League of Peja
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|History of Albania|
League of Peja (less commonly League of Peć or League of İpek, Albanian: Lidhja e Pejës) was an Albanian political organization established in 1899 in the city of İpek (now Peć, Albanian: Pejë), Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire. It was led by Haxhi Zeka, a former member of the League of Prizren and shared the same platform in quest for an autonomous Albanian vilayet within the Ottoman Empire. This organization was encouraged and supported by Austria-Hungary and directed against Ottoman reforms and against Serbs from Kosovo Vilayet.
Albanian patriotic circles had been seeing a need of creating a new organisation, similar to the first League of Prizren, and to include all the Albanian lands and place it in front of a national movement.
The first efforts for the creation of the league began on September 1896. Haxhi Zeka was named as head of this movement by the most influent Albanian leaders in the Ottoman province of Kosovo (Kosovo villayet was one of four Ottoman provinces - vilayets, with significant presence of Albanian population).
Albanian leaders led by Haxhi Zeka organised a meeting in Yakova (now Gjakova) in march-April 1897 as a first step for the creation of the league. There were two groups of members. The first group of conservative and more moderate members wanted five vilayets (with Salonika vilayet included) to be united into the Albanian vilayet, and the second group of the more radical members wanted the full administrative autonomy for the for vilayets united in the Albanian vilayet.
The league ended its activity in 1900 after an armed conflict with the Ottoman forces. Zeka was assassinated by a Serbian agent Adem Zajmi in 1902.
- Gawrych, p. 125
- Istorijski Časopis. Prosveta. 1984. p. 249. Retrieved 9 May 2013. "Тад покрет, познат под имен-ом „ПеНка лига“ (1898——1899), помаган и подстицан од Аустро-Угарске, био је уперен против реформне акције Порте, али и против косовских Срба чија је егзистенција у вилајету сматрана..."
- Jelavich, Charles; Jelavich, Barbara (1986). The establishment of the Balkan national states, 1804-1920. University of Washington Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-295-96413-3. "The first, more moderate, wanted the five vilayets (this would include Thessaloniki) that were inhabited by Albanians to be united in the single province... plan receives support of the conservatives. The more radical group desired unification of just four vilayets, but with full administrative autonomy"
- Bep Jubani et al., Historia e popullit shqiptar: për shkollat e mesme (Libri Shkollor: Pristina, 2002) 182-185.
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