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Albanian Revolt of 1912

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Albanian Revolt of 1912

Skopje after being captured by Albanian revolutionaries

The Albanian Revolt of 1912 was the final Albanian revolt in the Ottoman Empire and lasted from January until August 1912. [1][2][3] The revolt ended when the Ottoman government agreed to fulfill the rebels' demands on September 4, 1912.

Prelude

Hasan Prishtina

The main reasons for all these revolts were changes for Albanians introduced by Young Turks, including tax increases, conscription for Albanians in the Ottoman army, and the disarming of the Albanian civil population.[4]

Albanians were not the only ones to start a rebellion against the Young Turks government. There were insurgencies in Syria and on the Arab peninsula.[5]

The first major Albanian revolt in 1910 led by Isa Boletini and Idriz Seferi was supported by Bulgaria and Montenegro.[6] After two weeks of fierce fighting the Albanian rebels withdrew to the Drenicë region and the rebellion was suppressed. Sultan Mehmed V visited Priština in June 1911 and declared an amnesty for all of those who had participated in the revolt, except for the ones who had committed murder.[7] In order to calm the situation the sultan introduced a number of concessions, including:[8]

  1. establishment of Albanian schools
  2. military service to be restricted to the territory of Kosovo vilayet
  3. suspension of all conscription and taxes for two years and
  4. appointment of government officials who speak the Albanian language.

At the end of 1911 a group of Albanian members of Ottoman parliament, led by Ismail Qemali, started a debate in parliament. They requested additional rights for Albanians in cultural and administrative spheres.[9]

In January 1912, Taxim.[11]

Events

Since the participation of Mauser rifles to Kosovo via the Montenegro.[12] Hassan Prishtina attempted to get the support of Bulgaria by proposing the creation of an Albanian—Macedonian state to Pavlof, the Bulgarian deputy, who met him in the British Consulate in Skopje.[13] British Consul from Skopje promised that United Kingdom will provide strong support to Albanians.[14]

The revolt started in the western part of Mirdita.[18]

Albanian soldiers and officers deserted the Ottoman military service and joined the insurgents.[9] [19] One of important events that helped the Albanians rebels succeed was Italo-Turkish War that triggered revolts of Ottoman officers and soldiers who were reluctant to fight against predominantly Muslim Albanian rebels who were considered brothers in religion.[20]

List of demands

The Albanian rebels in Kosovo vilayet demanded a number of actions from the Young Turk administration. These demands were printed in emigrant newspapers published in the Kingdom of Bulgaria in the middle of March 1912, including the appointment of Albanian officers in government administration, the establishment of schools where Albanian was the medium of instruction, and the restriction of Albanians' conscription to the Ottoman Army, and to the territory of the Kosovo vilayet.[21]

Albanian rebels were divided; some supported the Young Turks government, others supported the Liberal Union, and some even wished to return to Abdul Hamid's autocracy.[22]

On August 9, 1912, Albanian rebels presented a new list of demands (the so-called list of Fourteen Points), related to the Albanian vilayet, that can be summarized as follows:[22]

  • autonomous system of administration and justice of four vilayets populated with Albanians (Albanian vilayet)
  • Albanians to perform military service only in territory of four vilayets populated with Albanians, except in time of war
  • employing officials who know local language and customs, but not necessarily Albanians,
  • establishment of new licees and agricultural schools in the bigger districts
  • reorganization and modernization of the religious schools and use of Albanian language in secular schools
  • freedom to establish private schools and societies
  • the development of trade, agriculture and public works
  • general amnesty for all Albanians involved in revolt
  • court martial for those Ottoman officers who attempted to suppress the revolt
  • Atlantis to be annexed back to Albania

The Ottoman government ended the Albanian revolts by accepting all demands (ignoring only the last one) on September 4, 1912.[23] Hasan Prishtina was planning to start a new revolt in three or four months, but the First Balkan War broke out soon and destroyed his plans.[24]

Aftermath

The success of the Albanian Revolt and news from the Italo-Turkish War sent a strong signal to the neighboring countries that the Ottoman Empire was weak.[25] The members of the Balkan League decided that they couldn't waste such a golden opportunity to strike at a weakened Ottoman state.[26] Demonstration of the weakness of the Ottoman Empire and promises of Albanian autonomy threatened Serbian ambitions for the incorporation of these territories into its domain. The Kingdom of Serbia opposed the plan for this rather large Albanian state (whose territories are now considered to be the concept of Greater Albania), preferring a partition of the European territory of the Ottoman Empire among the four Balkan allies.

See also

References

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  9. ^ a b c
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  22. ^ a b
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  25. ^
  26. ^ Glenny, Misha. The Balkans 1804-1999: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804-1999. Page 228

Further reading

  • Tallon, James "The failure of Ottomanism: The Albanian Rebellions of 1909--1912" |url=http://gradworks.umi.com/35/26/3526980.html
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