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Anti-Albanian sentiment or Albanophobia is discrimination or prejudice towards Albanians as an ethnic group, described in countries with large Albanian population as immigrants, especially Greece and Italy though in Greece the sentiment existed mainly in the post-communist Albania era where criminals escaped to Greece. Today the term is obsolete. [1][2][3] but also in countries with historical Albanian minorities such as the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.[4]

A similar term used with the same denotation is anti-albanianism[5] used in many sources similarly with albanophobia, although its similarities and/or differences are not defined.

Its opposite is Albanophilia.

Origins and forms[edit]

The term "Albanophobia" was coined by Anna Triandafyllidou on a report analysis called Racism and Cultural Diversity in the Mass Media published in 2002.[1] Although, the first recorded usage of the term comes from 1982 in The South Slav journal, Volume 8 by Albanian author Arshi Pipa.[6] The report by Triandafyllidou represented Albanian migrants in Greece[7] and was followed by other researchers like Karyotis in Greece and Mai in Italy. The hyphenated form "Albano-phobia" is used on some references (including Triandafyllidou), apparently with the same meaning.

Albanian stereotypes that formed amid the creation of an independent Albanian state, and stereotypes that formed as a result of massive immigrations from Albania and Kosovo during the 1980s and '90s, although they may differ from each other, are still both considered Albanophobic and anti-Albanian by many authors such as Triandafyllidou, Banac, Karyotis.

Albanophobia signifies a wider range of concepts that could be roughly grouped in two main categories:

  • Albanophobia as xenophobic - referring to stereotypes in countries with a considerable number of Albanian immigrants like Greece, Italy, Switzerland and France.
  • Albanophobia as nationalistic - referring to stereotypes in countries with active disputes with Albanian ethnicity in the region, most commonly ex-Yugoslav countries (Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro). The second is more likely to be associated with the term anti-albanianism.[not in citation given]


The stereotype by some in Greece of Albanians as criminal and degenerate in Greece has been subject of study by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHFHR) and by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).[8][9] It is considered that prejudices and mistreatment of Albanians to be still present in Greece.[8] According to a statement of the IHFUR, the Albanians are the most likely ethnic group in Greece to be killed by Greek law enforcement officials.[8] In addition, the EUMC singles out ethnic Albanians as principle targets of racism. Furthermore, the EUMC found that undocumented Albanian migrants "experience serious discrimination in employment, particularly with respect to the payment of wages and social security contributions".[8][8][9]

Prejudicial representations of Albanians and Albanian criminality (see Albanian mafia) by the Greek media is largely responsible for the social construction of negative stereotypes, in contrast to the commonly held belief that Greek society is neither xenophobic nor racist.[10]

During an official military parade in Athens, Greek soldiers chanted "They are Skopians, they are Albanians, we will make new clothes out of their skins".[11]


Albanophobia in Italy is primarily related to the Albanian immigrants mainly young adults who are stereotypically seen as criminals, drug dealers.[12][13] Italian media provide a lot of space and attention to crimes committed by ethnic Albanians, even those just presumed.[14]

Republic of Macedonia[edit]

Anti-Albanian inscription written in Macedonian on a mosque, meaning "Death for Shqiptars"

Ethnic tensions have simmered in the Republic of Macedonia since the end of an armed conflict in 2001, where the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army attacked the security forces of Macedonia with the goal of securing greater rights and autonomy for the ethnic Albanian minority.

The Macedonian Academy for Science and Art was accused of Albanophobia in 2009 after it published its first encyclopedia in which was claimed that the Albanian endonym, Shqiptar, means "highlander" and is primarily used by other Balkan peoples to describe Albanians, if used in South Slavic languages the endonym is considered derogatory by the Albanian community. The encyclopaedia also claimed that the Albanians settled the region in the 16th century.[15][16][17] Distribution of the encyclopedia was ceased after a series of public protests.

On 20 January 2012, the fans of the Macedonia national handball team after winning against the Czech Republic in the European Championship in Serbia started chanting anti-Albanian slogans to which even the Macedonian players joined.[18] This trend continued during the match against Denmark on 22 January 2012.[19]

On 10 March 2012 a video uploaded on YouTube[20] by a Macedonian religious group known as "Christian Organization" burned the Albanian flag and called for Christians to unite against Albanians with the only goal to wipe them out ignoring the fact Albanians have large Christian peoples. The nationalist Albanian political party Red and Black Alliance condemned the act, declaring that with this kind of behavior Macedonia is damaging itself, the party also appealed to the Macedonian government to put distance from these people.[21]

On 12 April 2012, five ethnic Macedonian civilians were shot dead allegedly by ethnic Albanian in an attack known as the Železarsko lake killings. On 16 April 2012, in the wake of the attack, an anti-Albanian protest was held in Skopje by ethnic Macedonians in which the participants were recorded chanting “a good Shqiptar is a dead Shqiptar” and “gas chambers for Shqiptars”.[22][23][24][25]

On 28 February 2013 ten Albanian teenagers in Skopje were attacked and beaten by a masked gang armed with knives and blunt objects. Three of the victims were heavily injured and needed urgent medical attention. According to the victims the police came 40 minutes after the incident.[26]

On 1 March 2013 in Skopje, a mob of ethnic Macedonians protested against the decision to appoint Talat Xhaferi, an ethnic Albanian politician, as Minister of Defence.[27][28] The protest turned violent when the mob started hurling stones and also attacking Albanian bystanders and police officers alike. The police reports 3 injured civilians, five injured police officers and much damage to private property. Although the city hospital reported treating five heavily injured Albanian men, two of which are on Intensive-care unit.[29] During this protest part of the mob burned the Albanian flag.[30]

On 3 March 2013 an ethnic Albanian girl was attacked in Skopje by two masked Macedonian men who hit her with a baseball bat from behind and scarred her face with a knife.[31] In the same week an ethnic Albanian 13-year-old boy was attacked from a gang of masked ethnic Macedonian assailants. The gang attacked the boy after he refused to kiss a Christian cross, the boy being of the Islamic faith.[31]


The origins of anti-Albanian propaganda in Serbia started by the end of 19th century and the reason for this was the claims made by Serbian state on territories that were about to be controlled by Albanians after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.[32] On the eve of the First Balkan War 1912, Serbian media have implemented a strong anti-Albanian campaign.[33]

In 1937, the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, and more specifically the noted Serb scholar and political figure Vaso Čubrilović (1897-1990) wrote a memorandum entitled "The Expulsion of the Albanians" which dealt with the methods that should be used to expel Albanians including: creating a "psychosis" by bribing clergymen to encourage the Albanians to leave the country, enforcing the law to the letter, secretly razing Albanian inhabited villages, ruthless application of all police regulations, ruthless collection of taxes and the payment of all private and public debts, the requisitioning of all public and municipal pasture land, the cancellation of concessions, the withdrawal of permits to exercise an occupation, dismissal from government, the demolition of Albanian cemeteries and many other methods.[34]

During the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, on some occasions activities undertaken by Serbian officials in Kosovo have been marked as albanophobic.[35]

The Serbian media during Milošević's era was known to espouse Serb nationalism while promoting xenophobia toward the other ethnicities in Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians were commonly characterized in the media as anti-Yugoslav counter-revolutionaries, rapists, and a threat to the Serb nation.[36] During the Kosovo War, Serbian forces continually discriminating Kosovo Albanians:

Throughout Kosovo, the forces of the FRY and Serbia have harassed, humiliated, and degraded Kosovo Albanian civilians through physical and verbal abuse. Policemen, soldiers, and military officers have persistently subjected Kosovo Albanians to insults, racial slurs, degrading acts, beatings, and other forms of physical mistreatment based on their racial, religious, and political identification.[37]

— War Crimes Indictment against Milosevic and others

A survey in Serbia showed that 40% of the Serbian population would not like Albanians to live in Serbia while 70% would not enter into a marriage with an Albanian individual the same exists in Albania towards Serbs..[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b By Russell King, Nicola Mai, Out of Albania: from crisis migration to social inclusion in Italy, pp 114
  2. ^ Georgios Karyotis, Irregular Migration in Greece, pp. 9
  3. ^ By Russell King, Nicola Mai, Out of Albania: from crisis migration to social inclusion in Italy, pp 21
  4. ^
  5. ^ By Michael Mandelbaum, The new European diasporas: national minorities and conflict in Eastern Europe, 234
  6. ^ The South Slav journal, Volume 8 page 21, Arshi Pipa (1982).
  7. ^ By Anna Triandafyllidou, Racism and Cultural Diversity In the Mass Media, Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute, pp. 149
  8. ^ a b c d e
  9. ^ a b (EUMC Nov. 2001, 25, 38 n. 85)
  10. ^ Diversity and equality for Europe Annual Report 2000. European Monitoring Centre of Racism and Xenophobia, p. 38
  11. ^ Greek soldiers chant anti-Turkish-Albanian slogans at military parade
  12. ^ Italophilia meets Albanophobia: paradoxes of asymmetric assimilation and identity processes among Albanian immigrants in Italy
  13. ^ Breaking the Albanian stereotype
  14. ^ Out of Albania: From Crisis Migration to Social Inclusion in Italy
  15. ^ Macedonian encyclopedia pulled from shelves
  16. ^ Rashidi, Nazim. "Dënohet Enciklopedia maqedonase". BBC. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  17. ^ Macedonian Encyclopedia Sparks Balkan Ethnic Row
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Actual video footage. [ Christian OrganizationFlag2mp4]
  21. ^ Tozaj, Arta. Macedonians burn Albanian flag . Top Channel. Retrieved 2012-03-12
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Incident, sulmohen dhjetëra nxënës shqiptarë". Alsat-M. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  27. ^ "Trazira në Shkup, dhjetëra të lënduar". Alsat-M. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Приведени неколкумина учесници во инцидентот пред Влада". Puls 24. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "Dhuna nga tifozët, 5 të rinj shqiptarë në spita". Alsat-M. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "Protesta e huliganëve para Qeverisë, digjet edhe flamuri shqiptar". Alsat-M. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Sulmohet nxënësja në Shkup. MPB deklaratat e nxënëses kontradiktore". Alsat-M. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  32. ^ By Ivo Banac, The national question in Yugoslavia - origins, history, politics, page 293
  33. ^ Dimitrije Tucović, Srbija i Arbanija (in Izabrani spisi, book II, pp. 56) Prosveta, Beograd, 1950.
  34. ^ Ćubrilović, Vaso, The Expulsion of the Albanians: Memorandum 1937
  35. ^ By Nebojša Popov, Drinka Gojković, The road to war in Serbia: trauma and catharsis, pp. 222
  36. ^ International Centre Against Censorship. "Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina". International Centre Against Censorship, Article 19. Avon, United Kingdom: Bath Press, May 1994. P55
  37. ^ Indictment against Milosevic and others
  38. ^ Raste etnička distanca među građanima Srbije

External links[edit]