The Kosovo War was an armed conflict in Kosovo that started in late February 1998 and lasted until 11 June 1999. It was fought by the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which controlled Kosovo before the war, the Kosovo Albanian rebel group known as the Kosovo Liberation Army, with air support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation from 24 March 1999, ground support from the Albanian army; the KLA was formed in 1991 and initiated its first campaign in 1995 when it launched attacks targeting Serbian law enforcement in Kosovo. In June 1996 the group claimed responsibility for acts of sabotage targeting Kosovo police stations. In 1997, the organisation acquired a large amount of arms through weapons smuggling from Albania, following a rebellion in which weapons were looted from the country's police and army posts. In early 1998, KLA attacks targeting Yugoslav authorities in Kosovo resulted in an increased presence of Serb paramilitaries and regular forces who subsequently began pursuing a campaign of retribution targeting KLA sympathisers and political opponents.
After attempts at a diplomatic solution failed, NATO intervened, justifying the campaign in Kosovo as a "humanitarian war". This precipitated a mass expulsion of Kosovar Albanians as the Yugoslav forces continued to fight during the aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia. By 2000, investigations had recovered the remains of three thousand victims of all ethnicities, in 2001 a United Nations administered Supreme Court, based in Kosovo, found that there had been "a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes and severe maltreatments", but that Yugoslav troops had tried to remove rather than eradicate the Albanian population; the war ended with the Kumanovo Treaty, with Yugoslav and Serb forces agreeing to withdraw from Kosovo to make way for an international presence. The Kosovo Liberation Army disbanded soon after this, with some of its members going on to fight for the UÇPMB in the Preševo Valley and others joining the National Liberation Army and Albanian National Army during the armed ethnic conflict in Macedonia, while others went on to form the Kosovo Police.
After the war, a list was compiled which documented that over 13,500 people were killed or went missing during the two year conflict. The Yugoslav and Serb forces caused the displacement of between 1.2 million to 1.45 million Kosovo Albanians. After the war, around 200,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians fled Kosovo and many of the remaining civilians were victims of abuse. Serbia became home to the highest number of IDPs in Europe; the NATO bombing campaign has remained controversial, as it did not gain the approval of the UN Security Council and because it caused at least 488 Yugoslav civilian deaths, including substantial numbers of Kosovar refugees. The modern Albanian-Serbian conflict has its roots in the expulsion of the Albanians in 1877-1878 from areas that became incorporated into the Principality of Serbia. Tensions between the Serbian and Albanian communities in Kosovo simmered throughout the 20th century and erupted into major violence during the First Balkan War, World War I, World War II.
After 1945 the socialist government under Josip Broz Tito systematically repressed all manifestations of nationalism throughout Yugoslavia, seeking to ensure that no republic or nationality gained dominance over the others. In particular, Tito diluted the power of Serbia—the largest and most populous republic—by establishing autonomous governments in the Serbian province of Vojvodina in the north and Kosovo and Metohija in the south. Kosovo's borders did not match the areas of ethnic Albanian settlement in Yugoslavia. Kosovo's formal autonomy, established under the 1945 Yugoslav constitution meant little in practice; the secret police cracked down hard on nationalists. In 1956 a number of Albanians went on trial in Kosovo on charges of subversion; the threat of separatism was in fact minimal, as the few underground groups aiming for union with Albania had little political significance. Their long-term impact became substantial, though, as some—particularly the Revolutionary Movement for Albanian Unity, founded by Adem Demaçi—would form the political core of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Demaci himself was imprisoned in 1964 along with many of his followers. Yugoslavia underwent a period of economic and political crisis in 1969, as a massive government program of economic reform widened the gap between the rich north and poor south of the country. Student demonstrations and riots in Belgrade in June 1968 spread to Kosovo in November, but Yugoslav security forces quelled them. Tito conceded some of the students' demands—in particular, representative powers for Albanians in both the Serbian and Yugoslav state bodies and better recognition of the Albanian language; the University of Pristina was established as an independent institution in 1970, ending a long period when the institution had been run as an outpost of Belgrade University. The lack of Albanian-language educational materials in Yugoslavia hampered Albanian education in Kosovo, so an agreement was struck with Albania itself to supply textbooks. In 1969 the Serbian Orthodox Church ordered its clergy to compile data on the ongoing problems of Serbs in Kosovo, seeking to pressure the government in Belgrade to do more to protect the interests of Serbs there.
In 1974 Kosovo's political status improved further when a new Yugoslav constitutio
The dinar is the official currency of Serbia. The earliest use of the dinar dates back to 1214; the first mention of a "Serbian dinar" dates back to the reign of Stefan Nemanjić in 1214. Until the fall of Despot Stjepan Tomašević in 1459, most of the Serbian rulers minted silver dinar coins; the first Serbian dinars, like many other south-European coins, replicated Venetian grosso, including characters in Latin. For many years it was one of the main export articles of medieval Serbia, considering the relative abundance of silver coming from Serbian mines. Venetians were wary of this, Dante Alighieri went so far as to put the Serbian king of his time, Stephen Uroš II Milutin of Serbia, in Hell as forgerer: Following the Ottoman conquest, different foreign currencies were used up to the mid 19th century; the Ottomans operated coin mints in Novo Kučajna and Belgrade. The subdivision of the dinar, the para, is named after the Turkish silver coins of the same name. After the Principality of Serbia was formally established there were many different foreign coins in circulation.
Prince Miloš Obrenović decided to introduce some order by establishing exchange rates based on the groat as money of account. In 1819 Miloš published a table rating 43 different foreign coins: 10 gold, 28 silver, 5 copper. After the last Ottoman garrisons were withdrawn in 1867, Serbia was faced with multiple currencies in circulation. Thus, prince Mihailo Obrenović ordered a national currency be minted; the first bronze coins were introduced in 1868, followed by silver in 1875 and gold in 1879. The first banknotes were issued in 1876. Between 1873 and 1894, the dinar was pegged at par to the French franc; the Kingdom of Serbia joined the Latin Monetary Union. In 1920, the Serbian dinar was replaced at par by the Yugoslav dinar, with the Yugoslav krone circulating together. In 1868, bronze coins were introduced in denominations of 5 and 10 paras; the obverses featured the portrait of Prince Mihailo Obrenović III. Silver coins were introduced in 1875, in denominations of 50 paras, 1 and 2 dinars, followed by 5 dinars in 1879.
The first gold coins were issued in 1879, for 20 dinars, with 10 dinars introduced in 1882. The gold coins issued for the coronation of Milan I coronation in 1882 were popularly called milandor. In 1883, cupro-nickel 5, 10 and 20 para coins were introduced, followed by bronze 2 paras coins in 1904. In 1876, state notes were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 50 and 100 dinars; these were followed by notes of the Chartered National Bank from 1884, with notes for 10 dinars backed by silver and gold notes for 50 and 100 dinars. Gold notes for 20 dinars and silver notes for 100 dinars were introduced in 1905. During World War I, silver notes for 50 and 5 dinars were introduced in 1916, respectively. In 1915, stamps were authorized for circulation as currency in denominations of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 50 paras. In 1941, the Yugoslav dinar was replaced, at par, by a second Serbian dinar for use in the German occupied Serbia; the dinar was pegged to the German reichsmark at a rate of 250 dinars.
This dinar circulated until 1944, when the Yugoslav dinar was reintroduced by the Yugoslav Partisans, replacing the Serbian dinar at a rate of 1 Yugoslav dinar = 20 Serbian dinars. In 1942, zinc coins were introduced in denominations of 50 paras, 1 and 2 dinars, with 10 dinar coins following in 1943. In May 1941, the Serbian National Bank introduced notes for 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dinars; the 100 and 1000 dinar notes were overprints, whilst the 10 dinar design was taken from an earlier Yugoslav note. Other notes were introduced in 1943 without any new denominations being introduced; the Serbian dinar replaced the Yugoslav dinar in 2006, when Yugoslavia ended after Montenegro declaration of independence. Montenegro and the Serbian disputed territory of Kosovo had adopted the Deutsche Mark and the euro when the mark was replaced by it in 2002; the Serbs in North Kosovo and the enclaves within it continue to use the dinar. Coins in circulation are 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 dinara coins. All coins feature identical inscriptions in Serbian, using the Latin scripts.
The 10 and 20 dinara coins are uncommon in circulation, as banknotes of the same value are used instead. In 2003, banknotes of the National Bank of Serbia were introduced in denominations of 100, 1000 and 5000 dinars; these were followed by 500 dinars in 2004, 50 dinars in 2005, 10 and 20 dinars in 2006 and 2000 dinars in 2011. Economy of Serbia Serbian perper Yugoslav dinar Yugoslav krone Heiko Otto. "Historical and current banknotes of Serbia". Retrieved 2018-06-05
Metohija or Dukagjini ) is a large basin and the name of the region covering the southwestern part of Kosovo. The region covers 35% of Kosovo's total area. According to the 2011 census, the population of the region is 700,577, it encompasses three of the seven districts of Kosovo: The name Metohija derives from the Greek word μετόχια, meaning "monastic estates" – a reference to the large number of villages and estates in the region that were owned by the Serbian Orthodox monasteries and Mount Athos during the Middle Ages. In Albanian the area is called Rrafshi i Dukagjinit and means "the plateau of Dukagjin", as the toponym took the name of the Dukagjini family; the term "Kosovo and Metohija" was in official use for the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija, for the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Term "Metohija" was dropped from the official name of the province in 1968, thus the term "Kosovo" became the official name of the province as a whole; the change was not welcomed by Serbs.
In 1990, new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia was adopted, changing the official name of the province back to Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. This time, change was not welcomed by ethnic Albanians, who protested against the official use of the term "Metohija". In 2008, after the Kosovo declaration of independence, Serbia included the term "Metohija" into official name of the newly formed Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija, transformed in 2012 into the Office for Kosovo and Metohija. Metohija is 23 km wide at its broadest point and about 60 km long, at an average altitude of 450 m above sea level, its principal river is the White Drin. It is bordered by the mountain ranges Mokra Gora in the north and northwest, the Prokletije in the west, Paštrik in the southwest, the Šar Mountains in the south and southeast, Drenica, which distinguishes it from the rest of Kosovo in the east and northeast; the geographic division between Metohija and rest of Kosovo causes differences between the two areas' flora and fauna.
Metohija has the characteristic influences of the Mediterranean, while rest of Kosovo's ecology does not differ from Central Serbia's. Metohija consists of fertile arable land with many small rivers which provide water for irrigation and, in combination with the Mediterranean climate, give excellent fields except for cereals; this area is well known for its high-quality vineyards, fruit orchards, for the growing of chestnut and almond trees. The geographical region of Metohija is further divided into four parts: Podgor, Prekoruplje and Rugovo. Based on archaeology, the region of Kosovo and Metohija and the Morava Valley were interconnected in the Neolithic and Eneolithic; the Triballi of Morava entered Kosovo in two waves in the 8th and 7th centuries BC took part in the genesis of the Dardani. Necropolises near Zhur suggest that the southwesternmost part of Metohija at the end of 6th century BC was subject to Illyrian influx. After the Roman conquests, the Metohija region was divided into Praevalitana.
Coinciding with the decline of the Roman Empire, many "barbarian" tribes passed through the Balkans, most of whom did not leave any lasting state. The Slavs, overwhelmed the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries; the Principality of Serbia included the city of Destinikon, believed to have been in Metohija. The region was conquered by Bulgaria in the early 10th century, after which Byzantine rule was restored ca. 970-975, again after 1018. In terms of ecclesiastical administration, the region of Metohija belonged to the Eparchy of Prizren, created in 1019. During the 11th and the 12th century, the region was contested between Grand Principality of Serbia and the Byzantine Empire. Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja was recognized as independent in 1190, keeping northern parts of the Metohija, while southern parts were incorporated into Kingdom of Serbia by the beginning of the 13th century. After the Fall of the Serbian Empire in 1371, the region of Metohija was controlled by the Balšić family of Zeta, since 1378 by the Branković family.
It was part of the Serbian Despotate until 1455. Metohija was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1455 and incorporated into the Sanjak of Prizren and Sanjak of Peć. In 1878, after several administrative reforms, the region was included into Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo; the area was taken by the Kingdom of Montenegro in the 1912 First Balkan War except Prizren area, conquered by Kingdom of Serbia. During the First World War, Montenegro was conquered by the Austro-Hungarian forces in 1915; the Central Powers were pushed out of Metohija by the Serbian Army in 1918. Montenegro subsequently joined the Kingdom of Serbia, followed by the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes; the Kingdom was reformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. The Kingdom suffered an Axis invasion during World War II in 1941, the region of Metohija was incorporated into Italian-controlled Albania, with the Italians employing the "Vulnetari", an Albanian volunteer militia, to control the villages. After Italy's treaty with the Allies in 1943, the Germans took direct control over the region, supported by the local Albanian collaborationists.
After numerous rebellions of S
Constitution of Serbia
The current Constitution of the Republic of Serbia known as Mitrovdan Constitution was adopted in 2006, replacing the previous constitution dating from 1990. The adoption of new constitution became necessary in 2006 when Serbia became independent after Montenegro's secession and the dissolution of Serbia and Montenegro; this constitution does not apply to the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo which attained independence in 2008. The proposed text of the constitution was adopted by the National Assembly on 30 September 2006 and put on referendum, held on 28–29 October 2006. After 53.04% of the electorate supported the proposed constitution, it was adopted on 8 November 2006. The Constitution contains a preamble, 206 articles, 11 parts, no amendments. Among the constitution's two hundred other articles are guarantees of human and minority rights, abolishment of capital punishment, banning of human cloning, it assigns the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet as the official script, while making provisions for the use of minority languages at local levels.
Among the differences between the current and previous constitution are: Only private and public property is acknowledged. Foreign citizens are permitted to own property. Full independence is granted to the National Bank of Serbia; as part of a process of decentralization, the granting of municipal properties' ownership rights to local municipalities. The province of Vojvodina is granted limited financial autonomy; the constitution mentions "European standards" for the first time. The constitution assigns the Serbian language and the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet as the official language and alphabet in use, respectively; the adoption of the national anthem, Bože pravde. Special protection for the rights of consumers, mothers and minorities. Greater freedom of information. Marriage is defined as the "union between a man and a woman" The current constitution defines the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija as an integral part of Serbia, but with "substantial autonomy". Under the opinion of the Venice Commission in respect to substantial autonomy of Kosovo, an examination of The Constitution makes it clear that this fundamental autonomy is not at all guaranteed at the constitutional level, as the constitution delegates every important aspect of this autonomy to the legislature.
According to writer Noel Malcolm, the 1903 constitution was still in force at the time that Serbia annexed Kosovo during the First Balkan War. He elaborates that this constitution required a Grand National Assembly before Serbia's borders could be expanded to include Kosovo. Constitutionally, he argues, Kosovo should not have become part of the Kingdom of Serbia, it was ruled by decree. The Constitution of Serbia contains a preamble: "Considering the state tradition of the Serbian people and equality of all citizens and ethnic communities in Serbia,Considering that the Province of Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of the territory of Serbia, that it has the status of a substantial autonomy within the sovereign state of Serbia and that from such status of the Province of Kosovo and Metohija follow constitutional obligations of all state bodies to uphold and protect the state interests of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija in all internal and foreign political relations,the citizens of Serbia adopt" The Constitution of Serbia is divided into 10 chapters: Constitution Principles Human and Minority Rights and Freedoms Economic System and Public Finances Competencies of the Republic of Serbia Organisation of Government The Constitutional Court Territorial Organization Constitutionality and Legality Amending the Constitution Final Provision Serbia has adopted 11 constitutions throughout its history.
Listed below in order of year adopted: Constitution of the Principality of Serbia, adopted 1835, so-called "Candlemas constitution" Constitution of 1838 called "Turkish constitution", issued in the form of Turkish firman Constitution of 1869 Constitution of the Kingdom of Serbia, adopted 1888 Constitution of 1901, called "April constitution" and "Octroic constitution", promulgated by Alexander I of Serbia Constitution of 1903, modified version of the Constitution of 1888Between 1918 and 1945 Serbia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, had no constitution of its own. Constitution of the People's Republic of Serbia, adopted 1947 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Serbia, adopted 1963 Constitution of 1974 Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, adopted 1990 Constitution of 2006, called "Mitrovdan constitution", current constitution, first constitution of the independent Republic of Serbia Serbian constitutional referendum, 2006 Constitutional status of Kosovo Vidovdan Constitution Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro Constitution of the Republic of Serbia in HTML format Constitution of the Republic of Serbia in PDF format Previous Constitution of Serbia
Geography of Kosovo
Kosovo is a small and landlocked disputed territory in Southeastern Europe. The country is strategically positioned in the center of the Balkan Peninsula enclosed by Montenegro to the west, Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest, it has no direct access to the Mediterranean Sea but its rivers flow into three seas, the Adriatic and Black Sea. The country possesses impressive and contrasting landscapes determined by the climate along with the geology and hydrology. Both, the Albanian Alps and Sharr Mountains, are the most defining feature of the country and the most biodiverse regions of Kosovo; as far as the central region, the plains of Dukagjin and Kosovo stretches over the west and east, respectively. The country is a quite rich country for its water sources, there are many long and short rivers, as well as artificial and natural lakes around the country. Most of the rivers that rise in Kosovo have their mouths outside the country's territory in the Adriatic and Black Sea.
The longest river is the Drini i Bardhë. The climate of the country is defined by its geographical location in the southeastern part of the european continent and influenced by the seas in the west and east, it enjoys a combination of a continental climate and a mediterranean climate, with four distinct seasons. Kosovo is characterised by rich flora and fauna, a wide array of ecosystems and habitats considering its small area; the country's biodiversity is conserved in two national parks and hundreds of other protected areas of different categories. The remote and forested regions are inhabited by important species that are fast becoming rare in Southern Europe, amongst them the brown bear, grey wolf and golden eagle; the landlocked country of Kosovo lies in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. It borders the countries of Montenegro to the west, Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast and Albania to the southwest; the land area of the country is 10,910 square kilometres, being the 161st largest country in the world.
The border between Kosovo and Albania stretches for a total of 113,551 km and is situated along the southwestern edge of the country. This border is marked by the Albanian Alps, the Koritnik and Gjallica Mountains, which occupy the vast expanse of land between the countries; the border between Kosovo and North Macedonia stretches for a total of 170,772 km. This border is situated along the southeastern edge of the country, whereby the majority of this border follows the Sharr Mountains; the border between Kosovo and Montenegro measures at only 79,165 km in length, making it the shortest border in the country. This border is mountainous associated with the Albanian Alps; the border between Kosovo and Serbia stretches for a total of 380,068 km and is situated along the northern and eastern edge of the country. The country of Kosovo features notable diversity with the relief. Framed along its borders by mountain ranges, as for instance the Albanian Alps, the Sharr Mountains, the country's topography is defined by two main plains, the plains of Dukagjini and Kosovo.
Most of the country is hilly. The southern and southeastern edge is distinguished by the Sharr Mountains; the Albanian Alps dominate the western edge as they offer the highest mountain of Kosovo, the Gjeravica. Referred to as the Bjeshkët e Nemuna, the region is considered to be among the most inaccessible mountain range in Europe and the wildest range on the Balkan Peninsula, best described in their name. Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park and Sharr Mountains National Park were established to protect the landscape and natural environment of the country, they represent the most important regions of vegetation and biodiversity in the country, because they provide excellent conditions for a great wild and plant life. The Kopaonik Mountains extend in the northern edge of the country and further run into central Serbia, they are characterized by its mineral wealth abundant by lead and zinc, making it one of the richest regions in Europe. This is due to the diversity of its geological structure with the new vulcanization during the tertiary period.
A landlocked country, there are several notable lakes within the country's borders. The drainage basin of the Black Sea comprises 50.7 percent of the territory of the country and totals 5,520 square kilometres, which makes it the largest in Kosovo. The main rivers in the section of the country of the river basin are the rivers of Sitnica. In contrast, 43.5 percent of the country's territory is encompassed by the drainage basin of the Adriatic Sea. The area includes the largest rivers flowing in the country, the White Drin with its tributaries Erenik and Lumëbardhi i Decanit; the rest belongs to the Aegean Sea drainage basin. The Nerodimka is of particular significance because it represents Europe's only instance of a river bifurcation flowing into two seas, the Black and Aegean Sea; the bifurcation of the river is considered to be an artificial phenomenon, but created under favorable natural conditions. A number of natural lakes are located in the mountain ranges at various altitudes amongst them the Gjeravica, Jazhincë, Zemra.
Kosovo does have a large number of karst springs and mineral water springs. The main lakes are Gazivoda Lake in the north-western part, Radoniq lake in the south-west part, Batlava Lake and Badovc Lake (26 million
Romanization of Serbian
The romanization of Serbian or latinization of Serbian is the representation of the Serbian language using Latin letters. Serbian is written in two alphabets, the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet, a variation of Cyrillic and the Serbian Latin alphabet, a variation of the Latin alphabet; the Serbian language is an example of Digraphia. However, Gaj's Latin alphabet is very used in Serbia as the second alphabet; the two are directly and interchangeable. Romanization can be done with no errors, but in some cases knowledge of Serbian is required to do proper transliteration from Latin back to Cyrillic. Standard Serbian uses both alphabets currently. A survey from 2014 showed that 47% of the Serbian population favors the Latin alphabet whereas 36% favors the Cyrillic one. Apart from Serbian, Gaj's Latin alphabet is used in Bosnian and Croatian standards of Serbo-Croatian. Another standard of Serbo-Croatian, uses a modified version of it. Serbo-Croatian was regarded as a single language since the 1850 Vienna Literary Agreement, to be written in two forms: one in the adapted Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.
The Latin alphabet, was not taught in schools in Serbia when it became independent in the 19th century. After a series of efforts by Serbian writers Ljubomir Stojanović and Jovan Skerlić, it became part of the school curriculum after 1914. During World War I, Austria-Hungary banned the Cyrillic alphabet in Bosnia and its use in occupied Serbia was banned in schools. Cyrillic was banned in the Independent State of Croatia in World War II; the government of socialist Yugoslavia made some initial effort to promote romanization, use of the Latin alphabet in the Orthodox Serbian and Montenegrin parts of Yugoslavia, but met with resistance. The use of latinica did however become more common among Serbian speakers. Still, in 1993 the authorities of Republika Srpska under Radovan Karadžić and Momčilo Krajišnik decided to proclaim Ekavian and Serbian Cyrillic to be official in Republika Srpska, considered grotesque both by native Bosnian Serb writers at the time and the general public, that decision was rescinded in 1994.
It was reinstated in a milder form in 1996, today still the use of Serbian Latin is discouraged in Republika Srpska, in favor of Cyrillic. Article 10 of the Constitution of Serbia adopted by a referendum in 2006 defined Cyrillic as the official script in Serbia, while Latin was given the lower status of "Script in official use". Today Serbian is more to be romanized in Montenegro than in Serbia. Exceptions to this include Serbian websites where use of Latin alphabet is more convenient, increasing use in tabloid and popular media such as Blic and Svet. More established media, such as the state-run Politika, Radio Television of Serbia, or foreign Google News, Voice of Russia and Facebook tend to use Cyrillic script; some websites offer the content in both scripts, using Cyrillic as the source and auto generating Romanized version. In 2013 in Croatia there were massive protests against official Cyrillic signs on local government buildings in Vukovar. Serbian place names are spelled in latinica using the mapping that exists between the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet and Gaj's Latin alphabet.
Serbian personal names are romanized the same way as place names. This is the case with consonants which are common to other Slavic Latin alphabets - Č, Ć, Š, Ž, Dž and Đ. A problem is presented by the letter Đ/đ that represents the affricate, still sometimes represented by "Dj"; the letter Đ was not part of the original Gaj's alphabet, but was added by Đuro Daničić in the 19th century. A transcribed "Dj" is still sometimes encountered in rendering Serbian names into English, though Đ should be used. In Serbian, foreign names are phonetically transliterated into both Latin and Cyrillic, a change that does not happen in Croatian and Bosnian. For example, in Serbian history books George Washington becomes "Džordž Vašington" or Џорџ Вашингтон, Winston Churchill becomes "Vinston Čerčil" or Винстон Черчил and Charles de Gaulle "Šarl de Gol" or Шарл де Гол; this change happens in some European languages that use the Latin alphabet such as Lithuanian and Latvian. The name Catherine Ashton for instance gets transliterated into "Ketrin Ešton" in Serbian.
An exception to this are place names which are so well known as to have their own form: just as English has "Vienna, Austria" so Croatian and romanization of Serbian have "Beč, Austrija." Incomplete romanization of Serbian is written using the English alphabet known as ASCII Serbian, by dropping diacritics. It is used in SMS messages, comments on the Internet or e-mails because users don't have available Serbian keyboard installed. Serbian is a phonetic language with 30 sounds that can be represented with 30 Cyrillic letters, or 27 Gaj's Latin letters and three digraphs. In its ASCII form, the number of used letters drops down to 22, as the letters "q", "w", "x" and "y" are not used; some words morph into the same written form and a good knowledge of Serbian and a sentence context is required for proper understanding of the written text. Using incomplete romanization does not allow for easy transliteration back to Cyrillic without significant manual work. Google tried using machine learning approach to solving this problem and developed an interactive text input tool that enables typing Serbian in ASCII and auto-converting to Cyrillic.
Flag of Kosovo
The flag of the Republic of Kosovo was adopted by the Assembly of Kosovo following the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo from Serbia on 17 February 2008. The flag is the result of an international design competition, organised by the United Nations-backed Kosovo Unity Team, which attracted one thousand entries; the now-used design was proposed by Muhamer Ibrahimi. It shows six white stars in an arc above a golden map of Kosovo on a blue field; the stars symbolise Kosovo's six major ethnic groups. Before the declaration of independence, Kosovo was under the administration of the United Nations and used the UN flag for official purposes; the Serbian and Albanian populations had used their own national flags since the Socialist Yugoslavia period. The Serbs use a red and white tricolor, which forms the basis of the current flag of Serbia; the Albanian population have used the flag of Albania since the 1960s as their ethnic flag. Both flags can still be used within Kosovo. Serbia has not recognized the independence of Kosovo and claims the area as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.
Unlike the autonomous province of Vojvodina, no flag has been adopted by the Serbian authorities to represent this claimed province and the Flag of Serbia is used instead. The flag of Kosovo has a blue background, charged with a map of six stars; the stars are meant to symbolise Kosovo's six major ethnic groups: Albanians, Turks, Gorani and Bosniaks. Unofficially, the stars are sometimes said to represent the six regions, which according to Albanian ultra nationalist ideology, make up Greater Albania: Albania, western parts of Macedonia, parts of northern Greece, parts of Montenegro and Preševo Valley in southern Serbia; the flag of Kosovo resembles that of Herzegovina in terms of colors and shapes used. The flag is unusual among national flags in using a map as a design element; the ratio of the flag was announced during the contest as 2:3, however with the passage of a diplomatic protocol law in Kosovo in April 2009, the ratio was set as 1:1.4. The colors and construction of the Kosovo flag have not yet been defined.
The unofficial RGB values of the flag have been manually extracted since 2009. The use of the Kosovo flag is regulated by the law: "Law on the Use of Kosovo State Symbols". However, the Serbian government objects to the use of the Kosovo flag at international meetings and gatherings; the Albanian flag remains popular with Kosovo Albanians. As Serbia does not recognise the secession of Kosovo and considers it a United Nations-governed entity within its sovereign territory, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, as defined by the 2006 Constitution of Serbia. Months after Kosovo's declaration of independence, the Serbian flag was still seen at official government buildings until replaced by the Kosovo Government. Flags of Serbia and Serbian Orthodox Church were used in protests against Kosovo independence and still can be seen in Serb-majority areas in the north. However, a person was sentenced by a panel of EULEX judges on November 19, 2009, for inciting hatred by raising a Serbian flag on a mosque in the southern part of Mitrovica.
Until 2008, Kosovo did not have a flag of its own. However, during different periods of history, different flags were flown in Kosovo. Before 1969, the only flags that could fly over Kosovo were those of SFR Yugoslavia and SR Serbia. If a nationalist flag were flown, such as Albanian, Serbian or Croatian, a person could go to prison for doing it. In 1969, the Kosovar Albanian population was able to use the Albanian flag as its national flag. However, the flag had to be charged with a red star, since this was a common symbol of the Yugoslav nation. Without this requirement, the flag of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania at the time had a red star, outlined in gold, above the double headed eagle. On, different nationalities in Kosovo could use their own national flags in accordance with legislation. Before the death of Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito and the breakup of SFR Yugoslavia, there were calls for the Albanian flag to be banned because residents in Kosovo did not want to live under a foreign flag.
This sentiment culminated in the "Petition of the 2016", which called for, among other items, a greater statehood status for Serbia and the removal of all Albanian symbols. The Serbian side began to remove the red star from the Yugoslav flag, using it for protests to counterbalance the Albanian population and to promote a "Greater Serbia"; when Kosovo was under the administration of the United Nations, the UN flag was flown in Kosovo. However, the flag used by the Kosovar Albanian population was the Albanian flag; the Albanian flag was used on public buildings though it was against UN regulations. Regulations stated only the UN flag and other authorised flags, like those of cities, could fly on public buildings. If the Albanian flag did have to go up the Serbian flag must go up too, according to UN regulations. However, this was never done in practice and the flag of Albania was ever-present in Kosovo during the UNMIK period. A competition for a new flag, held in June 2007, received 993 entries.
Under the terms of UN talks, all such symbols would have to reflect the multi-ethnic nature of Kosovo, avoiding the use of the Albanian or Serbian double-headed eagles or the use of red and black or