Albanian revolts of 1833–39
The Albanian revolts of 1833–1839 took place in Albania as a reaction against the new centralizing policy of Ottoman administration. In the beginning of July 1833 the inhabitants of Tepelenë under the leadership of Balil Nesho rose up against the new Ottoman governor Emin Pasha, son of Mehmet Reshit Pasha; the revolt was spread in the nearby regions of Gjirokastër and Delvinë. The Ottoman forces led by Emin Pasha attacked the rebels in the Peshkopi Pass. Unprepared, the rebels withdrew in the village of Luzat and, when Ottoman forces attacked them there, the Ottomans were soundly defeated. Inspired by the first successes, other regions of Vlorë, Berat and Skrapar, rose up in rebellion under the leadership of Tafil Buzi, Zenel Gjoleka and Çelo Picari. In Berat the inhabitants sieged the castle. In a sign of pacification the Ottoman government evicted Emin Pasha from his post, but the rebellion continued and spread out more. In September 1833 the castle of Berat surrendered to the rebels; the rebels requests were to have Albanian governors and officials in the rebel districts and to abolish new taxes.
Alarmed, the Ottoman government accepted the rebels' requests by nominating Albanian officials in the cities of Berat, Vlorë, Tepelenë, Përmet, Gjirokastër, by declaring an amnesty. On 10 April 1833 about 4,000 armed Albanians from Shkodër and the surrounding areas entered the city occupying the main market and asking for the abolition of taxes and the application of old privileges granted before by the Sultan to the region. Trying to calm down the rebels, the Turkish governor, Namik Pasha, promised to solve the problems. Inadvertently, in August 1833 he sent a military expedition to push the rebels out of the market which they still possessed. A fierce fighting took the Ottoman expedition withdrew; the rebels sent a delegation to Istanbul to ask the Sultan for the replacement of Namik Pasha. While the Albanian delegation was in Istanbul the Ottoman forces under the lead of Namik Pasha sieged the city of Shkodër and started several attacks during a three months period, but the city resisted them.
After three months of siege the Ottoman forces withdraw on December 1833. Alarmed by the continuous uprisings, which were happening in Southern Albania at that time, the Ottoman government accepted the rebel requests and replaced the unpopular governor Namik Pasha with another official; the Ottomans didn't keep their promises long in south Albania. The inhabitants of Berat rose up in rebellion and asked for the local leader Tafil Buzi to lead them. Soon they gathered an army of 10000 men; the rebellion was spread in the same regions. The rebels besieged the castle of Berat and in the liberated city they created a committee; the political leader was elected the military commander Tafil Buzi. They asked from the new governor of Vlora sandjak for an autonomy of their regions. After two months of siege, the castle of Berat surrendered to the rebels. In January 1835, the rebels committee signed a document in which the Ottoman government promised to fulfill their requests while they had to depose the arms.
While the agreement was violated by the Ottoman government, the rebels under Tafil Buzi rose up again, this time marching to Ioannina. There, Tafil Buzi made a proclamation for all the Albanian to take their arms against the Ottomans and this was one of the first proclamations for the liberation of Albania. Tafil Buzi asked for the help of Mehmet Ali of Egypt. Alarmed, the Ottoman government sent many military troops against the rebels. Under those circumstances, Tafil Buzi was forced to accept the amnesty and to withdraw in his village in May 1835. At the same time in May 1835, in Myzeqe a new rebellion took place under the leadership of Alush bey Frakulla; the uprise was soon put to an end by Ottoman government corrupting the leaders. While the situation was calmed down in South Albania, Hafiz Pasha the new governor of Shkodër, tried to implement new reforms in the sandjak, he raised the custom taxes and introduced new "extraordinary taxes". This caused a new rebellion in the city of Shkodër.
The rebels were led by Hamza Kazazi, the head of city guilds. The rebels forced the Ottoman garrison to withdraw in the castle, they created a new committee led by Hamza Kazazi, Haxhi Idrizi and other local leaders, asking from the Ottoman government to respect their old privileges. While their requests were refused on 24 May 1835 they attacked the Ottoman posts; the rebels were helped from other volunteers coming from Peja. After the first clashes the regions of Ulqin and Mirdita joined the rebellion. Hafiz Pasha requested help from Vladika of Montenegro to crush the rebellion promising him some lands around the lake of Shkodër, but although an agreement was done that help never came. Unable to deal with the rebels by local Ottoman forces, the Ottoman government sent the Vali of Roumeli to crush the rebellion. On 14 July 1835, Vali's forces were crushed by the rebels in a pitch battle. A new regular army of 30000 men under the command of the secretary of Sultan, Vasaf Efendi was sent as reinforcement to Vali's troops.
In the meantime Vali of Roumeli began negotiations with the rebels. The Ottoman official sent them a false document, in which the sultan promised the acceptance of their requests. Many of the rebels convinced of the document began leaving the ranks, only a part of them under Haxhi Idrizi distrustful of Ottomans continued their resistance. On 1 September the reinforced Ottoman army attacked the rebels in the vicinities of Lezhë. After fierce fightings the Ottoman forces were able to relieve the besieged garrison of Shkodër on 18 September. Great part of the rebels withdrew in the mountains. To calm the situation the Ottoman government transferr
Albanian revolt of 1912
The Albanian revolt of 1912 was the last Albanian revolt in the Ottoman Empire and lasted from January until August 1912. The revolt ended when the Ottoman government agreed to fulfill the rebels' demands on September 4, 1912; 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, the disarming of the Albanian civil population. Albanians were not the only group to start a rebellion against the Young Turks government. There were insurgencies on the Arab peninsula; the first major Albanian revolt in 1910 led by Isa Boletini and Idriz Seferi was supported by Bulgaria and Montenegro. 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. In order to calm the situation the sultan introduced a number of concessions, including: establishment of Albanian schools military service to be restricted to the territory of Kosovo Vilayet suspension of all conscription and taxes for two years and appointment of government officials who speak the Albanian language.
At the end of 1911 a group of Albanian Members, led by Ismail Qemali, started a debate in the Ottoman parliament. They requested additional rights for Albanians in the administrative spheres. In January 1912, Hasan Prishtina, an Albanian deputy in the Ottoman parliament, publicly warned Members that the policy of the Young Turks' government would lead to a revolution in Albania. After that speech Ismail Qemali proposed a meeting with Hasan Prishtina, they met the same evening in the house of Hasan Prishtina and agreed to organize an Albanian uprising. The following day they met in the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul with Mufid Bey Libohova, Essad Pasha Toptani, Aziz Pasha Vrioni and Syreja Bey Vlora, they agreed to lead the Albanian uprising. Subsequently they took an oath on this promise at a meeting in Syreja Bey's house in Taxim. Since the participation of Kosovo played a central role in the uprising, it was decided that Ismail Qemali should organize the delivery of 15,000 Mauser rifles to Kosovo via the Kingdom of Montenegro.
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. The British Consul from Skopje promised that the United Kingdom would provide strong support to the Albanians; the revolt started in the western part of Kosovo Vilayet and was led by Hasan Pristina, Nexhip Draga, Bajram Curri, Riza bej Gjakova and others. Hasan Prishtina, in the Kosovo Vilayet during the revolt, Ismail Qemali, in Europe gathering weapons and money and attempting to win over European public opinion to the cause of the uprising, maintained communication through the British Consulate in Skopje. Essad Pasha Toptani obliged himself to organize the uprising in Central Mirdita. Albanian soldiers and officers joined the insurgents. One of the important events that helped the Albanians rebels succeed was the 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.
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 Bulgaria in the middle of March 1912, including the appointment of Albanians in government administration, schools with Albanian as the medium of instruction, the restriction of Albanians' conscription in the Ottoman Army to the Kosovo Vilayet. Albanian rebels were divided. On August 9, 1912, Albanian rebels presented a new list of demands, related to the Albanian Vilayet, that can be summarized as follows: an autonomous system of administration and justice in four vilayets populated with Albanians, Albanians to perform military service only in the four principally-Albanian vilayets, except in time of war, employment of officials who knew local language and customs, new lycées and agricultural schools in the bigger districts and modernization of the religious schools and the use of the Albanian language in secular schools, freedom to establish private schools and societies, the development of trade and public works, general amnesty for all the Albanians involved in the revolt, court martial of those Ottoman officers who had attempted to suppress the revolt.
The Ottoman government ended the Albanian revolts by accepting all demands on September 4, 1912. 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; 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. The members of the Balkan League decided that they couldn't waste such a golden opportunity to strike at a weakened Ottoman state. 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 c
Peasant Revolt in Albania
The Peasant Revolt in Albania known as the Islamic Revolt or Muslim Uprising in Albania, was the uprising of peasants from central Albania Muslims but others, against the regime of Prince Wilhelm of Wied during 1914, was one of the reasons for the prince's withdrawal from the country, marking the fall of the Principality of Albania. The revolt was led by Muslim leaders Arif Hiqmeti, Musa Qazimi and Mustafa Ndroqi; as well as total amnesty, the rebels demanded the return of Albania to the suzerainty of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Prince Wilhelm of Wied took the throne of Principality of Albania on March 7, 1914, had to face a chaotic political situation, both within the country and with its neighbours. Based on the Treaty of London signed on May 30, 1913, the Great Powers resolved on July 29, 1913 that they should establish International gendarmerie to take care of public order and security on the territory of newly recognized Principality of Albania. On the same basis they established International Commission of Control on October 15, 1913, to take care of the administration of newly established Albania until its own political institutions were in order.
Prince Wilhelm of Wied had to deal with a difficult political situation: Essad Pasha Toptani, who dominated new government of the Principality of Albania because he was both minister of interior and minister of war. By choosing to reside in Durres instead of Shkodër, the prince of Wied was at mercy of Essad Pasha; the International Commission of Control and foreign advisers who still had great deal of authority the representatives of Austria-Hungary and Italy the resistance in Northern Epirus, given a special administration by Protocol of Corfu the fighting between forces under control of Essad Pasha Toptani and the Provisional Government of Albania the major peasant revolt of pro-Ottoman Muslim peasants. There were numerous armed groups in Principality of Albania during regime of prince Wilhelm: the International Gendarmerie under control of the International Commission of Control and prince Wilhelm the irregular bands of southerners led by local leaders the native outlaw the Bulgarian outlaw, Komitadjis the Greek rebels from the Northern Epirus the peasant rebels in central Albania Essad Pasha's gendarmerie the Romanian volunteers the Austro-Hungarian volunteers the volunteers from Kosovo led by Isa Boletini the Mirdita Catholic volunteers from the northern mountains under the command of Prênk Bibë DodaEssad Pasha Toptani, as minister of war and interior, was against peaceful solution of problem with Northern Epirote Declaration of Independence of February 28, 1914.
He opposed International Commission of Control which believed that problem can be solved by diplomatic means. Prince and his cabinet accepted proposals of Essad Pasha to decide for military solution. In order to increase the military strength of the Principality of Albania, several thousand Italian rifles and Austrian machine and mountain guns were purchased and distributed to the population of the central Albania. A plot by the Young Turk government and led by Bekir Fikri to restore Ottoman control over Albania through the installment of an Ottoman-Albanian officer Ahmed Izzet Pasha as monarch was uncovered by the Serbs and reported to the ICC. Ismail Qemali supported the plot for military assistance against Greece; the ICC allowed their Dutch officers serving as the Albanian Gendarmerie to declare a state of emergency and stop the plot. They raided Vlorë on 7 -- 8 January 1914, discovering arrested Fikri. During Fikri's trial the plot emerged and an ICC military court under Colonel Willem de Veer condemned him to death and commuted to life imprisonment, while Qemali and his cabinet resigned.
After Qemali left the country, turmoil ensued throughout Albania. At that time the Commission was not able to force Essad Pasha to leave Albania, because it did not have enough authority; the pro-Ottoman peasants believed that the new regime of the Principality of Albania was a tool of the six Christian Great Powers and the landowners that owned half of the arable land. Revolt was led by Muslim leaders Arif Hiqmeti, Musa Qazimi and Mustafa Ndroqi; this group of discontented Muslim clerics gathered around Essad Pasha Toptani who proclaimed himself the savior of Albania and Islam. After receiving the news that thousands of rebels surrounded Shijak on May 17, Essad Pasha Toptani was accused of fomenting the revolt against William of Wied, he was exiled to Italy without trial. In Italy, he was received with honor since both Italian and Austrian representatives played roles in intrigues that surrounded the revolt; the chaos and revolts deteriorated. In order to gain support of the Mirdita Catholic volunteers from the northern mountains Prince of Wied appointed their leader, Prênk Bibë Doda, to be the foreign minister of the Principality of Albania.
The International Dutch Gendarmerie was joined by Isa Boletini and his men from Kosovo. Dutch gendarmes together with northern Mirdita Catholics attempted to capture Shijak, but when they engaged the rebels on May 23, they were surrounded and captured, as well as another expedition from Durres which attempted to release the captured gendarmes. Rebels launched the attack on Durres and started firing on it with their light weapons; the people in Durres panicked and the Prince and his family found shelter on an Italian ship anchored in the bay. On the same evening the rebels released Dutch officer and sent him to Prince of Wied with their demands: total amnesty return of Albania under suzerainty of sultan of Ottoman EmpireOn 14 August, the rebels attacked the capital, protected by Romanian and A
History of Albania
The history of Albania forms a part of the history of Europe. During the classical times, Albania was home to several Illyrian tribes such as the Ardiaei, Amantini, Enchele and many others, but Thracian and Greek tribes, as well as several Greek colonies established on the Illyrian coast. In the 3rd century BC, the area was annexed by Rome and became part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Moesia Superior. Afterwards, the territory remained under Roman and Byzantine control until the Slavic migrations of the 7th century, it was integrated into the Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century. In the Middle Ages, the Principality of Arbër and a Sicilian dependency known as the medieval Kingdom of Albania were established; some areas became part of the Venetian and Serbian Empire, but passed to the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. It remained under Ottoman control as part of the province of Rumelia until 1912, when the first independent Albanian state was founded by an Albanian Declaration of Independence following a short occupation by the Kingdom of Serbia.
The formation of an Albanian national consciousness dates to the 19th century and is part of the larger phenomenon of the rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire. A short-lived monarchical state known as the Principality of Albania was succeeded by an shorter-lived first Albanian Republic. Another monarchy, the Kingdom of Albania, replaced the republic; the country endured an occupation by Italy just prior to World War II. After the collapse of the Axis powers, Albania became a communist state, the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, which for most of its duration was dominated by Enver Hoxha. Hoxha's political heir Ramiz Alia oversaw the disintegration of the "Hoxhaist" state during the wider collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the 1980s; the communist regime collapsed in 1990, the former communist Party of Labour of Albania was routed in elections in March 1992, amid economic collapse and social unrest. The unstable economic situation led to an Albanian diaspora to Italy, Switzerland and North America during the 1990s.
The crisis peaked in the Albanian Turmoil of 1997. An amelioration of the economic and political conditions in the early years of the 21st century enabled Albania to become a full member of NATO in 2009; the country is applying to join the European Union. The first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë, near Sarandë and Mount Dajt near Tiranë; the objects found in a cave near Xarrë include flint and jasper objects and fossilized animal bones, while those found at Mount Dajt comprise bone and stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture. The Paleolithic finds of Albania show great similarities with objects of the same era found at Crvena Stijena in Montenegro and north-western Greece. Several Bronze Age artefacts from tumulus burials have been unearthed in central and southern Albania that show close connection with sites in south-western Macedonia and Lefkada, Greece. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these regions were inhabited from the middle of the third millennium BC by Indo-European people who spoke a Proto-Greek language.
A part of this population moved to Mycenae around 1600 BC and founded the Mycenaean civilisation there. Another population group, the Illirii the southernmost Illyrian tribe of that time that lived on the border of Albania and Montenegro neighbored the Greek tribes. In the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age a number of possible population movements occurred in the territories of modern Albania, for example the settlement of the Bryges in areas of southern Albania-northwestern Greece and Illyrian tribes into central Albania; the latter derived from early an Indo-European presence in the western Balkan Peninsula. The movement of the Illyrian tribes can be assumed to coincide with the beginning Iron Age in the Balkans during the early 1st millennium BC. Archaeologists associate the Illyrians with the Hallstatt culture, an Iron Age people noted for production of iron, bronze swords with winged-shaped handles, the domestication of horses, it is impossible to delineate Illyrian tribes from Paleo-Balkans in a strict linguistic sense, but areas classically included under "Illyrian" for the Balkans Iron Age include the area of the Danube and Morava rivers to the Adriatic Sea and the Shar Mountains.
The Illyrians were a group of tribes. The territory the tribes covered came to be known as Illyria to Greek and Roman authors, corresponding to the area between the Adriatic sea in the west, the Drava river in the north, the Morava river in the east and the mouth of Vjosë river in the south; the first account of the Illyrian peoples comes from the Coastal Passage written by Periplus, an ancient Greek text of the middle of the 4th century BC. Several Illyrian tribes that resided in the region of Albania were the Ardiaei and Albanoi in central Albania, the Parthini, the Abri and the Caviii in the north, the Enchelei in the east, the Bylliones in the south and several others. In the westernmost parts of the territory of Albania, along with the Illyrian tribes, lived the Bryges, a Phrygian people, in the south lived the Greek tribe of the Chaonians. In the 4th century BC, the Illyrian king Bardylis united several Illyrian tribes and engaged in conflicts with Macedon to the south-east, but was defeated.
Bardyllis was succeeded by Grabos by Bardylis II, by Cleitus the Illyrian, defeated by Alexander the Great. Around 230 BC, the Ardiaei attained military might under the reign of king Agron. Agron extended his rule ove
The Albanian Pashaliks were three Ottoman pashaliks ruled by Albanian pashas from about 1760 to 1831 and covering the territory of modern Albania and Northwestern Greece. The Pashalik of Scutari, or Pashalik of Shkodra was a semi-autonomous entity under the Ottoman Empire, created by Albanian leaders of Northern Ottoman Albania, today's Northern Albania, Southeast Montenegro, most of Kosovo and West Macedonia; the weakening of Ottoman central authority and the timar system brought anarchy to the Albanian-populated lands. In the late 18th century, two Albanian centers of power emerged: Shkodër, under the Bushati family; when it suited their goals, both places cooperated with the Sublime Porte, when it was expedient to defy the central government, each acted independently. In 1757, Mehmed Bey Bushati proclaimed himself Pasha of Shkodër, eying at a degree of autonomy/independence Mehmed Ali Pasha had established for himself in Egypt, his son and successor Kara Mahmoud pursued a policy of military expansion.
He launched two attacks on Montenegro and defeated resp. outlasted several Ottoman expeditions dispatched to subdue him. Kara Mahmoud's autonomous pashalik did receive the attention of the Austrian and Russian foreign office, both regarding him a potential ally against the Sublime Porte. In 1796, Kara Mahmoud was killed, he was succeeded by his brother Ibrahim Pasha, a less warlike personality loyal to the Ottoman Empire. The Bushati Dynasti continued to hold on to the Pashalik until an Ottoman army under Mehmet Reshid Pasha besieged Rozafat Castle at Shkodër in 1831 and forced Mustafa Bushati to surrender; the pashalik was dissolved, the Vilayets of Shkodër and of Kosovo established. An uprising in Shkodër in 1833-1836 failed in reestablishing the autonomy enjoyed under the Bushati; the latter established the Bushati Library in the 1840es, which played an important role in the cultural awakening of northern Albania. The Pashalik of Yanina, or Pashalik of Janina was a semi-autonomous entity under the Ottoman Empire, created by Ali Pasha, an Albanian leader of Southern Ottoman Albania, encompassing areas of modern northern Greece and southern Albania.
In 1787 Ali Pasha was awarded the pashaluk of Trikala in reward for his support for the sultan's war against Austria. This was not enough to satisfy his ambitions. Like other semi-autonomous regional leaders that emerged in that time, such as Osman Pazvantoğlu, he took advantage of a weak Ottoman government to expand his territory still further until he gained de facto control of most of Albania, western Greece and the Peloponnese, either directly or through his sons. Ali's policy as ruler of Ioánnina was governed by little more than simple expediency. In order to gain a seaport on the Albanian coast Ali formed an alliance with Napoleon I of France who had established Francois Pouqueville as his general consul in Ioánnina. After the Treaty of Tilsitt where Napoleon granted the Czar his plan to dismantle the Ottoman Empire, Ali switched sides and allied with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1807, his machinations were permitted by the Ottoman government in Istanbul for a mixture of expediency - it was deemed better to have Ali as a semi-ally than as an enemy - and weakness, as the central government did not have enough strength to oust him at that time.
The poet George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron visited Ali's court in Ioánnina in 1809 and recorded the encounter in his work Childe Harold. He evidently had mixed feelings about the despot, noting the splendour of Ali's court and the Greek cultural revival that he had encouraged in Ioánnina, which Byron described as being "superior in wealth and learning" to any other Greek town. In a letter to his mother, Byron deplored Ali's cruelty: "His Highness is a remorseless tyrant, guilty of the most horrible cruelties brave, so good a general that they call him the Mahometan Buonaparte... but as barbarous as he is successful, roasting rebels, etc.." In 1820, Ali ordered the assassination of a political opponent in Constantinople. The reformist Sultan Mahmud II, who sought to restore the authority of the Sublime Porte, took this opportunity to move against Ali by ordering his deposition. Ali refused to resign his official posts and put up a formidable resistance to Ottoman troop movements, indirectly helping the Greek Independence as some 20,000 Turkish troops were fighting Ali's formidable army.
In January 1822, Ottoman agents assassinated Ali Pasha and sent his head to the Sultan. After his death the pashalik ceased to exist; the Pashalik of Berat was a pashalik created in modern-day central Albania by Ahmet Kurt Pasha in 1774 and dissolved after Ahmet's ally, Ibrahim Pasha of Berat was defeated by Ali Pasha in 1809, thus incorporating the pashalik, with the Pashalik of Janina. This pashalik was one of the three pashaliks created by Albanians in the period of Albanian Pashaliks; the Pashalik of Berat was created after Ahmet Kurt Pasha managed to complot with the Sublime Porte against Mehmed Pasha Bushati in 1774. For his service, the sultan gave him territories in central Albania, he managed to grow his pashalik until his death in 1787, incorporating territories of all central Albania, bordering to the north with the Pashalik of Scutari and to the south with the Pashalik of Janina. Ahmet Kurt Pasha was the grandfather of Ali Pasha, and
Italian protectorate of Albania (1939–1943)
The Italian protectorate of Albania known as Greater Albania, existed as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. It was a union between Italy and Albania led by Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III and its government: Albania was led by Italian governors, after being militarily occupied by Italy, from 1939 until 1943. During this time, Albania ceased to exist as an independent country and remained as an autonomous part of the Italian Empire led by Italian government officials, who intended to make Albania part of a Greater Italy by assimilating Albanians as Italians and colonizing Albania with Italian settlers from the Italian Peninsula to transform it into an Italian land. In the Treaty of London during World War I, the Triple Entente had promised to Italy and southern Albania as a possession. In June 1917, after Italian soldiers seized control of substantial areas of Albania, Italy formally declared a protectorate over central and southern Albania. Italy was enraged with the minimal gains that it received from peace negotiations, which it regarded as having violated the Treaty of London.
Italian Fascists claimed that Albanians were ethnically linked to Italians through links with the prehistoric Italiotes and Roman populations, that the major influence exerted by the Roman and Venetian empires over Albania justified Italy's right to possess it. Italy justified the annexation of Albania on the basis that because several hundred thousand people of Albanian descent had been absorbed into society in southern Italy that the incorporation of Albania was a reasonable measure that would unite people of Albanian descent into one state. Italy supported Albanian irredentism, directed against the predominantly Albanian-populated Kosovo in Yugoslavia and Epirus in Greece the border area of Chameria, inhabited by the Cham Albanian minority. Prior to direct intervention in World War I, Italy occupied the port of Vlorë in Albania in December 1914. Upon entering the war, Italy spread its occupation to region of southern Albania beginning in the autumn 1916. Italian forces in 1916 recruited.
Italy with permission of the Allied command, occupied Northern Epirus on 23 August 1916, forcing the Greek Army to withdraw its occupation forces from there. In June 1917, Italy proclaimed central and southern Albania as a protectorate of Italy while Northern Albania was allocated to the states of Serbia and Montenegro. By 31 October 1918, Italian forces expelled the Austro-Hungarian Army from Albania. After World War I ended, Italy withdraw its military forces on 2 September 1920 from Albania as a result of foreign pressure and defeat in the Vlora War; the Italian Fascist regime had politically and economically penetrated and dominated Albania during Zog's rule and was planning for annexation of Albania years prior to the event. Albania became a de facto protectorate of Italy after the signing of the Treaties of Tirana of 1926 and 1927. Under Zog, Albania's economy was dependent on multiple financial loans given from Italy since 1931. In August 1933, Mussolini placed stringent demands on Zog in exchange for Italy's continued support of Albania, including demands that all new appointments to leading positions in the Albanian government had to have received an "Italian education".
In 1934 when Albania did not deliver its scheduled payment of one loan to Italy, Italian warships arrived off the coast of Albania to intimidate Albania to submit to Italian goals in the region. However, the British opposed Italy's actions and under pressure, Italy backed down and claimed that the naval exercise was a "friendly visit". On 25 August 1937, Italian foreign minister Count Ciano wrote in his diary of Italy's relations with Albania in the following: "We must create stable centres of Italian influence there. Who knows what the future may have in store? We must be ready to seize opportunities. We are not going to withdraw this time, as we did in 1920. In the south we have absorbed several hundred thousand Albanians. Why shouldn’t the same thing happen on the other side of the entrance to the Adriatic.". On 26 March 1938, Ciano wrote in his diary of annexing Albania like Germany did with Austria shortly prior: "A report from Jacomoni on the situation in Albania. Our penetration is becoming more intense and more organic.
The programme which I traced after my visit is being carried out without a hitch. I am wondering whether the general situation – the Anschluss – does not permit us to take a step forward towards the more complete domination of this country, which will be ours." and days on 4 April of that year wrote "We must underline the protectorate element of our relations with Albania". In spite of Albania's long-standing protection and alliance with Italy, on 7 April 1939 Italian troops invaded Albania, five months before the start of the Second World War; the Albanian armed resistance proved ineffective against the Italians and, after a short defense, the country was occupied. On 9 April 1939 the Albanian king