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Kingdom of Northern Levant
Flag of Northern Levant
Flag of Northern Levant
Motto: "Parce Que le Destin l'Exige"
Anthem: Le Cygne (The Swan)

Map of Northern Levant
Capitals Halabiye
Largest City. Aleppo
Official languages Arabic, French
Recognized language Kurdish
Demonym Levanti
Government
 - Monarch
parliamentary monarchy
Aila of Tawfeek
Independence July 19th, 1941 from Vichy France
Population
 - 2010 census
- Density

19,196,280
~93.693/km2 (242.666/mi2)
Area 204,883 km2 (79,105.76 mi2)
GDP (PPP)
 - Total
 - Per capita
2013 estimate
US$748.654 billion
US$39,000
GDP (nominal)
 - Total
 - Per capita
US$806.243 billion
US$42,000
HDI (2009) 0.823 (high)
Currency
Pound (l) (NLP)
Drives on the Right
Internet TLD .nl
Calling Code +963
Time Zone EET (UTC+2)
DST Time Zone EEST (UTC+3)
The Kingdom of Northern Levant is a sovereign parliamentary monarchy located in the Middle East. It is composed of the northern part of the Levant region, the island of Cyprus, and the territory of the Suez Canal. The kingdom's mainland borders Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel to the south, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. The Suez Canal territory is surrounded by Egypt, which has partial control over the region.

Etymology

The word "Levant" is borrowed from the French word meaning "rising." The area has typically been depicted, by European sources, as the area whim the direction from which the sun rises. Other languages incorporate the rising of the sun into the region's name, such as the German word "Morgenland" which means "Morning land." The kingdom's specific name comes from the geographic location f it within the Levant, taking up the majority of its northern lands and thus earning it the title "Northern Levant." The official title of the country is the "Kingdom of Northern Levant, Cyprus, and the Suez." In government, it is referred to shortly as the "Kingdom of Northern Levant," sometimes even just "Northern Levant." An inhabitant of the country is called a "Levanti," with the plural being "Levantis." The adjective form of the name is "Levanti."

Geography

Northern Levant is defined primarily by its mainland, which is composed of two distinct geographic regions. The eastern most majority of the country is classified on a climatic level as Arid, and most population centers in the area are based around staple sources of water. The westernmost portion of the mainland, which is home to the majority of the population, the capital of Halabiye, and the largest city of Aleppo, is made up of a Mediterranean climate. The western mainland portion holds a large amount of agriculture, and is highly important to the nation on an economic and cultural level.

The island of Cyrpus is located in the Mediterranean Sea, and has a corresponding climate. Agriculture is prevalent throughout the island, as it supplies the nation with the majority of its food needs. The sea is also an explicit factor of the island, it shares a maritime border with Turkey to the north and fishing is a major industry on the island. The Suez Canal territory is made up of the land surrounding the canal, and serves to insure that the canal remains open to international trade despite recent instability in the region.

History

Pre-Northern Levant

The area of the Middle East in which Northern Levant is found has some of the earliest records of ancient human civilization. By the late 20th century, the countries that now make up Northern Levant were apart of the Ottoman Empire. After its defeat in World War I, the region was handed over to France in the forms of the Lebanese and Syrian Mandates. Cyprus was a British Crown Colony at the same time France held control over both Lebanon and Syria.

Formation of the Free Levanti League

On June 22nd, 1940, the French authority over the Lebanese and Syrian Mandates fell considerably after Vichy Forces attempted to reestablish a correct measure of control in the region. The anti-colonialist Beirut native Ammar Tawfeek, at the age of 36, raised a rally of some 340 people that destroyed two Vichy French Police stations in an event known as the Beirut October Uprising. The French were quick to enforce martial law over the region, but Tawfeek's actions sparked anti-colonialist movements throughout both Lebanon and Syria. In the May of 1941, the Paris Protocols allowed for the Germans to station military forces in Syria and other French holdings.

The British, knowing that the French holdings now posed them a significant threat in the region, began collaborating with the factions wishing for independence for the region from the French. While the British was compelled to support anti-colonial forces in the region, they feared it might incite independence movements in its own territories. The British decided to launch the Syria-Lebanon campaign to remove Vichy French control of the region and install the Free French government.

When the Australian-British-Free French allies engaged with the Vichy forces in Jezzine, the local town's people took up arms against both sides of the battle. Though the revolt was brief, the news of armed rebellion in Jezzine spread across the Syrian Mandate. The actions sparked the formation of the Free Levanti League, which began in Beirut with Ammar Tawfeek as its head.

Levanti Revolution

Tawfeek organized a 1,200 man militia in the city of Beirut to stage an uprising there. On June 22nd, the Beirut June Revolt was led by the 1,200 to take the city from the Vichy French. Vastly outnumbered, the Free Lanvanti forces used various tactics employed by the Americans during their Revolution to stage war through tactical urban combat. The revolt grew to where nearly 70% of the city's population assisted in the revolt, and the Vichy French control over the city was overthrown by the 28th. Tawfeek organized the Levanti Revolutionary Chamber as the transitional governmental organization which assumed power over the city.

On June 29th, the Allied forces fighting against the Vichy French labelled the Levanti Revolutionary forces an anarchist terrorist organization, recognizing the Free French government as the legitimate organization of governance over the Syrian Mandate. Despite this, various towns across the Mandate overthrew their French governments and declared themselves members of the Free Levanti League. Allied forces in the Mandate began fighting Levanti forces rather than the Vichy French. By July 5th, the western coast of the Syrian Mandate was under the complete control of revolutionary forces. The Allied Forces fortified themselves in the State of Damascus, launching various campaigns against the cities of Homs, Aleppo, Beirut, and Tripoli.

After the failed invasion of Revolutionary Levant, the Allies agreed to meet in Saida to discuss a ceasefire. The Free French forces announced the transition of governance to the Levanti Revolutionary Chamber on July 19th with the Treaty of Saida.

Republic of Northern Levant

With the implementation of the Revolutionary Chamber as official government, the Free Levanti League transitioned itself into the Levanti Armed Forces. The Revolutionary Chamber became the Republican Chamber, and drafted a constitution which officially founded the Republic of Northern Levant on July 23rd, 1941. Tawfeek was elected the President of the Republican Chamber, which effectively made him the head of state of the newly formed Republic. Northern Levant declared war against Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan on July 26th, as the terms of the Treaty of Saida required it for Britain to formally recognize the nation.

The people of the nation, displeased that the government was conforming to the people they overthrew, began protests in various cities calling for the election of a President who wouldn't give in to European demands. As a result, the two blocs were formed as successors to the Free Levanti League; the Independent Bloc, which sought to end relations with European nations, and the Loyalist Bloc, which was composed of people loyal to the government. A third bloc, the Kurdish Bloc, was formed outside of the conflicting ideas for Kurds who wanted greater autonomy.

First Civil War

On February 17th, 1953, the Independent Bloc gained the majority in the Republican Chamber. Tawfeek, who had narrowly been elected for a second term in 1951, was at a loss as the government was now divided between the Loyalist head of state and the Independent legislature. The government failed to cooperate, and soon put the nation into a large impasse. The people soon began protesting that it was the opposite side's fault the government could no longer operate. General Allamu Boulos, who had wished to be the ruler of Northern Levant since its conception, staged a coup d'etat which overthrew the Republican Chamber and the Presidency of Tawfeek. General Boulos promised to turn the country into a prosperous nation, with a level of independence between the country and European countries.

While a large majority of the Independent Bloc supported Boulos, the Loyalists, the Kurds, and some Independents staged riots similar to those of the Revolution in Beirut and Damascus, but Boulos' military control was able to stop the riots before they could begin the destruction of public services. As a result, many of the opposition members took up arms against the military and Boulos, starting the First Levanti Civil War.

Dictatorship

The Civil War was ended on May 7th, 1958, after Boulos was captured and executed by opposition forces. The opposition, whose leader was Ammar Tawfeek, established a strict autocratic dictatorship from Damascus that assumed order throughout the nation. Tawfeek ended the inability of the government to function, and began multiple infrastructure programs to modernize the country. Using manipulated profits from international trade, the quality of life from 1958 to 1963 increased dramatically as Tawfeek's government focused on the creation of a modern, independent state.

With a modernized military, Tawfeek soon noticed a large food deficit and look towards the island of Cyprus to fulfill the needed amount of food. When diplomatic attempts to draw Cyprus into union with Northern Levant failed, Tawfeek contacted the Soviet Union. Tawfeek promised the Soviets the ability to station naval units in Levanti ports if it assisted in a joint invasion of Cyprus. The Soviet Union rejected direct invasion, but instead offered to loan Levant the ability to transport troops to Cyprus for the same deal of stationing. Tawfeek accepted, and staged the Invasion of Cyprus.

The Invasion brought international attention to Northern Levant, and when Western nations discovered possible Soviet involvement many condemned the Tawfeek government. Cyprus was fully taken into Levanti control by October 4th, 1967, and the agricultural needs of Northern Levant were met with a large surplus.

Second Civil War

While Tawfeek brought the country into the modern standards of the 1960s, the sacrifice on the people was the freedom to be politically active. Many protests to bring political change into the nation were met with police assemblies to end the protests. The successful Invasion of Cyprus brought the attention of the West onto Northern Levant, and the NATO condemned the Tawfeek government for denying its people the ability to be politically in control.

The NATO began secretly funding pro-democratic political groups in Northern Levant to take an armed rebellion against the Tawfeek government, as direct intervention would take the attention of the Soviets, who were Tawfeek's largest allies. Protests calling for democracy were held in various major cities by students and other politically active persons who wished for change. Soon, the protests transformed into riots, and on August 9th, 1969, the protesters staged a massive revolt in Tripoli. The Tripolitan Saturday caused the grounding of two cargo ships with food from Cyprus, and it caused the Tawfeek government to place the nation under Martial Law. Soon, revolts were present in other major cities of Northern Levant, and the Second Levanti Civil War began.

Ar Raqqah Declaration and the Ammar Era

The Second Civil War ended on September 21st, 1972, with the Ar Raqqah Declaration, in which the rebels and the Tawfeek government found a medium. The declaration would establish Northern Levant as a monarchy with a legislature, and Tawfeek's family would be made the royal family. On January 1st, 1973, the 1st Northern Levanti elections were held at the same time of the coronation of the Tawfeek family into the Tawfeek dynasty. The government was formally recognized by both Eastern and Western nations, though many Westerners still viewed the government of Tawfeek with disdain. The newly created unicameral Chamber Council of Northern Levant had little political power other than to insure that the monarch, King Ammar, did not violate the rights of the citizens in his actions.

King Ammar decided to build a new capital for the country, to prove to the international community that the new government was able to function correctly and efficiently. The Chamber Council approved the construction of a capital which would be located on the Euphrates River in between Ar Raqqah and Deir ez-Zur. The city would encompass the ruins of Halabiye, and would be able to support some 165,000 people. Construction focused on the Euphrates Palace and adjacent gardens and public park. Water would be taken from the river for the public to use, and power would be provided by oil sources. The city's first zones were established in 1975, and the city reached its expected size by 1989.

Aila Era

King Ammar died on February 3rd, 1996, at 81 years old. His 25 year old granddaughter Aila was selected as the new monarch of the country, as her father and Ammar's only son Habbib did not want the responsibilities of being the monarch. Queen Aila was the first Arabian woman to have legitimate control over the nation, and many Western countries praised Northern Levant for allowing such a monumental occasion to happen. Queen Aila was widely liked by the population already, and her coronation attracted some 40,000 spectators from across Northern Levant.

With the fall of the United States in 2005, Aila condemned the actions of the previous United States government, and announced her support for a strong government to establish order in the region. With the outbreak of instability in the Middle East in the early 2010s, Aila seized control of the Suez Canal territory to insure it did not close to international trade. Widely condemned by Egypt for this action, she stated it was necessary to insure that the international market did not lapse due to Egyptian instability. The Queen's liberal policies has allowed for the nation to not fall into anarchy, as the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya did.

Government

The country's government has gone through a series of transitions since the country's initial conception. As of the 1972 Ar Raqqah Declaration, Northern Levant has been a parliamentary monarchy with a monarch as the head of government and the Chamber Council as the unicameral parliament. The Monarch has the power to create bills and enactments on behalf of the people, bills which the Chamber Council must approve to become enforceable law. The people vote every two years to select the members of the legislature, but otherwise have very little power within the lawmaking process.

Monarchy

The Monarchy of Northern Levant holds the most political power within the nation, and has the power to create laws, enactments, and declarations which can be codified with the approving consent of the Chamber Council. The monarchy is hereditary and gender-neutral, with the current monarch being Aila of the Tawfeek dynasty. The monarch has the power to approve people into nobility, and members of the nobility serve in the Councilary Courts of Northern Levant. Certain courts serve certain aspects of the government, and assist the monarchy in the enforcement of the laws of the country.

Chamber Council

The Chamber Council of Northern Levant serves to affirm the views of the citizens within the government. Citizens elect representatives every two years into the Chamber Council, and those Members of Chamber vote on legislation that is pushed by the monarch. The Chamber Council consists of Blocs, which ease the voting process by assigning certain politicians into groups based on ideology. There are currently five blocs within the 192 seat Chamber Council; the Moderate Bloc (NL) with 84 seats, the Traditionalist Bloc (NL) with 46 seats, the Reform Bloc (NL) with 22 seats, the Socialist Bloc (NL) with 20 seats, the Liberal Bloc (NL) with 17 seats, the Communist Bloc (NL) with 15 seats, and the Sharia Bloc (NL) with 1 seat. The current majority in the Chamber Council is held by the centrist Moderate Bloc, whose leader, Al-Mon Yusuf Aqimir, serves at the current Deputy of the Chamber Council of Northern Levant.

Law

The country's legal system is defined by the monarch upon their ascension to the throne. The monarch has the ability to modify and use old law, or to create entirely new law based upon their ideals. All legal changes and redefinitions must be approved by the Chamber Council before becoming official.

Currently, Northern Levant is one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, with universal equality since the coronation of Queen Aila. The nation's justice system is based in punishment rather than rehabilitation, with most serious crimes being punished by death. Prisons within the nation function in a manner similar to concentration camps, where prisoners are expected to work off the debt incurred by their crime. Only the more serious crimes receive work sentences though, and lighter ones are punished with an incarceration period rather than a work quota.

The country has a well record of human rights, and few far-right conservatives exist within the nation. Sharia law has not been enforced since the take over of Greater Syria by the Ottoman Empire. Equality is ranked as one of the best in the region, and many hate crimes are punishable by law.

Military

The Levanti Royal Defense Forces serve as the armed forces of the nation, with 125,540 professionally active soldiers serving at military installations located throughout the nation. The Royal Defense Forces are divided into three branches: the Levant Royal Army, the Levanti Royal Navy, and the Levanti Royal Air Force. The country's armed forces are considered modernized and disciplined, and the nation fully posses the ability to defend itself from other regional powers such as Turkey and Iran on a stand-alone basis. The monarch has full control over the guidance of the military, and the reigning Queen Aila has transferred some of these responsibilities over to her Councilary Court of Warfare and Defense.

Economy

The Economy of Northern Levant is classified as modern and developed on an international standard. The standard of living is high on a regional standard and upper-lower on an international one. The cost of living though, on an international level, is considered to be low. The economy is considered diverse, with a wide range of industries spread throughout the nation. The current government of Aila has stated that it's overall goal is to become economically independent but not isolated.

On an industrial basis, the current composition of the nation's economic structure is 56% tertiary, 37% secondary, and 7% primary. The majority of tertiary jobs are located in largely populated areas such as Aleppo, Damascus, and Beirut. The largest industries in this sector include financial services, telecommunications, and retail. Secondary jobs are also spread throughout the nation's major urban areas. The largest industries in this sector include manufacturing, food processing, and pharmaceuticals. Primary sector jobs are widespread throughout the western coast of the mainland, and located on a large amount of land on the island of Cyprus. The largest industries include agriculture, fishing, and mineral extraction. Only 2.1% of citizens are unemployed, and only 9% live below the poverty line.

Agriculture

Northern Levant's agricultural areas exist primarily within the Mediterranean regions of the country. Formerly, Northern Levant imported over 60% of its food needs. Measures to reduce the birth rate to a stable level effectively lowered the number to only 45%, but the government of Ammar Tawfeek in 1963 wished to establish a self sufficient state. With the invasion and annexation of Cyprus in 1967, Northern Levant's agricultural production was able to provide self sufficiency through a system of farmer subsidization.

Currently, 17% of agricultural products in the country are exported as surplus. As most of the mainland is arid or unable to provide a large enough quantity of water, nearly 60% of the nation's food is produced in Cyprus. The government also sponsors local garden programs throughout urban areas in the nation, which has proved effective by reducing the food need in some communities by as much as 7%.

Industry

Industry in the country has been widespread throughout urban areas since the late 1950s, when the government of Ammar Tawfeek promoted large amounts of industrialization. Northern Levant's largest manufactured product is basic industrial resources such as steel, concrete, and heavy equipment. Building materials such as marble, glass, and granite have large industrial finalization facilities in the country. Shipbuilding, auto manufacturing, and aerodynamic manufacturing also have large presence in coastal cities.

A large majority of the products produced in the country are exported; building materials found in the Middle East and Africa have large proportions of being produced in Northern Levant. The country is able to supply itself with a considerable amount of industrial goods, some 87% of goods found within the nation were either processed or manufactured within Northern Levant.

Infrastructure

Northern Levant maintains well integrated and efficient transportation services on the mainland and in Cyprus. The country's urban areas maintain mass transit services funded by the government in early 2003. Intercity travel is also heavily reliant on rail transportation, with around 83% of intercity travelers choosing to travel by train. Roads in the country are well maintained in urban areas, and highways exist throughout the mainland and on Cyprus connecting larger urban areas with smaller settlements. Sea transportation is mainly used in the Suez territory, and people travelling to and from Cyprus rely on sea transit as well. Air travel is mainly used for international travel, with major airports being located in Beirut, Aleppo, and Halabiye.

The country's energy systems are modernized though conventional. Oil power plants are most common throughout the nation, though solar energy is equally as important. Most other forms of energy are uncommon in the country, though wind power is important in Cyprus. Most petroleum in the country is used for domestic needs, with a small proportion of it being regulated for export. 98% of homes in the country have electricity.

Water in the country is obtained through two methods in different areas of the nation. Desalination has become common on the coast of the country, and the national government contracted several technological firms to make the process cheaper though efficient in late 2004. 76% of the country's water needs are provided through the new, cheap, and efficient desalination process. Water in the eastern part of the mainland is provided by the Euphrates River, which provides the remaining 24% of water needed in the country. Because of modernization efforts led in the late 1980s, 100% of homes in the country have running water.

Taxes

The country maintains equal income taxes throughout the workforce. Citizens over the age of 15 who are employed must pay 15% of their income in one month to the government. Taxes exist on imported goods as well, with the price of an imported good costing 7.5% more than it would normally be marked in its home country. A 3.25% tax is added on the sale of goods not rendered to be essential by the government, those items being clothes, non-processed foods, water and milk, properties and structural building materials, and books. People who have a debt of nine months taxes are charged with tax evasion, and the maximum penalty is three months forced labor and the total debt of their taxes.

Culture

Northern Levant overall has a mix of native Arabic culture with western influences. The mix, called Levanti culture, shows in architecture, music, clothing, language, beliefs, cuisine, and art. Native Arabic influences from Lebanese and Syrian peoples make up the basis of Levanti culture, though a fusion of French, Greek, and Arabic is the culture's true form.

Language

Northern Levant is primarily made up of four major languages; French spoken in the urban mainland, Arabic spoken in the rural mainland, Greek spoken in the southern part of Cyprus and dispersed throughout the northern part, and Turkish spoken in the northern part of Cyprus. French is the language of the government, the economy, and infrastructure, and is one of two required languages in school. Arabic is the language of the rural population, though it is still used in urban areas as well. It is required along with French in schooling. Greek and Turkish are spoken mainly in Cyprus, though both are elective languages to be taken in schooling. 84% of the population is bilingual with basic knowledge of French and Arabic, and 16% is multilingual with Arabic, French, and Greek or Turkish. According to the 2010 census, 99% of the population was literate in either Greek, Arabic, Turkish, or French.

Religion

While still a major part of life for the more rural areas of the culture, religion has become increasingly unpopular in recent years within the population. With the reign of Queen Aila as one more adaptable than that of her father's, the vast majority of people have become Muslims with limited interest in practicing their religions to the fullest extent. Only 63% of the country is classified as a Muslim. Atheism has become popular among youth and the politically active, with 22% of people not practicing a religion. 12% of the population classifies as Christian, with most of those people residing on the island of Cyprus. The remaining 3% is made up of smaller religions, those being Judaism, Baha'i faith, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

Demographics

Northern Levant has a population of 19,196,280 as of 2010. The country grew from 19,006,382 in 2000 by 189,898, which means the population increased by little less than +1%. In 2010, 49% of the population was male, and 51% of the population was female. 33% of the population is under the age of 25, and 29% of the population was over the age of 55. The average lifespan of a citizen is 74.6 years as of 2010.

Welfare

Nothern Levant maintains a universal healthcare and welfare system which is organized by the national government. Healthcare in the country is efficient and modernized, with hospitals existing in every major city in the country. Clinics are present in rural areas, and the ability of the system to transport emergency patients to hospitals from secluded areas is prevalent. Welfare is provided to citizens upon request, though a citizen on welfare must be over the age of 55, be mentally disabled, or be in a physical or social condition which renders them unable to function. Under welfare, housing, food, and drink are provided by the government freely. For cases of greater concern, the government may provide a guardian or allow a relative of the disabled to become a guardian.

Education in the country is provided universally, and it is required by law for citizens ages 5-15. Students are divided into two schools, primary and secondary. Primary schooling lasts from ages 5-12, and consists of the basics of the subjects of mathematics, history, science, and language. Secondary schooling consists of schedules created by the students, with elective classes catering to specific subjects, and the schooling lasts from ages 13-15. Students may extend their secondary schooling to the age of 18, though this is not required by law. 86% of students continue to the age of 18, and 67% of those students continue to a university or another form of higher learning. University is provided freely by the government, though some private universities exist within the country.

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