Sanjak of Novi Pazar

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Sanjak of Novi Pazar
  • Yeni Pazar sancağı  (Turkish)
  • Novopazarski sandžak  (Bosnian)
  • Новопазарски санџак (Serbian)
  • Sanxhaku i Pazarit të Ri  (Albanian)
Sanjak of the Ottoman Empire

30 May 1913


Location of Novi Pazar, Sanjak
The sanjak in late 19th century
Capital Novi Pazar
 -  Establishment 1485
 -  Integration into the Eyalet of Bosnia 1580
 -  Treaty of Berlin (1878) allows Austro-Hungarian garrisons (withdrawn from Novi Pazar after the annexation of Bosnia in 1908)

13 July 1878
 -  Partitioned after the First Balkan War and the Treaty of London (1913)
30 May 1913
Today part of

The Sanjak of Novi Pazar (or of Novi-Bazar;[1] Bosnian and Serbian: Новопазарски санџак, Novopazarski sandžak; Turkish: Yeni Pazar sancağı; Albanian: Sanxhaku i Pazarit të Ri) was an Ottoman sanjak (second-level administrative unit) that existed until the Balkan Wars of 1912–13 in the territory of present day Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.[a]


See also: Sandžak


The town of Novi Pazar did not exist at the time when Ottoman Bosnian general Isa-Beg Isaković captured the south-western parts of the Serbian Despotate somewhere around 1455, which in the immediate region included only the villages of Potok and Parice. In 1456, Isaković began building the town, establishing a marketplace (Turkish: pazar), a mosque, a public bath, a hostel, and a compound.[2] Novi Pazar initially belonged to the Jeleč vilayet of the Skopsko Krajište ("Skopje Frontier").[3] There were also the vilayets of Ras and Sjenica.[3] By 1463, Jeleč was incorporated into the larger Sanjak of Bosnia. The seat of the kadı was subsequently transferred from Jeleč to Novi Pazar little before 1485,[4] which led to the foundation of a separate Sanjak of Novi Pazar administered within the Rumelia Eyalet. After promotion of the Bosnian Sanjak into an eyalet in 1580, the Sanjak of Novi Pazar was re-administered to the Bosnia Eyalet where it would remain until 1864.

Ottoman Sanjak[edit]

Following the promulgation of the Vilayet Law in 1864, and the dismantling of the Bosnian Eyalet, Novi Pazar became a standalone Sanjak with its administrative seat in the city of Novi Pazar prior to becoming a part of the newly established Kosovo Vilayet in 1878. Throughout its existence it included most of the present day Sandžak region (named after the Sanjak of Novi Pazar), also called Raška, as well as northern parts of Kosovo (area around Kosovska Mitrovica).

Congress of Berlin (1878)[edit]

Political situation in 1878.

At the Congress of Berlin in 1878, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Andrássy, in addition to the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also obtained the right to station garrisons in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, which remained under Ottoman administration. The Sanjak preserved the separation of Serbia and Montenegro, and the Austro-Hungarian garrisons there would open the way for a dash to Salonika that "would bring the western half of the Balkans under permanent Austrian influence."[5] "High [Austro-Hungarian] military authorities desired [an ...] immediate major expedition with Salonika as its objective." [6]

On 28 September 1878 the Finance Minister, Koloman von Zell, threatened to resign if the army, behind which stood the Archduke Albert, were allowed to advance to Salonika. In the session of the Hungarian Parliament of 5 November 1878 the Opposition proposed that the Foreign Minister should be impeached for violating the constitution by his policy during the Near East Crisis and by the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The motion was lost by 179 to 95. By the Opposition rank and file the gravest accusations were raised against Andrassy.[6]

On 10 October 1878 the French diplomat Melchior de Vogüé described the situation as follows:

Particularly in Hungary the dissatisfaction caused by this "adventure" has reached the gravest proportions, prompted by that strong conservative instinct which animates the Magyar race and is the secret of its destinies. This vigorous and exclusive instinct explains the historical phenomenon of an isolated group, small in numbers yet dominating a country inhabited by a majority of peoples of different races and conflicting aspirations, and playing a role in European affairs out of all proportions to its numerical importance or intellectual culture. This instinct is to-day awakened and gives warning that it feels the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina to be a menace which, by introducing fresh Slav elements into the Hungarian political organism and providing a wider field and further recruitment of the Croat opposition, would upset the unstable equilibrium in which the Magyar domination is poised.[7]

This Austro-Hungarian expansion southward at the expense of the Ottoman Empire was designed to prevent the extension of Russian influence and the union of Serbia and Montenegro.

Ottoman administrational changes[edit]

In order to stop the Austro-Hungarian influence in the western parts of the Raška region, the Ottoman government made a new administrative change; the Sanjak of Novi Pazar was removed from the Bosnia Vilayet (with seat in Sarajevo) and joined into the Kosovo Vilayet (established in January 30, 1877, with seat in Priština) in 1879.[8][9] In 1880, the Sanjak of Pljevlja was established, which included the kaza (districts) of Pljevlja (its seat), Prijepolje, and the mundirate (branch office) in Priboj; these were places where Austro-Hungarian garrisons were located.[8] The same year, the Sanjak of Sjenica (the new Sanjak of Novi Pazar) was established, which included the districts of Sjenica (its seat), Nova Varoš, Bijelo Polje and Lower Kolašin (part of modern Bijelo Polje and Mojkovac municipalities).[8]

Withdrawal of Austro-Hungarian garrisons in 1908[edit]

At the beginning of 1908, Austria-Hungary announced intentions to build a railway through the Sanjak towards Ottoman Macedonia, which caused an international uproar. However, in negotiations with Russia the Austro-Hungarians indicated they would be willing to vacate the Sanjak in exchange for recognition of the annexation of Bosnia-Herzogovina.[10] The Austro-Hungarian garrisons were withdrawn from the Sanjak of Novi Pazar in 1908, following Austria-Hungary's formal annexation of the neighboring Ottoman vilayet of Bosnia, which also belonged (de jure) to the Ottoman Empire until 1908, but was under Austro-Hungarian military occupation since the Treaty of Berlin in 1878.

Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and the end of Ottoman rule[edit]

In the aftermath of the Ottoman defeat during the First Balkan War of 1912–1913, the territory of the Ottoman Sanjak of Novi Pazar was divided between Serbia and Montenegro according to the Treaty of London in 1913.


The Sanjak of Novi Pazar was mainly populated by Slavic-speaking Muslims (Islamized South Slavs, today known as Bosniaks), Serbs (Orthodox Christians), Albanian Muslims and Turks.


Some important cities in the sanjak were:[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. ^ "Novi-Bazar" is the spelling used in the English and French versions of pre-WW I documents and treaties, such as the Treaty of Berlin and the Treaty of San Stefano. T. E. Holland, The European Concert in the Eastern Question. A Collection of Treaties and Other Public Acts, London, 1885.
  2. ^ Mihailo Maletić (1969). Novi Pazar i okolina. Književne novine. p. 107. Retrieved 24 January 2013. Ако се (1455) помињу села Поток и Парице, а град не, то би значило да му још тада нису били ударени темељи. Изгледа ца се Иса-бег Исхаковић одлучио на изградњу града-утврђен>а већ 1456. године када имамо прве помене о Новом Пазару. Ји- речек, наводећи ко]е ]е све градове 1456. године заузео Мех- мед II Освајач, каже: ,,Те, 1456. 
  3. ^ a b Katić, Tatjana (2010), "Vilajet Pastric (Paštrik) 1452/1453 godine", Micelleanea (in Serbian), Belgrade: Istorijski Institut 
  4. ^ Hazim Šabanović (1959). Bosanski pašaluk: postanak i upravna podjela. Naučno društvo NR Bosne i Hercegovine. p. 118. Retrieved 27 January 2013. središta iz Jeleča u Novi Pazar izvršeno svakako nešto prije 1485 g., kada je Jeleč već bio izgubio raniji strateški značaj, a Novi Pazar, kome je Isa-beg Ishaković udario temelje još šezdesetih godina XV st. razvio se dotle u veću varoš. 
  5. ^ Albertini, Luigi (1952). The Origins of the War of 1914. Volume I. Oxford University Press. p. 19. 
  6. ^ a b Albertini, Luigi (1952). The Origins of the War of 1914. Volume I. Oxford University Press. p. 33. 
  7. ^ Albertini, Luigi (1952). The Origins of the War of 1914. Volume I. Oxford University Press. pp. 33–34. 
  8. ^ a b c Milić F. Petrović (1995). Dokumenti o Raškoj oblasti: 1900-1912. Arhiv Srbije. p. 8. Да би сузбила аустроугарски утицај у западним крајевима Рашке области, Турска је извршила нову управну поделу. Новопазарски санџак је 1879. год. издвојен из Босанског вилајста и прикључен Косовеком вилајету, који је основан још 1877. год. са седиштем у Приштини а касније у Скопљу. Потом је 1880. године основан пљеваљ- ски санџак — мутесарифлук тј. округ саседиштем у Пљевљима, који је обухватио казе Пљевља, Пријеноље и мундирлук - испоставу у Прибоју. Тосу места у којимасу се налазили аустро-угарски гарнизони. Исте године формиран је Новопазарски, одно- сно Сјенички санџак са седиштем у Сјеници, а који је обухватио казе: сјеничку, нововарошку, бјелопољску и доњоколашинску (територија данашњих општина Би- јело Поље и ... 
  9. ^ Dragoslav Srejović; Slavko Gavrilović; Sima M. Ćirković (1983). Istorija srpskog naroda: knj. Od Berlinskog kongresa do Ujedinjenja 1878-1918 (2 v.). Srpska književna zadruga. p. 263. Новопазарски санџак је већ 1879. издвојен из босанског вилајета са седиштем у Сарајеву и припојен косовском вилајету који је основан 30. јануара 1877. са седиштем у Приштини. Затим су турске власти 1880. образовале ... 
  10. ^ MacMillan, Margaret (2013). The War That Ended Peace. Random House. pp. 420–423. 

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