Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Ottoman Empire Strategy Guide

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One of the most powerful countries in the history of the world is the Ottoman Empire. After falling into decadence and losing the Great War, the Ottoman Empire became an insignificant power in the world politics sphere.

In Hearts of Iron 4, players will get the chance to play as Turkey and try to get the Ottoman Empire back to its glory days. However, this won’t be an easy task.

Recommended Read: How to Get Naval Supremacy in HOI4

If you have all the DLCs, the path to the Ottoman Empire can be a bit confusing since the game doesn’t explain the process properly.

Here is exactly how you can form the Ottoman Empire in HOI4 as Turkey, conquer back the old territories of the empire, and conquer Europe once and for all.

Table of Contents

How to Form the Ottoman Empire in HOI4

To form the Ottoman Empire in HOI4, you will need to start the game as Turkey. There is no way to get them if you choose the ‘39 start. You will need to start right from the 1936 start date.

The national focus path that you will need to take is the leftmost one. However, you might not be confused about exactly what you have to pick here since it sounds like you are doing your best to bring democracy to the peninsula instead of autocracy.

National Focus Tree Path

We will first start by telling you exactly what national focuses to pick to get close to forming the Ottoman Empire in HOI4:

  1. The Montreux Convention
  2. Fully Integrate the Is Bank
  3. Ratify the Six Arrows
  4. Privatize the Anadolu Agency
  5. Lift the Ban on Other Political Parties
  6. The Sanayiciler
  7. Cooperate with the Debt Council
  8. Utilize Foreign Capital
  9. Hold Our First Multi-Party Election
  10. The Milletin Adani
  11. Expand Our Armaments
  12. Privatize our Infrastructure
  13. Treaty of Saadabad
  14. Assess Our Future
  15. The Hatay Issue
  16. Peace in the World
  17. Purge the Officers
  18. Pivot to the Past

We’ve bolded the start of branches in the tree so you can follow the order easier and get to the Ottoman focus tree without any problems.

Once you’ve reached the Pivot to the Past, there are no more branching paths that you can follow.

If you reach this point, everything is straightforward when it comes to the national focuses.

General Strategy and Tips

For this part, we will give you a simple rundown of what you are supposed to do to reach the Ottoman Empire path in HOI4.

First of all, if you are playing with Historical AI on, then always oppose the Soviets after completing The Montreux Convention.

Even though the event chain might be scary, the Soviet Union will usually back down, and Turkey will both militarize the Bosphorus and get some free bonuses right from the get-go.

You will have three internal factions that will cause you problems. The ones you want to help are the Fundamentalists, and the ones that will be your biggest problem will be the Kemalists.

Try to weaken the Kemalists as much as possible, as you will face them in a civil war later.

Try to quickly get to the Lift the Ban on Other Political Parties national focus to start a set of events where you have to choose between increasing Democracy in the country or lowering Stability. You will have to support the Democrats.

You won’t be able to choose the Hold Our First Multi-Party Election for a while, so choose the other focuses until it unlocks. Rush this one to get the Fundamentalists to power.

Completing that focus will make you choose between two parties that will take over the country. Select the DP to change the focus tree and unlock the possibility to unlock the Ottoman Empire.

The Kemalists will start hating you and will prepare to bring you down. Once you reach the Purge the Officers national focus (previously known as Looking Outwards), a civil war will start between you and the Kemalists.

How to Handle the Internal Divisions

The biggest problem with Turkey in HOI4 is that you have a mechanic where you have to use Political Power to control the power of three factions: the Fundamentalists, the Kemalists, and the Kurds.

Luckily, if you are going down the Ottoman Empire route for Turkey in HOI4, you won’t really have to do much in your decisions tab regarding these internal factions.

The Fundamentalists are the problem at the start, but you don’t want to cause them problems since you need them.

Later, the Kemalists will start conquering territories once the Fundamentalists (DP) get to power from the Hold Our First Multi-Party Election focus. This is when you can use your PP to delay them from getting new territories.

There is also a choice to remove their power from some territories, but that gives you a lot of debuffs, and it isn’t worth it. You should, however, use the decision to delay their “conquest.”

The moment you get the DP to rule Turkey, you will need to rush the civil war as fast as possible, as each territory that the Kemalists get will be theirs during the war.

If you want to use a lot of PP to fight the Kemalists, then you can invest your Command Power to fight the Kurds.

If you win the battle, you will gain 50 PP. But, if you lose, you will still gain PP, but only 25.

The only risk with using the Kurds to gain PP is that if you lose the battle, you will also lose 5% Stability.

You can also use Law No. 3115 in the decisions tab to increase your Stability as often as you can, but that can only get you so far.

How to Win the Civil War

The best way to win the civil war against the Kemalists in HOI4 as Turkey is to change all your divisions into the Zirhli Tumeni (the default light tank divisions).

You should also edit them to remove the cavalry brigades and add some anti-air or anti-tank artillery to make the divisions slow.

The idea here is to make all your divisions have 0 supplies. Generally, you shouldn’t have enough industry to actually supply light tank division or to make anti-tank artillery. This is why making these divisions will leave them with 0 supplies.

Once the civil war starts, you will get half of the troops, and the opposition will get the other half. They will also get some new infantry and cavalry troops, but most of their army will be made of 0 supply light tank units.

If you made sure that the Kemalists didn’t get a lot of territories during the Sectarian Woes phase of the civil war, then they won’t even get that many provinces during the war.

When the civil war starts, change all your divisions back into normal divisions that you can actually supply and easily win the civil war.

The forces of the Kemalists will be fractured, and you should win this without much effort.

How to Invite the Ottoman Loyalists in HOI4

If you’ve started playing as Turkey and want to form the Ottoman Empire in HOI4, you wouldn’t think that you need to go through a democratic election.

If you just look at the focus tree, the path to forming the empire will need you to invite Ottoman Loyalists into the country.

Now, if you go any other national focus path besides the one we told you to choose, you won’t get the event where you can invite the Ottoman Loyalists.

The tree is made in such a way that you might think it would be possible to also get Ottoman Empire if you went down the Etatism route.

However, you will reach the point where you could technically choose the Pivot to the Past focus but you won’t meet the Ottoman Loyalists requirement.

The moment the civil war starts, when you have the DP in power, fighting the Kemalists, you will get an event where you can invite the Ottoman Loyalists into the country and change the name of the country to the Provisionary State of Anatolia.

All you have to do now is finish the civil war and go down the Ottoman Empire path to first become the Ottoman Sultanate and then the Ottoman Empire in HOI4.

How to Conquer All the Old Territories of the Ottoman Empire in HOI4

Now that you’ve reached the path to becoming the Ottoman Empire in HOI4, you will need to prepare for war.

There are quite a few countries you need to conquer, and there isn’t much time until Germany ends up eating everything that exists in Europe.

Conquering Greece

Your first enemy will be Greece. If you follow the guide correctly and you have rushed the civil war, then you probably reached this point around 1939.

Greece isn’t extremely powerful, but moving through the mountains in Thrace is a horrible struggle.

Also, don’t forget that Greece has the Aegean Islands and can just walk into your lands at the start of the war if you don’t place some troops there.

Your best bet would be to set up two naval invasions, one in Crete and one in the Peloponnese region.

It will be much easier to defeat Greece if you attack from the south and quickly take Athens, and Crete actually has a lot of Victory Points (8), which will help you capitulate them faster.

Establishing naval supremacy in the Aegean Sea should be easy if you have enough Destroyers.

Mountaineers will make a huge difference in this battle and most battles in the region, as there are mountains everywhere.

Austro-Hungarian Claim

After you’ve dealt with the Greeks, the Ottoman Empire will need to extend to Yugoslavia and Romania. The first target should be Yugoslavia, as you risk the Italians and Germany conquering them before you.

If you don’t attack the Serbs fast enough, they will end up joining the Allies, forcing a war with them at the wrong point in time.

All your battles will still be in the mountains, so make sure to bring a few Mountaineer divisions.

Since you’ve conquered Greece, you can also launch a naval invasion from the Epirus region right on the coast of Yugoslavia.

While you conquer Yugoslavia, you should also get to puppet Bulgaria. They will rarely reject the puppet request, as you should be much stronger than them.

This will be perfect, as you can attack Romania from many directions after Yugoslavia capitulates.

Romania should be the easiest target out of these countries you’ve been fighting, as they are always underequipped.

If they are guaranteed by the French, then you can invite them to your faction and attack them later. Try to get to them before they become Legionary Romania.

How to Puppet Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan as the Ottoman Empire in HOI4

The next step is to puppet Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

This is the part where many players end up failing as the bypass requirements for the puppet focus are easily met, and you can lose out on three easy puppets.

After you finish the Align Bulgaria focus, there will be three focuses that you can choose from:

  • Reclaim the Fallen Empire
  • Expand the Saadabad Pact
  • The Damascus Diktat

To puppet Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan as the Ottoman Empire in HOI4, you will need to choose the national focuses in this order: Expand the Saadabad Pact ? Reclaim the Fallen Empire (or The Damascus Diktat) ? Pan-National Association of Ulemas.

If you select the Reclaim the Fallen Empire or The Damascus Diktat focus first before doing the Expand the Saadabad Pact first, you will instantly meet the requirements for the Pan-National Association of Ulemas.

The puppet focus will be bypassed if none of the three countries join your faction.

The moment you complete the Expand the Saadabad Pact focus, the faction will be created, but it will take a few hours for the countries to respond.

Since the faction exists and no one is in it yet, the game will bypass the Pan-National Association of Ulemas focus, and you won’t be able to puppet Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

So, always do the Expand the Saadabad Pact focus first. Otherwise, you are very likely to get annoyed with this bug.

What to Do Next

Now that you’ve united the Ottoman Empire in HOI4, you have your choice of which factions you want to attack now. You can either attack the Russians, the Axis, or the Allies.

If you wanted to complete the puppet Japan goal at the end of the focus tree, your best bet would be to join the Chinese United Front faction before forming the Saadabad Concordant and defeat them before puppeting the middle eastern countries.

That’s everything you need to know about how to get and play as the Ottoman Empire in Hearts of Iron 4!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

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