Albanian Revolt of 1912


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Skopje after being freed by Albanian revolutionaries

DateJanuary–August 1912
LocationKosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
ResultAlbanian victory

The Albanian revolt of 1912 (Albanian: Kryengritja e vitit 1912, lit. 'Uprising of 1912' also known as the Albanian War of Independence, in Albanian historiography) was the last revolt against the Ottoman Empire's rule in Albania and lasted from January until August 1912.[1][2][3] The revolt ended when the Ottoman government agreed to fulfill the rebels' demands on 4 September 1912. Generally, Muslim Albanians fought against the Ottomans in the incoming Balkan War.[4]

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.[25] The members of the Balkan League decided that they could not waste such a golden opportunity to strike at a weakened Ottoman state.[26] 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 considered to be the concept of Greater Albania), preferring a partition of the European territory of the Ottoman Empire among the four Balkan allies.
In fact, it was the Albanian revolt, mainly in Kosovo, that compelled the Ottoman government to grant autonomy to the territorially undefined Albania on 18 August 1912, and which in turn provoked the military phase of the Balkan alliance against Istanbul.

When the Montenegrins and Serbians attacked the Ottoman state in October 1912 they encountered weak Ottoman resistance. The only significant obstacles to Serbian advances were mounted by the Albanian units of Isa Boletini, Idriz Seferi and Bajram Curri.

Still, the Albanians were more interested in being left to their own devices than in having a national state, least of all an alien one that the Serbs imposed on them. Moreover, they were quite unprepared for the ideological implications of Serbian nationalism, which systematically dehumanized them and portrayed them as a minority in their own land.

It should be noted that the Serbian cult of Kosovo, centered on the 1389 battle, was not a central theme of Serbian nationalism - and hence a legitimizing device for the Serbian claims to Kosovo, until the 1860s.

- Ivo Banac

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