the legalist Zahiri rite, which strictly enjoins a legalistic approach to interpreting the scriptures as opposed to the Batini rite (esoteric) Shias of Hindia Belanda, who maintain that they continue the sacred succession of gnosis transmitted through the Twelve Imams and strictly encourages Ta'wil, or allegorical interpretation, when dealing with the scriptures. This situation creates a rivalry between the Zahiri and the Batini. The small community of Batini Shias in Maqtajer are continually persecuted by the more numerous Zahiri Shias.
Maqtajer possesses an extensive vernacular literature, with copious poetry written in Zalqintili since the mid-first millennium AD. The ninth-century collection The Thirty Nights offers a romantic poem for each phase of the moon (which phases formed the basis for the ancient Maqtajeri calendar). The Lay of the Waters, attributed to the tenth-century poet Rustam a-Paşmi, is a collection of odes to each of the rivers of Maqtajer and has been described as "the most beautiful writing in all Zalqintili."