Kolë Tromara was an Albanian nationalist and political figure of the first half of the 20th century. Tromara was born in Albanian Orthodox Qytezë, a town in today's Devoll municipality, back part of the Ottoman Empire, son of Thanas and Kostandina Tromara. Tromara family traces their origin in Souli, having settled in the area after the atrocities of Ali Pasha. Tromara pursued his elementary studies in nearby Korçë, higher ones in Greece, he started working after as a pharmacist in Korçë, but due to economical difficulties and political oppression from the Ottomans decided to emigrate in US, quite common at the time for the Orthodox community members. Tromara settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1906 and was involved in the patriotic circles of the Albanian community there. In 1907, he became secretary of the Besa-Besën society in Boston. In 1915, he became General Secretary of the Pan-Albanian Federation of America. A year he was elected acting chairman of Vatra. Meanwhile, his mother had been executed in his native village by the Greek andarts of Zografos.
In 1920, he returned to Albania where he founded the "Federata e Madhe Atdheu" in Vlorë together with Avni Rustemi, Luigj Gurakuqi, Ahmet Dakli, Bedri Pejani. In 1923, as Prefect of Gjirokastër Prefecture, Tromara reported on the attempts of the Greek government to exchange the Cham Albanian population and send them to Turkey. Through the sub-prefecture of Chameria, under his jurisdiction, he tried convincing the Cham population to stay and not leave. Together with Koço Muka he denounced on 27 August 1923 the scenario of the assassination of Enrico Tellini, Italian emissary dealing with Albania-Greece border delimitation, murdered by unknown assailants, he made an attempt for the electrification of the region, by getting in contact with American companies. On 27 December 1923 he became member of the Albanian Parliament, representing Korçë; as an active supporter of Fan Noli and the June Revolution, he left Albania in December 1924 when Ahmet Zogu suppressed Noli's movement with the financial and military aid of Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Greece.
As many Albanian political emigre members of that time, Tromara settled in Vienna where he joined the "Bashkimi Kombëtar" society. Meanwhile, a political court in Albanian sentenced him to 15 years of imprisonment. After the failed assassination attempt on King Zog in 1933, he settled in Paris, still being one of the most active Albanian political emigrants. With the Italian invasion of Albania in 1939, Tromara returned and became member of the Council of State, he was a founding member of the Balli Kombëtar political fraction. During 1942-1943 he served as Prefect of Korçë. In 1943, following his resignation from Balli Kombëtar, he joined the Cabinet of Rexhep Mitrovica as Minister of Culture. With the end of World War II and the rise of the Communists in power, he was arrested and prosecuted in the Special Court of 1945; the court sentenced him to death on 13 April 1945. Tromara was executed by the Communists in 1945 at the age of 63. Tromara is the author of an Albanian patriotic song, Sa te rrojë gjithësia, quite known between Albanians though the name of the author was hidden during communism
Eastern Orthodoxy in Albania
Eastern Orthodoxy in Albania arrived in the area of contemporary Albania during the Roman period. In Albania, Eastern Orthodoxy underwent many changes due to sociopolitical difficulties of the medieval period resulting in the conversion of the Albanian north to Catholicism and under the Ottomans the widespread conversion of Albanians to Islam in central and southern Albania. Following the Albanian National Awakening tenets and the de-emphasizing of religion during the 20th century, the democratic and the communist governments followed a systematic de-religionization of the Albanian nation and national culture. Due to this policy as with all other faiths in the country, Orthodoxy underwent radical changes. Decades of state atheism which ended in 1991 brought a decline in religious practice in all traditions; the post-communist period and the lifting of legal and other government restrictions on religion allowed Orthodoxy to revive through institutions that generated new infrastructure, educational facilities, international transnational links and other social activities.
Christianity first arrived in Albania with Saint Paul during the 1st century. Saint Paul wrote that he preached in the Roman province of Illyricum, legend holds that he visited Durrës, it was Saint Astius, a 2nd-century Illyrian and Christian martyr venerated by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, that served as bishop of Durrës, during the time of the emperor Trajan. Astius is Protector of Durrës; however it was with Constantine the Great, who issued the Edict of Milan and legalized Christianity, that the Christian religion became official in the lands of modern Albania. The schism of 1054, formalized the split of Christianity into two branches and Orthodoxy, reflected in Albania with the emergence of a Catholic north and Orthodox south. In the 11th century, the Catholic church created the archbishopric in Bar that brought the bishoprics of Drivast, Shkodër and others under its control; as such during the latter half of 12th century Catholicism spread in northern Albania and in southern Albania made inroads among the population.
The religious transition from Orthodoxy to Catholicism in northern Albania was due to Albanians using conversion as a means of resisting pressures arising from geopolitical factors such as conflicts with Orthodox Serbs. During the moment of schism Albanians were attached to the Eastern Orthodox Church and were all Orthodox Christians; the official Ottoman recognition of the Orthodox church resulted in the Orthodox population being tolerated until the late 18th century and the traditionalism of the church's institutions slowed the process of conversion to Islam amongst Albanians. The Orthodox population of central and south-eastern Albania was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid, while south-western Albania was under the Patriarchate of Constantinople through the Metropolis of Ioannina. In the early 16th century the Albanian cities of Gjirokastër, Kaninë, Delvinë, Vlorë, Korçë, Këlcyrë, Përmet and Berat were still Christian and by the late 16th century Vlorë, Përmet and Himarë were still Christian, while Gjirokastër became Muslim.
Conversion to Islam in cities overall within Albania was slow during the 16th century as around only 38% of the urban population had become Muslim. The city of Berat from 1670 onward became Muslim and its conversion is attributed in part to a lack of Christian priests being able to provide religious services. Differences between Christian Albanians of central Albania and archbishops of Ohrid led to conversions to Bektashi Islam that made an appeal to all while insisting little on ritual observance. Central Albania, such as the Durrës area had by end of the 16th century become Muslim. Consisting of plains and being an in between area of northern and southern Albania, central Albania was a hub on the old Via Egnatia road that linked commercial and transport connections which were subject to direct Ottoman administrative control and religious Muslim influence; the conversion to Islam of most of central Albania has thus been attributed in large part to the role its geography played in the socio-political and economic fortunes of the region.
During the late eighteenth century Orthodox Albanians converted in large numbers to Islam due overwhelmingly to the Russo-Turkish wars of the period and events like the Russian instigated Orlov revolt that made the Ottomans view the Orthodox population as allies of Russia. As some Orthodox Albanians rebelled against the Ottoman Empire, the Porte responded with and at times applied force to convert Orthodox Albanians to Islam while providing economic measures to stimulate religious conversion. During this time conflict between newly converted Muslim Albanians and Orthodox Albanians occurred in certain areas. Examples include the coastal villages of Borsh attacking Piqeras in 1744, making some flee abroad to places such as southern Italy. Other areas such as 36 villages north of the Pogoni area converted in 1760 and followed it up with an attack on Orthodox Christian villages of the Kolonjë, Leskovik and Përmet areas leaving many settlements sacked and ruined. By the late eighteenth century socio-political and economic crises alongside nominal Ottoman government control resulted in local banditry and Muslim Albanian bands raided Greek and Orthodox Albanian settlements located today within and outside contemporary Albania.
Within Albania those raids culminated in Vithkuq an Orthodox Albanian centre, Moscopole a Vlach centre, both with Greek literary and religious culture and other smaller settlements being destroyed. Those
Albanian National Awakening
The Albanian National Awakening known as the Albanian Renaissance or National Renaissance or National Revival, refers to a social and political movement in the history of Albania from the 19th century until the declaration of independence in 1912 that advocated the revival of Albanian culture, language and the creation of the country of Albania. The activists are called Revivalists. There is some debate among experts regarding when the Albanian nationalist movement should be considered to have started; some sources attribute its origins to the revolts against centralization in the 1830s, others to the publication of the first attempt by Naum Veqilharxhi at a standardized alphabet for Albanian in 1844, or to the collapse of the League of Prizren during the Eastern Crisis in 1881. Various compromise positions between these three theses have emerged, such as one view positing that Albanian nationalism had foundations that dated earlier but "consolidated" as a movement during the Eastern Crisis.
Another view is that Albanian nationalism's roots "sprouted" in the reforms of the first decades of the 19th century but Albanian nationalism emerged properly in the 1830s and 1840s as a romantic movement for societal reform, mainly driven by Albanians publishing from abroad, it transformed into an overt political national movement in the 1870s. On December 20, 1912, the Conference of Ambassadors in London recognized an independent Albania within its present-day borders. After the fall of the Yanina Pashalik, the power and influence of the Albanian beys had faded; the remaining beys thus attempted to restore their rule. An assembly was held in Berat in 1828. In this Convention, the leaders were Zylyftar Poda and Shahin bej Delvina; the Ottoman Empire tried to prevent the rise of local beys, which presented a menace to centralized power. In 1830, the Sublime Porte sent an expeditionary force under the command of Reşid Mehmed Pasha to suppress the local Albanian beys. On hearing the news of the Ottoman forces' arrival, the three most powerful local chiefs, Zylyftar Poda, accompanied by the remains of Ali Pasha's faction, Veli Bey, Arslan Bey, along with other less powerful beys, began to prepare their forces to resist a probable Ottoman attack.
Realising the seriousness of the situation and the danger of a general uprising, Reşid Mehmed Pasha invited the Albanian beys to a meeting on the pretext that they would be rewarded for their loyalty to the Porte. The beys however, were all killed along with their guards; the last Albanian pashalik to fall was the Scutari Pashalik. The Bushati dynasty rule ended when an Ottoman army under Mehmed Reshid Pasha besieged the Rozafa Castle and forced Mustafa Reshiti to surrender; the Albanian defeat ended a planned alliance between the Albanian beys and the Bosnian nobility, who were seeking autonomy. Instead of the pashalik, the vilayets of Scutari and that of Kosovo were created. By removing the Timar system, the Sublime Porte intended to strengthen its central government and reclaim the power of the Empire, weakened due to economic and social backwardness, from the exploitative system and from the ongoing uprisings of peoples. Reforms began to be implemented in Albania since the 1830s, they gave a blow to the ranks of the old military feudal class, weakened from Ottoman expeditions from 1822 to 1831.
Parts of the feudal heads that had launched revolts were eliminated, others were exiled and those who could, had escaped from the country. All their properties were declared state-owned; this gave rise to new landowners. Due to the Ottoman occupation, the ideology of Nationalism developed difficultly and were limited in Albanian-inhabited territories in the Balkan, they found more favorable development conditions outside, in the capital of the Empire, Italy, other Balkan countries etc. The national ideas became apparent via popular uprisings against the Tanzimat reforms, but they still did not reach a period to be formulated in full policy of the National Movement, they were more expressed with literary works and studies of the Albanian people, history and culture. In their writings, the Rilindas fought to invoke feelings of love for the country by exalting patriotic traditions and episodes of history that of the Skanderbeg era and folk culture; the centralizing reforms of the Ottoman government were implemented with the deployment of civil and military personnel in Albania.
This was met with resistance by the local population which first began with the refusal to execute orders and transformed into armed rebellion. After two local uprisings that burst in the beginning of 1833 in Kolonjë and in Dibër were repressed, uprisings occurred in Berat-Vlorë-Delvinë-Çamëria area in larger scales than before; the actions of the Ottoman army were driven by terror and increased unhappiness in the local population, who were aptly anticipated to revolt again. Fugitive agitators circulated across the provinces to organize further rebellions, calling on the people to prepare for war. Others were sent to neighboring provinces to secure their presence by pointing out they are "brothers." To get ahead of the danger Of the new outbreak of popular hate, at the beginning of 1844, the Ottoman authorities urged urgent action. They concentrated large military forces at various points in Bitola where the state was worse. By the end of March 1844, the new uprising was suppressed. In the ensuing years there were bursts of
Albanian Orthodox leader Fan Noli's supporters blamed the murder of Avni Rustemi on Ahmet Zogu's Mati clansmen, who continued to practice blood vengeance. After the walkout, discontent mounted, in June 1924 a peasant-backed insurgency had won control of Tirana; the June Revolution resulted in Noli becoming prime minister, Zogu's flight to Yugoslavia. Interwar Albanian governments disappeared in rapid succession. Between July and December 1921 alone, the premiership changed hands five times; the Popular Party's head, Xhafer Ypi, formed a government in December 1921 with Fan S. Noli as foreign minister and Ahmed Bey Zogu as internal affairs minister, but Noli resigned soon after Zogu resorted to repression in an attempt to disarm the lowland Albanians despite the fact that bearing arms was a traditional custom; when the government's enemies attacked Tirana in early 1922, Zogu stayed in the capital and, with the support of the British ambassador, repulsed the assault. He took over the premiership in the year and turned his back on the Popular Party by announcing his engagement to the daughter of the Progressive Party leader, Shefqet Vërlaci.
Zogu's protégés organized themselves into the Government Party. Noli and other Western-oriented leaders formed the Opposition Party of Democrats, which attracted all of Zogu's many personal enemies, ideological opponents, people left unrewarded by his political machine. Ideologically, the Democrats included a broad sweep of people who advocated everything from conservative Islam to Noli's dreams of rapid modernization. Opposition to Zogu was formidable. Orthodox peasants in Albania's southern lowlands loathed Zogu because he supported the Muslim landowners' efforts to block land reform. Zogu's party handily won elections for a National Assembly in early 1924. Zogu soon stepped aside, handing over the premiership to Vërlaci in the wake of a financial scandal and an assassination attempt by a young radical that left Zogu wounded; the opposition withdrew from the assembly after the leader of a radical youth organization and popular liberal leftist politician, Avni Rustemi, was murdered in the street outside the parliament building.
Noli's supporters blamed the murder of Avni Rustemi on Zogu's Mati clansmen, who continued to practice blood vengeance. After his attended funeral, discontent mounted, in June 1924 a peasant-backed insurgency ended up taking control of Tirana. Noli became prime minister, Zogu subsequently fled to Yugoslavia. Fan Noli, an idealist, rejected demands for new elections on the grounds that Albania needed a "paternal" government. In a manifesto describing his government's program, Noli called for abolishing feudalism, resisting Italian domination, establishing a Western-style constitutional government. Scaling back the bureaucracy, strengthening local government, assisting peasants, throwing Albania open to foreign investment, improving the country's bleak transportation, public health, education facilities filled out the Noli government's overly ambitious agenda. Noli encountered resistance to his program from people who had helped him oust Zogu, he never attracted the foreign aid necessary to carry out his reform plans.
Noli criticized the League of Nations for failing to settle the threat facing Albania on its land borders. Under Fan Noli, the government set up a special tribunal that passed death sentences, in absentia, on Zogu, Vërlaci, others and confiscated their property. After Noli's regime decided to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, a bitter enemy of the Serbian ruling family, Belgrade began making allegations that the Albanian regime was about to embrace Bolshevism. In Yugoslavia, Zogu recruited an Albanian volunteer militia made up of Albanian clans loyal to Zogu. Belgrade furnished the Albanian leader with weapons, he hired a mercenary army of about 1,000 Yugoslav Army regulars, Russian White Army émigres to mount an invasion that the Serbs hoped would bring them disputed areas along the border; the most experienced of these forces was the Russian contingent, led by General Sergei Ulagay and consisted of 102 soldiers, including 15 officers. He recruited them for the role of being an artillery squadron, where they signed a 3-month-long contract, got paid through gold.
Zogu was recommended by the Yugoslavs to have the experienced World War I veteran, Colonel Ilya Miklashevsky, in leading it. On 13 December 1924, Zogu's Yugoslav-backed army crossed into Albanian territory. From the other side, Myfid Libohova with the support of the Greek government launched an offensive and entered Kakavija. A major battle erupted in the village of Peshkopi. During that time, the Russians helped make a decisive victory. After a short break, Zogu launched an attack on the capital with his forces. Noli's army made minimal progress. By Christmas Eve, Zogu's Russian contingent entered Tirana, defeating the remaining pockets of resistance. Zogu had reclaimed the capital and abolished the principality in favour of a republic, ending Noli's six-month government. Noli and members of his regime fled to Italy. After defeating Noli's government, Ahmet Zogu recalled the parliament, in order to find a solution for the uncrowned principality of Albania; the parliament adopted a new constitution, proclaimed Albania a republic.
The Constitution provided for a parliamentary republic with a president serving as head of state and government. Ahmet
Arrëz is a village in the Korçë County, southeastern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became part of the municipality Devoll
Korçë County is one of the 12 counties of Albania, located in the eastern part of the country. The population at the 2011 census was 220,357, in an area of 3711 km², it is the largest county of Albania by area. Its capital is the city Korçë. Topographically, most of Korçë County is elevated, including the Gramos range, which forms the connection between the Scardus to the north and the Pindus range to the south. Korçë's eastern border is Albania's eastern border, as the county borders North Macedonia to the northeast and Greece to the southeast. Domestically, it borders on Gjirokastër County. Berat County and Elbasan County. Most of the region's inhabitants are ethnic Albanians, but there are important communities of Greeks, Macedonians and Roma. With regards to religion, the region hosts large concentrations of both Muslims and Orthodox Christians. According to the last national census from 2011, the county has 220,357 inhabitants. Ethnic groups in the county include Albanians, Macedonians, Aromanians, Egyptians.
Until 2000, Korçë County was subdivided into four districts: Devoll, Kolonjë, Korçë, Pogradec. Since the 2015 local government reform, the county consists of the following 6 municipalities: Devoll, Kolonjë, Korçë, Maliq and Pustec. Before 2015, it consisted of the following 37 municipalities: The municipalities consist of about 340 towns and villages in total. See Villages of Korçë County for a structured list. Regional Council of Korçë Korçë County Tourist Guide
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their