Hasan Prishtina

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Hasan Prishtina
Hasan Prishtina (portrait).jpg
8th Prime Minister of Albania
In office
7 December 1921 – 12 December 1921
Preceded byQazim Koculi
Succeeded byIdhomene Kosturi
Personal details
Hasan Berisha

27 September 1873
Polac, Ottoman Empire (today Kosovo)
Died13 August 1933 (aged 59)
Thessaloniki, Greece
Resting placeKukës, Albanian Kingdom

Hasan Prishtina (Turkish: Priştineli Hasan Bey, Hasan Bey Priştine and Vulçitrnli Hasan Bey[1]), originally known as Hasan Berisha (September 27, 1873 – August 13, 1933), was an Albanian politician, who served as the 8th Prime Minister of Albania in December 1921.[1]


Family and early life[edit]

In his memoirs Prishtina wrote that his family originated from Poljance in the Drenica region, where his ancestors gave valuable contribution to the Albanian culture and revolts against the Ottoman Empire, he wrote that his grandparent Haxhi Ali Berisha, who moved to Vıçıtırın in 1871, was the son of Abdullah Ali Berisha. Haxhi's younger son, Ahmet was the father of Hasan. Prishtina said that family's links to the Drenica region were celebrated with songs and other traditions.[2] According to Ivo Banac and Miranda Vickers, Hasan was a member of the Serb Šišković clan of Vıçıtırın,[3] whom Serbs held as traitors.[4] However, archival research done by Muhamet Pirraku confirms Hasan Prishtina's writings, and points that some documents give an alternative name of Abdullah Ali Berisha, Mehmet.[5] Hasan was born in 1873 in Vıçıtırın[6] and had one brother named Ymer.[7] After finishing the French gymnasium in Thessaloniki,[1] he studied politics and law in Istanbul, he was originally known as "Hasan Berisha".[8][6]

He initially supported the Young Turk Revolution of 1908.[1] Prishtina was elected to the Ottoman parliament in 1908 and became affiliated to the Young Turk (CUP) party,[9][10] he changed his last name into Prishtina in 1908, when he was elected as the Pristina delegate[6] in the Ottoman parliament in Istanbul during the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire.[11][12] Actions by the Ottoman government against rebels and civilians in Kosovo during 1909 led Prishtina to publish an article titled "Albanians" in the Young Turk newspaper Tanin,[13] he stressed that force was unproductive and unable to bring peace and security while reforms were needed following the example of Midhat Pasha.[13] As a parliamentarian Prishtina viewed the place of Albanians in the empire as partners entitled in the decision-making process which was partly based upon ethnic politics,[14] he expressed that sentiment in an analogy delivered to parliament in early May 1911.[14] Prishtina defined the Ottoman state as a "joint stock company with common interest... owned by Turks, Albanians, and other peoples, [all] with equal shares" and without anyone "deserving preferential treatment".[14] By late 1911, Prishtina had joined the Freedom and Accord Party which was founded by him and ten others who were opponents of the Young Turks and advocated for Ottomanism, government decentralisation and the rights of ethnic minorities.[15] In 1911 Prishtina wrote a chapter on the revolt by Albanian highlanders (Malësors) of Shkodër and highlighted their important duties involving border defense in an edited book titled Musaver Arnavud (The Illustrated Albanian) in Ottoman Turkish by Dervish Hima.[16]

Albanian National Movement[edit]

During December 1911, Prishtina and Ismail Qemali convened secret meetings of Albanian political notables in Istanbul that decided to organise a future Albanian uprising.[17] Mehmed V dissolved parliament and called for new elections on 17 January 1912 with Prishtina going to Kosovo shortly thereafter to begin the organisation of the uprising.[17] In the Ottoman elections of April 1912, the CUP won most parliamentary seats by rigging the election and prevented its Albanian critics like Prishtina from retaining their positions.[9][18] After the Ottoman Government did not keep their promises for more rights and independence to the Albania nation, Hasan Prishtina and several other prominent Albanian intellectuals started organizing the Albanian National Movement, he together with Isa Boletini and Bajram Curri took the responsibility to start the Albanian National Movement in Kosovo.[19] In 1912, due to the deteriorating situation between Albanians and Ottoman authorities, Prishtina alongside other Albanian leaders were present at a meeting in Junik on 20 May where a besa (pledge) was given to wage war on the Young Turk government.[20][21]

Prishtina took an active part in the 1912 uprising in Kosovo[22][23] and formulated the autonomy demands that were submitted to the Turkish government in August 1912, the so-called Fourteen Points of Hasan Prishtina.

Üsküp, capital of the Kosovo vilayet, after being captured by Albanian revolutionaries

Until August 1912, Prishtina led the Albanian rebels to gain control over the whole Kosovo vilayet (including Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Priština and even Skopje), part of Scutari Vilayet (including Elbasan, Përmet, Leskovik and Konitsa in Janina Vilayet and Debar in Monastir Vilayet.[26] Marshall Ibrahim Pasha was sent by the Ottomans to negotiate terms and on 9 August met with leaders of the uprising where Prishtina presented the Fourteen Points and the commander then sent them to Istanbul and returned to his army.[27] Prishtina however retreated from insisting upon autonomy that disappointed some Albanian nationalists.[28] On August 18, the moderate faction led by Prishtina managed to convince leaders Boletini, Curri, Riza Bey Gjakova and Idriz Seferi of the conservative group to accept the agreement with the Ottomans for Albanian sociopolitical and cultural rights.[29] In assisting to formulate the Fourteen Points, in part secured by Kosovo Albanian military action against the Ottomans, Prishtina in his role as a Kosovar notable and Albanian patriot balanced national and regional concerns.[30]

Albanian Independence and World War I[edit]

During the Balkan Wars he was arrested by commanders from the Kingdom of Serbia.[31] In December 1913, after Albanian independence, he served as Minister of Agriculture, and in March 1914 was made minister of postal services in the government of Independent Albania led by Ismail Qemali.

During the First World War he organized divisions of volunteers to fight for Austria-Hungary.[32] In 1918, after the Serb recapture of his native Kosovo from Austria-Hungary, Prishtina, together with Bajram Curri, fled to Vienna and later to Rome, where he was in contact with Croatian, Macedonian and Montenegrin opponents of the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia.[32] Hasan Prishtina became a head of the Committee for the National Defence of Kosovo in Rome in 1918.[32]

Political career[edit]

Monument to Hasan Prishtina at the University of Prishtina

Hasan Prishtina was in charge of the delegation of the Committee in December 1919 which represented Albanians for the protection of their rights in the Paris Peace Conference, where he requested the unification of Kosovo and Albania; the Kosovar delegation was, however, not given leave to participate in the debates.

Prishtina then returned to Albania where in January 1920 he helped organise the Congress of Lushnjë and in April 1921 became a member of parliament for Dibra,[32] he took part in a coup d'état that year and served as Prime Minister for a brief five days from 7 to 12 December, but was forced out of office by Ahmet Zogu, who was a Minister of Interior at that time and regarded it as imperative to avoid conflict with Belgrade.[32]

Thereafter, Hasan helped organise uprisings in Kosovo and led several anti-government insurrections in Albania, the latter being easily suppressed by the administrations of Xhafer Bej Ypi and Ahmet Zogu.[32]

He returned to Tirana during the Democratic Revolution of 1924 under Fan Noli, whom he accompanied to the League of Nations in Geneva.

Exile and death[edit]

When Zogu took power in December 1924, Prishtina was forced to leave Albania; as he could not return to Kosovo, he settled in Thessalonika where he purchased a large estate.[32] Prishtina was an enemy of Zogu, the two having attempted to assassinate one another,[32] he was imprisoned by the Yugoslav police for a period, but was released in 1931. In 1933, he was killed by Ibrahim Celo[32] in a cafe in Thessalonika, on the orders of the Yugoslav government.[33]


Hasan Prishtina is commemorated in Kosovo and Albania. In 1993, when a meeting commemorating the 60th anniversary of his death was convened in Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbian police raided the place and showed machine guns to the participants. Out of 80 participants, 37 were arrested and the rest were beaten for 5 to 15 minutes by police.[34] In 2012 a statue of Prishtina was elevated in Skopje in Skanderbeg Square [1].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Gawrych 2006, p. 162.
  2. ^ Xheladin Shala (2014). Hasan Prishtina: veshtrim i shkurtër atdhetarie. Instituti Albanologjik. pp. 65–70.
  3. ^ Vickers, Miranda (1998). Between Serb and Albanian : a history of Kosovo. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-231-11383-0. Hasan Pristina (1873-1933), 23 who came from the powerful Siskovic clan in Vucitrn,
  4. ^ Banac, Ivo (1988). Nacionalno pitanje u Jugoslaviji : porijeklo, povijest, politika (in Croatian). Zagreb: Globus. p. 283. ISBN 978-86-343-0237-0. Retrieved 12 April 2012. Hasan-beg Prish- tina (ili Šišković, iz Vučitrna, kojega su Srbi držali srpskim narodnim izdajni- "
  5. ^ Muhamet Pirraku (2013). Hasan Prishtina: vlerë sublime e kombit. pp. 123–124.
  6. ^ a b c Bernath & Schroeder 1979, p. 485.
  7. ^ Bedri Tahiri (2008). Hasan Prishtina: truri i lëvizjes kombëtare shqiptare : monografi. Drenusha. p. 46.
  8. ^ Elsie 2010, p. 223.
  9. ^ a b Skendi 1967, pp. 361, 225–426.
  10. ^ Gawrych 2006, pp. 162, 202.
  11. ^ Malcolm 1998, p. 245.
  12. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 181.
  13. ^ a b Gawrych 2006, p. 175.
  14. ^ a b c Gawrych 2006, p. 188.
  15. ^ Gawrych 2006, pp. 190, 202, 211.
  16. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 185.
  17. ^ a b Gawrych 2006, p. 190.
  18. ^ Gawrych 2006, pp. 191–192.
  19. ^ Skendi 1967, p. 427.
  20. ^ Skendi 1967, p. 428.
  21. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 192.
  22. ^ Skendi 1967, p. 433.
  23. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 202.
  24. ^ Skendi 1967, pp. 436–437.
  25. ^ Gawrych 2006, pp. 194–195.
  26. ^ Bogdanović, Dimitrije (November 2000) [1984]. "Albanski pokreti 1908-1912.". In Antonije Isaković (ed.). Knjiga o Kosovu (in Serbian). 2. Belgrade: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved 9 January 2011. ... ustanici su uspeli da ... ovladaju celim kosovskim vilajetom do polovine avgusta 1912, što znači da su tada imali u svojim rukama Prištinu, Novi Pazar, Sjenicu pa čak i Skoplje... U srednjoj i južnoj Albaniji ustanici su držali Permet, Leskoviku, Konicu, Elbasan, a u Makedoniji Debar...
  27. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 194.
  28. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 211.
  29. ^ Gawrych 2006, pp. 195, 202.
  30. ^ Gawrych 2006, pp. 201, 211.
  31. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 199.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i Elsie 2010, p. 224.
  33. ^ Gail Warrander, Verena Knaus (2010). Kosovo, 2nd: The Bradt Travel Guide (2 ed.). Connecticut: the globe pequot press. p. 87. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  34. ^ Human Rights Watch/Helsinki (Organization : U.S.) (1993). Open wounds: human rights abuses in Kosovo. Human Rights Watch. pp. 57–60. Retrieved 31 May 2010.


Further reading[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Member of the Ottoman Parliament
(as representative of Pristina)

Succeeded by
Post abolished
Preceded by
Qazim Koculi
Prime Minister of Albania
7 December 1921 – 12 December 1921
Succeeded by
Idhomene Kosturi