Macedonians of Albania
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2013)|
|5.512 (official census 2011)- (120,000 to 350,000, according to the Association of Macedonians in Albania)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Mala Prespa, Golo Brdo, Korce, Bilisht|
|Predominantly Macedonian Orthodox, Islam|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Part of a series on|
|By region or country|
Macedonians of Albania (Macedonian: Македонци во Албанија, Makedonci vo Albanija; Albanian: Maqedonasit në Shqipëri) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in Albania. According to the census of 2011, only 5.870 Macedonians live in Albania. However, before the census, the Macedonian organizations from Albania asked Macedonians to boycott the census because only in Mala Prespa the Macedonians were allowed to declare themselves as such, In the 1989 census, 4,697 people had declared themselves Macedonian.
The condition of the Macedonian population living in the Prespa area is described in positive terms and particular praise is given since all the villages of the area have classes in their mother tongue. Macedonian organizations allege that the government undercounts their number and that they are politically under-represented, arguing there are no Macedonians in the Albanian parliament. Past Helsinki reports stated, "Albania recognizes [...] a Macedonian minority, but only in the Southern regions. Those who identify as Macedonians [...] outside these minority regions are denied the minority rights granted in the south, including minority classes at state schools." 
- 1 Areas inhabited by Macedonians
- 2 Education
- 3 Macedonian organizations
- 4 Politics
- 5 Religion
- 6 Macedonian media
- 7 Representation in Government
- 8 2009 minority study
- 9 Notable Macedonians from Albania
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Areas inhabited by Macedonians
Region of Mala Prespa
- Pustec (Macedonian: Пустец, Pustec)
- Lajthize (Macedonian: Леска, Leska)
- Zaroshke (Macedonian: Зрновско, Zrnovsko)
- Cerja (Macedonian: Церје, Cerje)
- Diellas (Macedonian: Шулин, Šulin)
- Gollomboç (Macedonian: Глобочани, Globočani)
- Goricë e Vogël (Macedonian: Долна Горица, Dolna Gorica)
- Goricë e Madhe (Macedonian: Горна Горица, Gorna Gorica)
- Kallamas (Macedonian: Туминец, Tuminec)
Region of Bilisht
Macedonians also inhabit the region to the South of Lake Prespa, known as Devoll. Many Macedonians can be found in Bilisht (Macedonian: Билишта, Bilišta) and in the village of Vernik (Macedonian: Врбник, Vrnik), which is the only Macedonian inhabited village in Albania considered to form a part of Aegean Macedonia. Macedonian populations can also be found in the villages of Sueci (Macedonian: Шуец, Šuec) and Zagradeci (Macedonian: Заградец, Zagradec).
Region of Korçë
A significant Macedonian population exists in the region of Korçë Macedonian: Корча, Korča, whilst in the vicinity of the city, in the villages of Boboshtice (Macedonian: Бобоштица, Boboštica) and Drenove (Macedonian: Дреново, Drenovo), the remnants of a much more numerous Macedonian speaking population can be found. The Korča dialect of Macedonian is used by the Macedonian inhabitants of this region.
Lake Ohrid Region
Macedonians can be found in the city of Pogradec Macedonian: Поградец as well as in the village of Lin (Macedonian: Лин), where they constitute the majority population. The Macedonians of Lin speak Vevčani-Radožda dialect of Macedonian. To the north of Lin, the village of Rrajcë (Macedonian: Рајца, Rajca) is inhabited by Macedonian Muslims.
Region of Golo Brdo
Macedonians also form the majority population in the Golo Brdo (Macedonian: Голо Брдо, Golo Brdo) region. The majority of the inhabitants of Golo Brdo are Macedonian Muslims, however there are significant minorities of Orthodox Macedonians and Albanians.
Macedonian populations can be found in the following places:
- Borovë (Macedonian: Борово, Borovo) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians and Albanians.
- Gjinovec (Macedonian: Гиновец, Ginovec or Гинеец, Gineec) - Inhabited by Orthodox and Muslim Macedonians
- Golovisht (Macedonian: Голеишта, Goleišta) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Klenje (Macedonian: Клење) - Inhabited by Orthodox and Muslim Macedonians
- Kojovec (Macedonian: Којовец) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Lladomericë (Macedonian: Владимирица, Vladimirica) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Libolesh (Macedonian: Љубалеш, Ljubalesh) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Miresh (Macedonian: Миреши, Mireši) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Moglice (Macedonian: Моглица, Moglica) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians.
- Orzhanovë (Macedonian: Оржаново, Oržanovo) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Ostren i Made (Macedonian: Големо Острени, Golemo Ostreni) - Inhabited by Orthodox and Muslim Macedonians
- Ostren i Vogel (Macedonian: Мало Острени, Malo Ostreni) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Pasinka (Macedonian: Пасинки, Pasinki) - Inhabited by Orthodox and Muslim Macedonians
- Prodan (Macedonian: Предон, Predon) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians.
- Sebisht (Macedonian: Себишта, Sebišta) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians and Albanians.
- Smoliku (Macedonian: Смолник, Smolnik) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians and Albanians.
- Steblevë (Macedonian: Стеблево, Steblevo or Стебљево, Stebljevo) - Inhabited by Orthodox and Muslim Macedonians
- Tërbaç (Macedonian: Тербачиште, Terbačište) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Trebisht (Macedonian: Требишта, Trebišta) - Inhabited by Orthodox and Muslim Macedonians
- Tuçep (Macedonian: Тучепи, Tučepi) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Vernice (Macedonian: Врница, Vrnica) - Inhabited by Orthodox Macedonians
- Viçisht (Macedonian: Вичишта, Vičišta) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians
- Zabzun (Macedonian: Забзун) - Inhabited by Muslim Macedonians and Albanians.
Region of Dolno Pole
The area known as Dolno Pole (Macedonian: Долно Поле) is mainly the area surrounding the modern town of Peshkopi Macedonian: Пешкопија. Several mixed Orthodox-Macedonian, Muslim-Macedonian and Albanian villages can be found in this region. They include:
- Dovolan (Macedonian: Довољани, Dovoljani)
- Herebel (Macedonian: Ербеле, Erbele)
- Kërçishti i Poshtëm (Macedonian: Долна Крчишта, Dolna Krčišta)
- Kërçishti i Epërm (Macedonian: Горна Крчишта, Gorna Krčišta)
- Maqellarë (Macedonian: Макелара, Makelara or Маќелари, Makjelari)
Region of Gora
Many inhabitants of the Gora Macedonian: Гора, Gora region are known as Torbeš, whose number has been estimated at c. 40,000 - 120,000. External estimates on the population of Macedonians in Albania include 10,000, whereas Macedonian sources have claimed 120,000 - 350,000 Macedonians in Albania 
Despite high levels of emigration the official number of people registering as Macedonians in Albania has more than doubled over the last 60 years:
- 1950 - 2,273
- 1955 - 3,341
- 1960 - 4,235
- 1979 - 4,097
- 1989 - 4,697
- 2011 - 5,870
There is a general high school in Pustec, one eight-year school in Dolna Gorica and six elementary schools in Djellas, Lajthize, Zaroshke, Gorna Gorica, Kallamas and Globočani. There are eight-year schools at the two biggest villages of the commune, Pustec and Gorice e Madhe, where 20 percent of the texts are held at the mother tongue language. At the centre of the commune there is a high school as well. The history of the Macedonian people is a special subject at the school. All minority schools have twin partnerships with counterparts in Macedonia. All the teaching personnel is local and with the proper education.
In September 1991 the "Bratska" Political Association of Macedonian in Albania (BPAMA) was established. Other Macedonian organizations include Macedonian Alliance for European Integration, Macedonian Society Ilinden Tirana, Prespa, Mir (Peace), Bratstvo (Brotherhood) and the MED (Macedonian Aegean Society). Ethnic Macedonian organization claim that 120.000 to 350,000 Macedonians live in Albania.
In March 2012, Macedonians in Golo Brdo formed "Most" (Macedonian for "Bridge"). The organisation's president, Besnik Hasani said that the group's goal is to "be fighting for recognition of Macedonians in Golo Brdo by the Albanian state and the introduction of the Macedonian language in schools... Also, our task will be to prevent the Bulgarian propaganda and efforts of Bulgaria for the Bulgarisation of the Macedonians in Golo Brdo."
The Macedonians in Albanian are represented by the Macedonian Alliance for European Integration (Macedonian: Македонска Алијанса за Европска Интеграција, Makedonska Alijansa za Evropska Integracija). In 2007 Edmond Temelko was elected to the position of Mayor of Pustec, and was reelected to this position in 2011, in which the party received ~2,500 votes. Edmond Osmani narrowly missed out being elected as Mayor of Trebište, however 5 Macedonian counsellors were elected in Pustec, 3 in Trebisht, 2 in Bilisht and another in Pirg.[dubious ]
The Macedonians in Albania are predominantly Macedonian Orthodox and Muslim. The Macedonian Muslims can be found primarily in the Golo Brdo, Gora and Peshkopi regions, with smaller populations in the South of the country in places such as Rajca, etc. There are however substantial Orthodox Macedonian minorities in both the Golo Brdo and Peshkopi regions. In the south of the country around Mala Prespa, Pogradec, Korce and Bilisht, the Macedonians are almost exclusively Orthodox.
The Community is currently in the process of building the first of many Macedonian Orthodox Churches. The Church 'St. Michael the Archangel' was started in the early 2000s. A new church is that of Saint Mary for which a considerable funding has been given by the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
The local radio of Korçë broadcasts the Fote Nikola (Macedonian: Фоте Никола) program which comprises news bulletins and songs in Macedonian for the Macedonian minority in Albania for half an hour each day. On November 7, 2002 the first private Macedonian-language radio station was set up. It is known as "Radio Prespa".
The local TV station has also released programs from the Republic of Macedonia. In November, 2010, the first Macedonian television station, Television Kristal (Macedonian: Телевизија Кристал, Televisija Kristal), was officially launched.
Numerous forms of Macedonian language print media serve the needs of the Macedonians living in Albania. In the early 1990s the first Macedonian language periodical known as Mir (Peace) emerged. Later still the newspaper Prespa (Macedonian: Преспа, Prespa), began to be pubslished by Macedonians living in the Mala Prespa region. The Macedonian newspaper 'Ilinden' was launched in April, 2011, by Macedonians living in Tirana.
Representation in Government
At present there is no Macedonian in the Albanian Parliament. But many of the Local Government representatives are Macedonian. The mayor of Pustec is Edmond Vangjel Themelko according to 2007 local elections. He is a Macedonian. There are Macedonians represented in the districts of Zvezda and Gorna Gorica.
2009 minority study
In March 2009, the Commission for Minority Issues of the Foreign Ministry of Albania announced the results of its study about the national minorities in the country. According to the study, there are 4,148 Macedonians (0.14% of the total population) living in the country. The mayor of Pustec Edmond Temelko criticised the report and said that "this number once again proves that the Albanian Government denies the existence of the Macedonian minority". He stated that the population of Pustec, which is mainly populated by ethnic Macedonians, is even 5,300 and that the Macedonian minority in Albania makes up 150,000. The ethnic Macedonian organisations of Albania announced they will complain at Albanian institutions and international organisations.
Notable Macedonians from Albania
- Koçi Xoxe - Former Defence and Interior Minister of Albania
- Edmond Themelko - Mayor of the Pustec Commune, Politician and Ethnic Macedonian activist
- Ilinden Spasse - Macedonian language writer and poet
- Sterjo Spasse - famous writer
- Nikola Berovski - Macedonian teacher and educator.
- Vlado Makelarski - Macedonian partisan.
- Mitre Kolevski - Macedonian partisan.
- Fote Nikola - editor-in-chief of the Macedonian programme of Radio Korce.
- Sotir Risto - Macedonian and Albanian poet.
- Kimet Fetahu - Macedonian activist in Albania and founder of Bratstvo organization.
- Taki Grazhdani - president of Prespa organization.
- Nikola Gjurgjaj - president of Ilinden organization.
- "Census 2011 Data: Resident population by ethnic and cultural affiliation". The Institute of Statistics of Republic of Albania. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Albania : Macedonians
- OSCE INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION
- Council of Europe 2004-2008
- Only 0.2 % Macedonians live in Albania according to the Albanian authorities makfax.com.mk
- Artan Hoxha and Alma Gurraj, "Local Self-Government and Decentralization: Case of Albania. History, Reforms and Challenges". In: Local Self Government and Decentralization in South - East Europe. Proceedings of the workshop held in Zagreb, Croatia. 6 April 2001. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Zagreb Office, Zagreb 2001, pp 194-224
- Minority Rights in Albania, page 3 - Albanian Helsinki Committee, September 1999
- Interview with Edmond Temelko, president of the Macedonian organization "Prespa" in Albania
- Helsinki report
- Official web page of the Macedonian Alliance
- Hendricks, P. "The Radozda-Vevcani Dialect of Macedonian". Peter De Ridder Press, 1976, p. 3.
- Distribution of the Macedonian minority in Albania
- Macedonians in Trebiste
- M. Apostolov, "The Pomaks: A Religious Minority in The Balkans", (1996)
- Landesinformationen: AlbINFO by albanien.ch
- 2003 OSCE - Macedonian Minority in Albania
- Jakim Sinadinovski, Macedonian Muslims, Then and Now
- U.S.ENGLISH Foundation Official Language Research - Albania: Language in everyday life
- The Macedonian Minority in Albania
- "Формирано македонско друштво "Мост" во Голо Брдо". Makfax (in Macedonian). 2 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- The Macedonian Alliance did not elect a second mayor
- Macedonians in Albania
- Minority Rights in Albania, Albanian Helsinki Committee, September 1999
- Under the direct auspices of the Albanian Helsinki Committee, from September 1999 to September 2000, an intensive work was carried out for the realization of the project "On the status of the minorities in the Republic of Albania". This project was financed by the Finnish Foundation 'KIOS', "Finnish NGO Foundation for Human Rights"
- TV Kristal, the First Macedonian Television station in Albania
- Makedonski Icelenuchki Almanac '97, Matitsa na Icelenitsite od Makedonija; Skopje: 1997; p.60-61
- Večer Online
- Dnevnik newspaper
- Macedonian Society Ilinden - Tirana
- Macedonian Alliance for European Integration
- Albanian Helsinki Committee report on the Macedonians in Albania
- Ilinden Newspaper
- Latest Edition of the Prespa Newspaper
- Osce report of Minorities in Albania
- Republic of Albania
- Photos of Macedonians in Albania
- World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Albania : Macedonians
- A video about the Ethnic Minority with both Albanian and Macedonian sources
- Macedonians in Gora celebrating Gjurgovden
- Macedonians in Pustec, Albania