League of Prizren

The League of Prizren was an association founded in 1878 in present-day Kosovo Prizren Albanian intellectuals who had set itself the goal of all the majority of Albanians lived in Ottoman territories to provide broad autonomy.


As was Albanian settlement area in the Treaty of San Stefano distributed to the Slavic neighbors, the Albanians began to organize. They wanted to prevent their settlement area is further divided to several countries. On 30 May 1878, secret Central Committee published in defense of the rights of the Albanian nation - an association of prominent Albanians Istanbul - a proclamation, in which it was stated:

"We ask nothing more than to live with our neighbors, Montenegro, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria in peace. We challenge and we want nothing from them; but we are determined to keep what belongs to us. One should let Albanian land to the Albanians. "


In order to organize resistance against the territorial claims of neighboring countries, was convened by the Central Committee on 10 June 1878 in the Bayrakli mosque of Prizren a meeting. The Assembly founded the Albanian League, which was also called the League of Prizren. Foreign policy goals of the League were the prevention of cessions of territory, the return of the occupied Ottoman territories, to send a delegation to the Congress of Berlin and autonomy for the Albanian -inhabited territories within the Ottoman Empire. While occupied by the Kingdom of Serbia areas were abandoned, the troops of the League those areas that had been awarded the Principality of Montenegro, as well as the space occupied by the Kingdom of Greece cities Janina and Preveza defended in the Epirus region.


Among the most important members of the League were Abdyl Frashëri, Sulejman Vokshi, Pashko Vasa, Idriz Seferi, Isa Boletini and many more. Frashëri was named president of the League, as Chairman of the Foreign Commission and the foreign representatives of the Albanian interests. Vokshi took over the Finance Committee and Vasa was deputy Frashëris abroad.

Fight against Montenegrin territorial claims

Already in August 1878 was the Ottoman representatives of the Commission, which should define the new Montenegrin- Ottoman border, was murdered by angry Albanians in Gjakova. Montenegro called for it in 1879 clearing the border of Ottoman troops, although the exact limit had not yet been drawn. When the Ottoman troops were withdrawn troops occupied the league Ali Pasha Gucia the city Gucia. After fighting in the winter 1879/80 - including the Battle of Nokšić - had to give up after defeats claims to Plava and Gucia the Principality of Montenegro. Instead of this field Montenegro were given a strip of land on the Cijevna, but this was also occupied by the departure of the Turks by Albanians. After about 10,000 Albanians had gathered in the area, the major powers called on the Turkish government to either enforce the assignment of Cijevna - area or cede the city Ulqin with a coastline of Montenegro. Under international pressure, the Turkish government decided for the assignment of Ulqin and conquered the city in November against the resistance of the league. On November 26, eventually moved Montenegrin troops in the coastal city.

Breaking up

Since the league was unable to prevent the assignment of Albanian populated areas, they began to focus on the enforcement of domestic political demands. These had been presented by the Northeast Albanian league leaders in Prizren and campaigned especially for an autonomous province of the Albanian parts of the country with Albanian officials. For this purpose, the four vilayets Yanya (now city of Ioannina ), Kosova, Manastır and İşkodra (today Shkodra ) in a province should be united, and the Albanian language are introduced as the language of administration. The choice of the Walis of this province should make the Sultan, the provincial revenues should remain for the most part in the province. In October 1880, these items were approved by representatives from all over Albania in the town of Dibra.

After these reform proposals, however, were thwarted by the opposition centralist circles, took over the League Committee until the spring of 1881, the governance and management of the Vilayet of Kosovo. The Turkish government responded by sending in troops, arresting the league members and interned in remote provinces. The League President Abdyl Frashëri was even sentenced to death, but his sentence was later mitigated. The rule of the League was thus finally destroyed and the result was an increase in cultural emancipation, which was, however, always accompanied by local unrest.