Derviş Mehmed Zillî, known as Evliya Çelebi, was an Ottoman explorer who travelled through the territory of the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands over a period of forty years, recording his commentary in a travelogue called the Seyahatname. The name Çelebi is an honorific title meaning gentleman. Evliya Çelebi was born in Constantinople in 1611 to a wealthy family from Kütahya. Both his parents were attached to the Ottoman court, his father, Derviş Mehmed Zilli, as a jeweller, his mother as an Abkhazian relation of the grand vizier Melek Ahmed Pasha. In his book, Evliya Çelebi traces his paternal genealogy back to Khoja Akhmet Yassawi, an early Sufi mystic. Evliya Çelebi received a court education from the Imperial ulama, he may have joined the Gulshani Sufi order, as he shows an intimate knowledge of their khanqah in Cairo, a graffito exists in which he referred to himself as Evliya-yı Gülşenî. A devout Muslim opposed to fanaticism, Evliya could recite the Quran from memory and joked about Islam.
Though employed as clergy and entertainer to the Ottoman grandees, Evliya refused employment that would keep him from travelling. His journal writing began in Constantinople, taking notes on buildings, markets and culture, in 1640 it was extended with accounts of his travels beyond the confines of the city; the collected notes of his travels form. He fought the House of Habsburg in Principality of Transylvania. Evliya Çelebi died in 1684, it is unclear whether he was in Cairo at the time. Evliya Çelebi visited the town of Mostar in Ottoman Bosnia and Herzegovina, he wrote that the name Mostar means "bridge-keeper", in reference to the town's celebrated bridge, 28 meters long and 20 meters high. Çelebi wrote that it "is like a rainbow arch soaring up to the skies, extending from one cliff to the other.... I, a poor and miserable slave of Allah, have passed through 16 countries, but I have never seen such a high bridge, it is thrown from rock to rock as high as the sky." In 1660 Çelebi went to Kosovo and referred to the central part of the region as Arnavud and noted that in Vučitrn its inhabitants were speakers of Albanian or Turkish and few spoke "Boşnakca".
The highlands around the Tetovo, Peć and Prizren areas Çelebi considered as being the "mountains of Arnavudluk". Çelebi referred to the "mountains of Peć" as being in Arnavudluk and considered the Ibar river that converged in Mitrovica as forming Kosovo's border with Bosnia. He viewed the "Kılab" or Lab river as having its source in Arnavudluk and by extension the Sitnica as being part of that river. Çelebi included the central mountains of Kosovo within Arnavudluk. Çelebi claimed to have encountered Native Americans as a guest in Rotterdam during his visit of 1663. He wrote: " cursed those priests, saying,'Our world used to be peaceful, but it has been filled by greedy people, who make war every year and shorten our lives.'"While visiting Vienna in 1665–66, Çelebi noted some similarities between words in German and Persian, an early observation of the relationship between what would be known as two Indo-European languages. Çelebi visited Crete and in book II describes the fall of Chania to the Sultan.
Of oil merchants in Baku Çelebi wrote: "By Allah's decree oil bubbles up out of the ground, but in the manner of hot springs, pools of water are formed with oil congealed on the surface like cream. Merchants wade into these pools and collect the oil in ladles and fill goatskins with it, these oil merchants sell them in different regions. Revenues from this oil trade are delivered annually directly to the Safavid Shah." Evliya Çelebi remarked on the impact of Cossack raids from Azak upon the territories of the Crimean Khanate, destroying trade routes and depopulating the regions. By the time of Çelebi's arrival, many of the towns visited were affected by the Cossacks, the only place he reported as safe was the Ottoman fortress at Arabat.Çelebi wrote of the slave trade in the Crimea: A man who had not seen this market, had not seen anything in this world. A mother is severed from her son and daughter there, a son—from his father and brother, they are sold amongst lamentations, cries of help and sorrow.
In 1667 Çelebi expressed his marvel at the Parthenon's sculptures and described the building as "like some impregnable fortress not made by human agency." He composed a poetic supplication that the Parthenon, as "a work less of human hands than of Heaven itself, should remain standing for all time." In contrast to many European and some Jewish travelogues of Syria and Palestine in the 17th century, Çelebi wrote one of the few detailed travelogues from an Islamic point of view. Çelebi visited Palestine twice, once in 1649 and once in 1670–1. An English translation of the first part, with some passages from the second, was published in 1935–1940 by the self-taught Palestinian scholar Stephan Hanna Stephan who worked for the Palestine Department of Antiquities. Although many of the descriptions the Seyâhatnâme were written in an exaggerated manner or were plainly inventive fiction or third-source misinterpretation, his notes remain a useful guide to the culture and lifestyles of the 17th century Ottoman Empire.
The first volume deals with Constantinople, the final volume with Egypt. There is no English translation of the entire Seyahatname, although there are translations of various parts; the longest single English translation was published in 1834 by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, an Austrian orientalist: it may be found unde
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures some governments, policy makers and human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, the group works on behalf of refugees, children and political prisoners. Human Rights Watch in 1997 shared in the Nobel Peace Prize as a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, it played a leading role in the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions; the organization's annual expenses totaled $50.6 million in 2011 and $69.2 million in 2014, $75.5 million in 2017. Human Rights Watch was co-founded by Robert L. Bernstein and Aryeh Neier as a private American NGO in 1978, under the name Helsinki Watch, to monitor the then-Soviet Union's compliance with the Helsinki Accords. Helsinki Watch adopted a practice of publicly "naming and shaming" abusive governments through media coverage and through direct exchanges with policymakers.
By shining the international spotlight on human rights violations in the Soviet Union and its European partners, Helsinki Watch says it contributed to the democratic transformations of the region in the late 1980s. Americas Watch was founded in 1981. Relying on extensive on-the-ground fact-finding, Americas Watch not only addressed perceived abuses by government forces but applied international humanitarian law to investigate and expose war crimes by rebel groups. In addition to raising its concerns in the affected countries, Americas Watch examined the role played by foreign governments the United States government, in providing military and political support to abusive regimes. Asia Watch, Africa Watch, Middle East Watch were added to what was known as "The Watch Committees". In 1988, all of these committees were united under one umbrella to form Human Rights Watch. Pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch opposes violations of what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR.
This includes capital discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. HRW advocates freedoms in connection with fundamental human rights, such as freedom of religion and freedom of the press. HRW seeks to achieve change by publicly pressuring governments and their policy makers to curb human rights abuses, by convincing more powerful governments to use their influence on governments that violate human rights. Human Rights Watch publishes research reports on violations of international human rights norms as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it perceives to be other internationally accepted, human-rights norms; these reports are used as the basis for drawing international attention to abuses and pressuring governments and international organizations to reform. Researchers conduct fact-finding missions to investigate suspect situations using diplomacy, staying in touch with victims, making files about public and individuals, providing required security for them in critical situations and in a proper time generate coverage in local and international media.
Issues raised by Human Rights Watch in its reports include social and gender discrimination, military use of children, political corruption, abuses in criminal justice systems, the legalization of abortion. HRW has documented and reported various violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian law. Human Rights Watch supports writers worldwide, who are being persecuted for their work and are in need of financial assistance; the Hellman/Hammett grants are financed by the estate of the playwright Lillian Hellman in funds set up in her name and that of her long-time companion, the novelist Dashiell Hammett. In addition to providing financial assistance, the Hellman/Hammett grants help raise international awareness of activists who are being silenced for speaking out in defense of human rights; each year, Human Rights Watch presents the Human Rights Defenders Award to activists around the world who demonstrate leadership and courage in defending human rights. The award winners work with HRW in investigating and exposing human rights abuses.
Human Rights Watch was one of six international NGOs that founded the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers in 1998. It is the co-chair of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a global coalition of civil society groups that lobbied to introduce the Ottawa Treaty, a treaty that prohibits the use of anti-personnel landmines. Human Rights Watch is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange, a global network of non-governmental organizations that monitor censorship worldwide, it co-founded the Cluster Munition Coalition, which brought about an international convention banning the weapons. HRW employs more than 275 staff—country experts, lawyers and academics – and operates in more than 90 countries around the world. Headquartered in New York City, it has offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Nairobi, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, Washington, D. C. and Zürich. HRW maintains direct access to the majority of countries. Cuba, North Korea, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela are among the handful of countries that have blocked access for HRW staff members.
The current executive director of HRW is Kenneth Roth, who has held the position since 1993. Roth conducted investigations on abuses in Poland after martial law was declared 1981, he focused on Haiti, which had just emerged from the Duvalier dictatorship but continued to be plagued wi
Assembly of Delvino
The Pan-Epirotic Assembly of Delvino was a meeting of the representatives of the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus, in June–July 1914, that ratified the Protocol of Corfu. The latter agreement granted an autonomous status for Northern Epirus, as well as a number of rights for the local Greek populations, inside the borders of the newly established Principality of Albania; the assembly took place in the town of Delvino with the participation of deputies from all provinces of Northern Epirus. It lasted from June 23 to July 26, 1914, led to the ratification of the terms of the Protocol of Corfu, despite objections raised by various sides asking for wider autonomy; the Greek government under Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos supported the approval of the Protocol, as the only means to secure peace and stability for the region, while on the other hand the representatives of the coastal region of Himara, insisted that only incorporation to Greece would be a viable solution for Northern Epirus.
By the end of the Balkan Wars, Greek armed forces managed to defeat the Ottoman army and control most of the historical region of Epirus. Thus, they reached a line from Himara on the Ionian coast east to Prespa Lake. Pending the final decision of the following peace treaty, the region remained under Greek military control. On 17 December 1913, the Protocol of Florence ceded the northern part of Epirus to the newly established Principality of Albania; this turn of events catalysed an uprising among the local Greek population, who declared the independence of Northern Epirus. The Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus was thus proclaimed in Argyrokastro on 28 February 1914, while a provisional government was formed under Georgios Christakis-Zografos. Meanwhile, serious disturbances broke out in a number of places between the Northern Epirote forces and Albanian gendarmerie units and irregulars. An International Commission of Control formed by the Great Powers to secure stability and peace in the region was unable to achieve an agreement between the two sides.
By May 17, 1914, at a meeting held nearby in Corfu, representatives from both sides signed an agreement that would be known as Protocol of Corfu. According to this the districts of Korytsa and Argyrokastro, which form Northern Epirus, were recognized as an autonomous self-governing region under the sovereignty of the newly established Prince William of Albania. Moreover, the agreement granted the local Greeks wider religious, educational and political autonomy, inside the borders of the Albanian state. Subsequently, on June 1 the Great Powers approved the terms of the Protocol, while on June 23 they were approved by the Albanian Government; the Northern Epirote representatives in the following Pan-Epirotic Assembly of Delvino had to take the final decision on whether to accept the Protocol. The provisional government had to assemble the representatives from all parts of Northern Epirus in order to ratify the terms of the Protocol. Thus, one of the first towns in Northern Epirus to declare autonomy against annexation to Albania, was proclaimed the seat of the following assembly.
The representatives, listed by province, were as follows: Himara: Spyros Spyromilios, Dimitrios Lekkas, Nikolaos Milios Agioi Saranta: Ioannis Kouremenos Delvino: Evangelos Giatis, Evangelos Trichas, Panagiotis Lezos Argyrokastro: Kyriakos Kyritsis, Georgios Tselios, Charalambos Katsis Premeti: Zacharias Alexiou, Charalambos Donatos, Georgios Syngelos Tepeleni: Petros Charitos, Vasileios Dilios Pogoni: Georgios Ginopoulos, Dimitriadis Leskoviki: Vasileios Sotiriadis, Ilias Oikonomou Rousis Erseka: Petros Prontinis, Dimitrios Papanastasiou Korytsa: Iosif Adamidis, Konstantinos Skenderis, metropolitan bishop of Korytsa, Konstantinos Polenas Additional five delegates, representing the wider region. The provisional government was represented by its president, Georgios-Christakis Zografos, as well as by Dimitrios Doulis, Alexandros Karapanos, Georgios Boussios, the local metropolitan bishops Vasileios and Spyridon. Discussions started at June 23. Zografos, stated in his inaugural speech: Additionally, Zografos proposed that the working sessions be put off until June 26, so the representatives would have the sufficient time to study the text of the Protocol.
Meanwhile, political turmoil broke out in Albania, where the official government was unable to control the situation. The guerrilla forces of Essad Pasha Toptani managed to capture Elbasan in central Albania, while various irregular bands in this sector pillaged the countryside and moved against Korcë, part of the Northern Epirus region, but still under the control of the Albanian gendarmerie. Zografos, worried by these developments, contrary to the warnings of the Greek Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos, ordered the Northern Epirote forces to enter the city which happened in July. Essad Pasha requested negotiations with the Northern Epirotes since he was involved with the conflict against Prince Wied. At the same time, in the sector of Këlcyrë the autonomist forces engaged Albanian units; the military successes of the Northern Epirote forces triggered much enthusiasm among some of their leaders. The latter claimed that the northern border of Northern Epirus should be drawn further north, including additional areas which, according to them, where once part of historical Epirus.
Additionally, some Epitore representatives claimed that they should negotiate for wider autonomy, while the Greek populations of Vlorë and Berat, which lay north of the claimed autonomist boundary, should enjoy the same religious and educational rights. The Greek government, witho
Laerti Vasili is a Greek - Albanian film and stage actor and director. Vasili is bilingual, he was born to a Greek mother. Both his parents were officers in the Communist Military of Albania; as a result, the family moved around a lot and he spent his childhood between Tirana and Delvina, Albania. He started acting at the age of 16 while still in high school, playing minor parts in several school theatre performances. At the age of 19 he was accepted to the Academy of Arts in Albania. In 1994 he left for Greece in order to study acting at the National Theatre of Greece Drama School in Athens, Greece, he came last out of 750 applicants. He graduated in 1997. Laert Vasili directed a play Corpus Christi in Greece that depicts Jesus Christ and his apostles as a group of homosexual men; the 1997 play was written by American playwright Terrence McNally. The Greek Orthodox Church and the right-wing extremist Golden Dawn protested against the play; the director and actors of the play face charges of blasphemy in Greece.
The play's director, Laertis Vasiliou, said that prosecutors were misdirecting scarce resources by pursuing his cast, rather than trying to nab tax evaders who have plunged Greece into ruin. "What I see is that there are people who have robbed the country blind, who are not in jail, the prosecutor turns against art," Vasiliou told Reuters. Actor of Europe Award at International Theatre Festival Actor of Europe 2018 Best Director of the Year at Pegasi International Awards 2015 Special Award for Corpus Christi at Athens Queer Theatre Award 2012 Most Important Artist of the Year 2008 by Eleftherotypia Mess Future Prize at Mess Sarajevo International Theatre Festival 2008 Best Director Prize at Balkan Theatre Festival 2005 Best Director Prize 2016 by Kult Awards Man of the Year 2012 by LIFO Best Director Prize 2008 by Athinorama People’s Choice Theatre Awards Best Young Actor Prize 2002 He has written and directed theatrical plays dealing with the sensitive theme of immigration and the notion of being a foreigner.
He was the first to use Albanian artists living in Greece in professional performances, which moreover were multi-lingual. The plays were presented in Athens and run for more than 400 performances from 2003–2015, in Greece, Cyprus and Herzegovina, Kosovo and in Albania. Electra by Sophocles at Buthrotum Doruntine, by Ismail Kadare Agamemnon Inferno, by Ismail Kadare Corpus Christi by Terrence McNally The Emigrants by Sławomir Mrożek Love songs with ravens by Bashkim Hoxha One out of ten by Laert Vasili at MESS Project Ilion-Work in Progress by Laert Vasili He has translated several theatrical plays from English into Greek and into Albanian language and from Greek into Albanian language. Electra by Sophocles The Persians by Aeschylus The Creditors by August Strindberg The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe L'Affaire de la rue de Lourcine by Eugène Labiche Black Comedy by Peter Shaffer The Emigrants by Sławomir Mrożek Educating Rita by Willy Russell Agamemnon Inferno by Ismail Kadare Corpus Christi by Terrence McNally The Lying Kind by Anthony Neilson Venus in Fur by David Ives The Miracle of th Sargasso Sea on IMDb The Invocation of Enver Simaku on IMDb Menge Kemishe on IMDb Paftuar on IMDb Ειμαρμενη at retroDB Agon on IMDb Out of touch on IMDb Balkan Bazaar on IMDb Red Sky on IMDb Charlie's Son on IMDb Hostage on IMDb Playing Parts on IMDb Alexandreia on IMDb Tomorrow Is Another Day on IMDb Annas Somer on IMDb Edge of Night on IMDb See You on IMDb Flegomeni Stella on IMDb Skanderbeg on IMDb Oikos antohis on IMDb Oi istories tou astynomou Beka on IMDb I agapi irthe apo makria on IMDb Gia tin Anna on IMDb Ta mystika tis Edem on IMDb Kato Partali on IMDb Three at TIFF Αγνώστου Διαμονής at retroDB Ω Γλυκύ μου Έαρ at retroDB Στον Ήλιο του Αιγαίου at retroDB Η λίμνη των στεναγμών at retroDB Αίθουσα Αναμονής at retroDB Αγία τετράδα at retroDB Ελληνοαλβανικό Συναξάρι at retroDB Tingulli i Heshtjes He has collaborated with prestigious worldwide known directors such as: Theodoros Terzopoulos, Robert Wilson, Anatoly Vasiliev, Tadashi Suzuki, Dimiter Gotscheff, Andrew Visnevski, Aleksandar Popovski and with some of the most important directors in Greece like: Antonis Antypas, George Kimoulis, Dimitris Mavrikios, Yiannis Kakleas, Roula Pateraki, Maya Limperopoulou, Sylvia Liouliou etc.
He was nominated for Dimitris Horn Prize. Electra, by Sophocles The Persians, by Aeschylus Prometheus Bound, by Aeschylus Antigone, by Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus, by Sophocles Persephone, by Homer Macbeth, by William Shakespeare Volpone, by Ben Jonson Diary of a Madman by Nikolai Gogol Diary of a Scoundrel, by Alexander Ostrovsky The Lower Depths, by Maxim Gorki Pelican, by August Strindberg Gaslight, by Patrick Hamilton Little Mahagonny, by Bertolt Brecht The Caretaker, by Harold Pinter Birthday Party, by Harold Pinter Hercules by Heiner Müller Translations, by Brian Friel Stage Struck, by Simon Gray Corpus Christi, by Terrence McNally Angela, by George Sevastikoglou The Curtain Falls, by Andreas Staikos The Night of Secrets, by Akis Dimou Falling from the stairs, by Charalambos Yiannou New Friends, by Elena Pega Some Explicit Polaroids, by Mark Ravenhill Faust is dead, by Mark Ravenhill Electra, by Sophocles Ecclesiazusae by Aristophanes Macbeth, by Shakespeare Tartuffe, by Moliere The Creditors, by August Strindberg The Lady of the Camellias, by A
Sister cities or twin towns are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, counties, prefectures, regions and countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding among different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, to encourage trade and tourism. By the 2000s, town twinning became used to form strategic international business links among member cities. In the United Kingdom, the term "twin towns" is most used. In mainland Europe, the most used terms are "twin towns", "partnership towns", "partner towns", "friendship towns"; the European Commission uses the term "twinned towns" and refers to the process as "town twinning". Spain uses the term "ciudades hermanadas", which means "sister cities". Germany and the Czech Republic use Partnerstadt / miasto partnerskie / partnerské město, which translate as "partner town or city".
France uses ville jumelée, Italy has gemellaggio and comune gemellato. In the Netherlands, the term is stedenband. In Greece, the word αδελφοποίηση has been adopted. In Iceland, the terms vinabæir and vinaborgir are used. In the former Soviet Bloc, "twin towns" and "twin cities" are used, along with города-побратимы; the Americas, South Asia, Australasia use the term "sister cities" or "twin cities". In China, the term is 友好城市. Sometimes, other government bodies enter into a twinning relationship, such as the agreement between the provinces of Hainan in China and Jeju-do in South Korea; the douzelage is a town twinning association with one town from each of the member states of the European Union. Despite the term being used interchangeably, with the term "friendship city", this may mean a relationship with a more limited scope in comparison to a sister city relationship, friendship city relationships are mayor-to-mayor agreements. In recent years, the term "city diplomacy" has gained increased usage and acceptance as a strand of paradiplomacy and public diplomacy.
It is formally used in the workings of the United Cities and Local Governments and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and recognised by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. A March 2014 debate in the British House of Lords acknowledged the evolution of town twinning into city diplomacy around trade and tourism, but in culture and post-conflict reconciliation; the importance of cities developing "their own foreign economic policies on trade, foreign investment and attracting foreign talent" has been highlighted by the World Economic Forum. The earliest known town twinning in Europe was between Paderborn, Le Mans, France, in 836. Starting in 1905, Keighley in West Yorkshire, had a twinning arrangement with French communities Suresnes and Puteaux; the first recorded modern twinning agreement was between Keighley and Poix-du-Nord in Nord, France, in 1920 following the end of the First World War. This was referred to as an adoption of the French town; the practice was continued after the Second World War as a way to promote mutual understanding and cross-border projects of mutual benefit.
For example, Coventry twinned with Stalingrad and with Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation, all three cities having been bombed during the war. The City of Bath formed an "Alkmaar Adoption committee" in March 1945, when the Dutch city was still occupied by the German Army in the final months of the war, children from each city took part in exchanges in 1945 and 1946. In 1947, Bristol Corporation sent five'leading citizens' on a goodwill mission to Hanover. Reading in 1947 was the first British town to form links with a former "enemy" city – Düsseldorf; the link still exists. Since 9 April 1956 Rome and Paris have been and reciprocally twinned with each other, following the motto: "Only Paris is worthy of Rome; the support scheme was established in 1989. In 2003 an annual budget of about €12 million was allocated to about 1,300 projects; the Council of European Municipalities and Regions works with the Commission to promote modern, high quality twinning initiatives and exchanges that involve all sections of the community.
It has launched a website dedicated to town twinning. As of 1995, the European Union had more than 7,000 bilateral relationships involving 10,000 European municipalities French and German. Public art has been used to celebrate twin town links, for instance in the form of seven mural paintings in the centre of the town of Sutton, Greater London; the five main paintings show a number of the main features of the London Borough of Sutton and its four twin towns, along with the heraldic shield of each above the other images. Each painting features a plant as a visual representation of its town's environmental awareness. In the case of Sutton this is in a separate smaller painting showing a beech tree, intended as a symbol of prosperity and from whi
Albanian Declaration of Independence
The Albanian Declaration of Independence was the declaration of independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire. Independent Albania was proclaimed in Vlorë on 28 November 1912. Six days the Assembly of Vlorë formed the first Government of Albania, led by Ismail Qemali and the Council of Elders; the success of the Albanian Revolt of 1912 sent a strong signal to the neighboring countries that the Ottoman Empire was weak. The Kingdom of Serbia opposed the plan for an Albanian Vilayet, preferring a partition of the European territory of the Ottoman Empire among the four Balkan allies. Balkan allies planned the partition of the European territory of the Ottoman Empire among them and in the meantime the territory conquered during First Balkan War was agreed to have status of the Condominium; that was the reason for Ismail Qemali to organize an All-Albanian Congress in Vlorë. The Assembly of 40 delegates meeting in southern Albania in the city of Vlorë on 28 November 1912, declared Albania an independent country.
On the 4th of December 1912 they set up a provisional government. The complete text of the declaration, composed in Albanian in Gheg and Tosk and Ottoman Turkish, was: Below is the list of the forty signatories as published by newspaper Perlindja e Shqipëniës; the original act of the Declaration of Independence was written on two pages. On the front page, there are a total of 34 recognizable signatures and on the back page are found 6 more signatures. Under these circumstances, delegates from all over Albania were gathered in the Assembly of Vlorë. Ismail Qemali returned to Albania with Austro-Hungarian support and, at the head of a swiftly convened national assembly, declared Albanian independence in the town of Vlora on 28 November 1912; the declaration was more theoretical than practical because Vlora was the only town in the whole country under the delegates’ control―yet it proved to be effective in the vacuum of power. Though Albanian independence was recognised de facto on 17 December 1912 at the London Conference of Ambassadors, it was not until 29 July 1913, after the second Balkan War and the solving of the delicate problem of Shkodra, that the international community agreed to recognise Albania as a neutral and hereditary principality.
The newspaper Përlindja of Vlora described it as follows: The National Assembly, composed of delegates from all over Albania and convening here in Vlora, opened today at four in the afternoon at the house of Xhemil bey. Ismail Kemal bey, as the prime initiator of the gathering, took the floor and explained to the delegates the purpose of the assembly, that is, that they all must strive to do what is necessary to save Albania from the great perils it is now facing; the chairman, Ismail Kemal Bey took the floor and, in an ardent and reasonable speech, stated that although they had always been faithful to the Ottoman Empire, the Albanians had never forgotten their own language and nationality, the best proof of this being the endeavours and uprisings that had taken place from time to time, in particular over the last four years, to preserve their rights and customs. The Ottoman Government had never taken their interests into consideration and had never been willing to recompense the Albanians for the great services they had rendered.
It had shown some interest in coming to an understanding with our people, but had not given proof of good faith and had not taken all the steps needed to appease and satisfy the Albanians. War had broken out with four countries in the Balkans that were seeking change and rights for their peoples, united by their ethnicity and religion; these countries put aside their initial objective and, as the war was going well for them, they agreed to divide the Empire up among themselves, including Albania. Realizing that the Turkish army had been defeated and that the Empire would not survive, the Albanians, who had played a greater role in the fighting than the soldiers, hastened to take requisite steps in their own interests as owners of the country. For this reason, Ismail Kemal bey departed for Istanbul and, having come to an understanding with the Albanians of Bucharest, set off for Vienna, where he reached an agreement with the Great Powers that had vital interests in the Balkans; as there was no more hope of saving Albania by means of arms, the only road to salvation was to separate Albania from Turkey.
Ismail Kemal bey promoted this idea and objective, well received by all the Great Powers, in particular by Austria and Italy. It was only Russia that remained somewhat hostile to the idea because of the Slavs, but it did not deny the existence of Albania and an Albanian people. To realise this objective, he invited all Albanians to gather in Vlora and was delighted today to see that his call had not been in vain, that delegates had been sent from all parts of Albania to reflect together on ways to save the Fatherland. According to Ismail Kemal Bey, the most urgent measures that the Albanian nation must take today are these: that Albania be independent under a provisional government; the delegates unanimously agreed with the words of Ismail Kemal bey and resolved that Albania, as of today, should be on her own and independent under a provisional government. The meeting was adjourned until the following day and the delegates went out and greeted the flag, raised at five thirty in the afternoon.
The second session of the Assembly of Vlorë was held on 4 December 1912. During that members of the assembly founded the first government of Independent Albania