If my readers were wondering why I haven't published anything during the last two weeks the explanation is simple: I was forced into 2-clicking status by Real Life.
Most of the PMs I've received during this time were about Bulgaria quitting EDEN. I didn't have the time to answer them back then, but I will do it now because I think the topic is still popular.
I will first cover the reasons why Bulgaria left and then I'll say what I think will happen next.
Why did Bulgaria leave?
In theory there were 2 EDEN countries which could strongly object to Turkey joining the alliance, based on Real Life reasons: Greece and Bulgaria.
It turned out most of the Greeks accepted Turkey as an ally in-game, even though the Greek and the Turkish players might end up shooting real bullets at each other because of the ongoing Real Life dispute over some barren rocks in the Aegean Sea.
By contrast, the Real Life tensions between the states of Bulgaria and Turkey are nonexistent. There's no Real Life risk that the Bulgarian eRepublik players would meet the Turkish eRepublik players on a real battlefield (unless say NATO sends troops to Syria, in which case the Bulgarian and the Turkish soldiers who play eRepublik will be fighting on the same side).
This is why people outside Bulgaria could not understand why there was such a strong anti-Turkish sentiment among the Bulgarians. Even the Turks were unaware about the level of unpopularity in Bulgaria.
The fact is education both in Bulgaria and Turkey is to be blamed for that.
Real Life Germany is a good example of how to exorcise the demons of history. The German education system makes sure the Germans are ashamed about what their grandparents did in WW2 and, to a lesser extent, also in WW1.
In a similar way, though to a lesser extent than what is done in Germany, most of the citizens of the former European Colonial Powers are taught in school that invading somebody else's country and plundering it is bad and that admiring "empire builders" is akin to admiring Al Capone or Lucky Luciano.
The Turkish education system hasn't find yet a way to explain to the nowadays Turks that their ancestors were the Bad Guys of history for the last 800 years. Just a few weeks ago the Turkish public enthusiastically went to see the most recent movie about the famous act of banditry known as the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Try to imagine the Germans enthusiastically going to a movie about how Hitler overrun Poland in just one month in September 1939 and you get the difference in mentality.
The French and the British (and to a lesser extent the Spaniards and the Portuguese) learn that empire-building is bad (of course it is, just look up in your own country's Penal Code if murder, robbery, rape and theft are legitimate deeds).
They also learn that the main reasons empires crumble is because of internal factors like stupidity and mismanagement (the USA would probably be part of Great Britain even today had not the British politicians of the 1700s been incredibly stupid not to accept that taxation and representation go hand in hand). So when empires die, it is never because of the work of "evil foreign enemies, jealous of our greatness".
While the above is going on in Turkey, where past "glory" is still a motive of pride instead of shame, the Bulgarian education system is itself heavily biased towards two issues:
1) How the ancient Bulgarians, through feats of savagery similar to those of the ancient Turks, came uninvited to the Balkans and built an empire there.
Of course the fact the ancient Bulgarians had no legitimate reason to be in nowadays Bulgaria just like the ancient Turks had no business being in Anatolia or the Balkans is conveniently skipped over in the textbooks.
Unlike in the case of the German textbooks, the purpose of the Bulgarian and Turkish textbooks is to make people proud of the fact their ancestors were rapist, murderers and bandits. The deeds the Germans are educated to be ashamed of are highly praised in some other countries;
2) How the Turks maltreated the Bulgarians for 500 years, till Russia and Romania came in and kicked the Turks out of Bulgaria (sometimes the troops from the Grand Duchy of Finland, coming as part of the Russian army, also get mentioned among the liberators of Bulgaria from under the Turkish yoke).
The way things are presented in the Bulgarian textbooks I've seen (I speak Bulgarian so I can read the originals) gives the impression the Turks were the main obstacle to Bulgaria's former imperial greatness.
As I have already said, the legitimacy of that former imperial greatness of Bulgaria is never questioned, nor it is enough emphasized that the said greatness was gone for about 200 years before the Turks came and screw over what was left of Medieval Bulgaria in the 14th century.
The combination of how the Turks and the Bulgarians learned to view themselves and each other made it possible that in the right circumstances (or better said, in the wrong circumstances) the Turks to perceive the Bulgarian opposition to Tureky's membership in EDEN as absurd ("why the hell do the Bulgarians hate us, we learned in school we made them happy by enslaving them for 500 years?") while the Bulgarians to perceive the same membership as a slap in the face. In-game Bulgaria was beginning to look like an empire, something Bulgaria has ceased to be in Real Life 800 years ago, and suddenly Turkey showed up stopping Bulgaria's in-game expansion just like they had allegedly done so in Real Life.
Those who are quick to dismiss the importance of Real Life rivalries in eRepublik are either living in countries where the baby-booms never happened or do not understand that eRepublik is so structured that it attracts a high percentage of people for whom Real Life rivalries matter.
All the other EDEN countries of course welcomed Turkey's membership because it made in-game strategic sense. Had Greece also been against Turkey, the story would have gone a different way. EDEN would not have risked to alienate two major members. Most likely in case of Greece also rejecting Turkey's membership, another solution would have been worked out. For instance Russia would have been invited to EDEN, so that Turkey could join Terra (where Russia was the only country vetoing them).
But as soon as the Greek players showed they can put the Real Life rivalries aside, everybody else got busy forcing the Bulgarians to do the same, instead of looking for a solution which would at least allow Bulgaria to continue to be an in-game empire.
More to the point: Bulgaria would have avoided an open war with Turkey provided she would have received the surplus Iranian regions.
Each time the Bulgarians organised a RW in those regions, Turkey needed the whole EDEN to be able to keep those regions.
A wiser lot of EDEN presidents and HQ members would have understood those regions are under Turkish control only because EDEN allows Turkey to control them.
A wiser Turkish government would have understood that it is not up to Turkey but up to the rest of EDEN to decide if Bulgaria can or cannot have those regions.
Unfortunately wisdom turned out to be in very short supply on the EDEN-Turkey side. And also in short supply on the Bulgarian side as well.
It was in short supply on the Bulgarian side because the Bulgarian government and a large part of the Bulgarian public opinion came to the conclusion that leaving EDEN and becoming de-facto member of ONE would magically bring Bulgaria the imperial status they seemed unable to get in EDEN.
The key word is seemed because of a simple reason: had Bulgaria continued to RW the Iranian regions, at some point in time the rest of EDEN (and the Turks themselves) would have come to realize the real owner of those regions is EDEN, not Turkey. In which case the regions would have gone to Bulgaria, solving the crisis in a durable way.
When Bulgaria sided with ONE, the end result was Turkey lost those regions, Greece lost her Egyptian colonies, Croatia got almost deleted, Ukraine got deleted, quite likely Romania will get deleted soon.
But Bulgaria won't be getting her empire either, because Bulgaria's neighbors, even defeated, are too strong to be kept permanently under occupation.
Serbia was wiped out and lost her colonial empire at the height of ONE's dominance because Serbia had 3 strong neighbors: Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. Bulgaria is in exactly the same situation like Serbia was, with Turkey, Romania and Greece at her borders. Which means the Bulgarian empire, in case it happens, will be as short lived and unstable as the Serbian one was.
So what is the obvious solution [and why would not happen for the next 4-5 months]?
While the Real Life rivalries between Bulgaria and Turkey will be there as long as the textbooks in both countries don't change, the players themselves get tired of wars based on Real Life issues. Especially if those wars don't bring the expected results.
It took Bulgaria almost 4 months to quit EDEN. It would take the Bulgarians probably the same amount of time to understand that they cannot have a stable empire as long as they are allied with the likes of Poland, Spain, Serbia, Hungary and Macedonia.
It would also take Greece and Romania, who stupidly attacked Bulgaria, the same amount of time to realize the idiocy of those attacks.
And probably the Turkish players also need 4 more months to understand they cannot have an empire unless they and the Bulgarians agree to divide Iran between themselves without having to feel any sort of love for each other.
Therefore my take on the matter is: let time show to all the parties involved (Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Romania) the error of their ways and then go back to the negotiation table. Any attempt to negotiate another arrangement now is destined to fail.
Luckily for everybody interested in solving the issue, Poland, Spain, Serbia Hungary and Macedonia will continue to behave like they always did.
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.