Albanians in Turkey
|Shqiptarët në Turqi|
Distribution of Albanian speakers in Turkey according to mother tongue, Turkish census 1965
|1,500,000 to 5,000,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Amasya Province, Ankara Province, Artvin Province, Bursa Province (Marmara Region), Hatay Province, Istanbul Province, İzmir Province, Kırklareli Province, Sakarya Province, Samsun Province and Tokat Province|
|Islam (Sunni · Bektashi · Sufism)|
|Related ethnic groups|
Albanians in Turkey (Albanian: Shqiptarët në Turqi, Turkish: Türkiye'deki Arnavutlar) are ethnic Albanian citizens and denizens of Turkey. They consist of Albanians who arrived during the Ottoman period, Kosovar/Macedonian and Tosk Cham Albanians fleeing from Serbian and Greek persecution after the beginning of the Balkan Wars, alongside some Albanians from Montenegro and Albania proper. A 2008 report from the Turkish National Security Council (MGK) estimated that approximately 1.3 million people of Albanian ancestry live in Turkey, and more than 500,000 recognizing their ancestry, language and culture. There are other estimates however that place the number of people in Turkey with Albanian ancestry and or background upward to 5 million.
- 1 Demographics
- 2 History
- 2.1 Migration and formation of the Albanian diaspora in Turkey
- 2.2 Albanians in Turkey today and transnational links with Balkan Albanians
- 2.3 Cham Albanians in Turkey
- 2.4 Albanophone Romani
- 3 Famous Albanians of Turkey
- 4 See also
- 5 References
In the census of 1965, 12,832 Turkish citizens spoke Albanian as first language, which is only 0.04% of the population. However, there were 403,445 Albanian speakers in total. These people were mostly living in Bursa (0.3%), Sakarya (0.2%), Tokat (0.2%) and Istanbul (0.2%). Another 390,613 spoke Albanian as second language (1.28% of Turkey's population). Together, Albanian speaking population in Turkey according to the census of 1965 was 403,445 or 1.3% of the total population of Turkey.
According to a 2008 report prepared for the National Security Council of Turkey by academics of three Turkish universities in eastern Anatolia, there were approximately 1,300,000 people of Albanian descent living in Turkey. According to that study, more than 500,000 Albanian descendants still recognize their ancestry and or their language, culture and traditions. In a 2011 survey, 0.2% within Turkey or roughly 150,000 people identify themselves as Albanian.
There are also other estimates regarding the Albanian population in Turkey that range from being 3-4 million people up to a total of 5 million in number, although most of these are Turkish citizens of either full or partial Albanian ancestry being no longer fluent in Albanian (cf. German Americans). This was due to various degrees of either linguistic and or cultural assimilation occurring amongst the Albanian diaspora in Turkey. Nonetheless, a sizable proportion of the Albanian community in Turkey, such as that of Istanbul, has maintained its distinct Albanian identity.
The Ottoman period that followed in Albania after the end of Skanderbeg's resistance was characterized by a great change. Many Albanians gained prominent positions in the Ottoman government such as: Iljaz Hoxha, Hamza Kastrioti, Koca Davud Pasha, Zağanos Pasha, Köprülü Mehmed Pasha (head of the Köprülü family of Grand Viziers), the Bushati family, Sulejman Pasha, Edhem Pasha, Nezim Frakulla, Haxhi Shekreti, Hasan Zyko Kamberi, Ali Pasha of Gucia, Muhammad Ali of Egypt and Ali Pasha of Tepelena who rose to become one of the most powerful Muslim Albanian rulers in western Rumelia. As such, there has been a considerable presence of Albanians in parts of the former Ottoman Empire in areas such as Anatolia due to the Ottoman administration and military.
Migration and formation of the Albanian diaspora in Turkey
First Phase: Labour and other migration (16th-early 20th centuries)
The Albanian diaspora in Turkey was formed during the Ottoman era and early years of the Turkish republic through migration for economic reasons and later sociopolitical circumstances of discrimination and violence experienced by Albanians in Balkan countries. Albanian migration to Turkey occurred during three distinctive phases. The first was during the Ottoman era when Albanians served as Ottoman bureaucrats, seasonal employees or in the military drawn to Istanbul, the then capital and the nearby area of the Marmara region. These Albanian migrations to northwestern Anatolia began from the 16th century onward. Members of the Albanian community from this group have for the most part assimilated into Turkish society, with small numbers regarding themselves as Albanians.
Albanians also undertook labour migration alongside other Balkan peoples to Anatolia that resulted in seasonal or permanent settlement. At times these Albanians were unemployed in Istanbul and often lived in near each other causing concern for Ottoman authorities that a large group of unemployed people having potential to cause social upheaval. Due to the sociopolitical crisis of the 18th century, Ottoman elites developed views of low-class Albanians being prone to banditry and crime alongside other vices and those views being reflected in Turkish popular culture of the shadow puppet Karagöz plays. Several Ottoman Sultans issued decrees forbidding Albanian migration to Istanbul resulting at times in Ottoman authorities breaking up clusters of Albanians in the city and deporting others back to their homeland, actions later undertaken in the Marmara region. An Albanian community in Istanbul and to a lesser extent in İzmir played a significant role through the emerging Albanian intelligentsia of the late 19th and early 20th century in shaping and generating Albanian nationalist aspirations. For example, the group Bashkimi (Union) opened offices in Istanbul and throughout Anatolia and the Balkans in various urban centres promoting Albanian sociopolitical rights, the development of Albanian language education, publishing and literature.
There were also some people coming from a Balkan Albanian speaking or cultural space and often belonging to the urban elite (şehirli) in Kosovo and Macedonia that migrated to Anatolia did not always identify with a concept of Albanianess. Instead during the 19th and early 20th centuries they adopted an Ottoman Turkish outlook and came to refer to themselves as Turks or Ottoman Turkish-speaking citizens. Due to the effects of socio-linguistic assimilation, promoters of Albanian nationalism became concerned about migration to Anatolia and degraded Albanians from the lower classes who undertook the journey. It is unknown if or to what degree descendants in contemporary times from this group have fluency or knowledge of the Albanian language.
Second Phase: Wars and forced population movements (1878-1944)
The second phase was during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Albanians mainly fled persecution and became refugees as the Ottoman Empire was disintegrating due to conflict. Albanians were expelled by the Serb army and fled from the Sanjak of Niş in 1878, settling in the Samsun region. The Balkan Wars (1912-1913) fought by Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria against the Ottoman Empire expanded the Albanian diaspora. Large numbers of Muslim refugees arrived in Istanbul and Anatolia overwhelming the abilities and resources of Ottoman authorities to provide food, shelter, personal registration and documentation. Descendants from these Albanians form the largest portion of the Albanian community in Turkey. Ottoman authorities aware of the demographics of Kosovo and Macedonia understood that a large portion of the unregistered refugees migrating toward Eastern Thrace and Anatolia were Albanian and many of them had congregated in urban centres like Karacabey, Edremit, Değirmendere, Karamürsel, Kirmasti and Bursa. There were several Ottoman official and press reports that referred to communal violence by incoming Albanian refugees against local Orthodox Greeks by evicting them from villages and taking their lands. The new Young Turk (CUP) government of the Ottoman Empire sought to restructure the demographic situation during the First World War around the wider Marmara region.
At the onset of the war, Albanian migration to Anatolia continued toward districts (Istanbul, Edirne, Hüdavendigâr) and counties (Çatalca, Kale-i-Sultaniye, İzmit and Gelibolu) made forbidden by authorities to Albanians, due to large numbers already present and the geostrategic importance of the area. The Young Turk government viewed Albanians as prone to banditry and violence when congregated and sought to undermine threats to the state through dispersal. The Young Turk government also was distrustful of Albanians after they had declared independence from the Ottoman Empire, especially Christian Albanians who were involved in that process and they were banned from coming into the country. New destinations by the Ottoman government were intended for Albanian migrants toward Ankara, Konya with resettlement in Sivas, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Kayseri, Adana and other places while those measures were also applied to settled Albanians in the Marmara region with few exceptions. Albanians were one of many Muslim peoples in the empire set for resettlement throughout Anatolia to generate conditions for linguistic and cultural assimilation with the aim of creating loyal Muslim Turkish speaking citizens. Ottoman government officials applied the policy in some regions and avoided it in other places understanding the sociopolitical importance of Albanians in an area as some of the decision making authorities hailed from a Balkan Albanian linguistic or cultural space. Some Albanian migrants resisted those government moves for resettlement.
After Albanian independence, the Albanian elite from Shkodër, Tiranë or Kosovo had the option of working for the Republic of Albania while those Albanian elites from Greek and Serbian Macedonia had no home or government in need of them or familial, business or other Balkan networks to draw upon and moved to Anatolia. The Albanian community consisting of a large number of refugees was geographically fragmented between 1914-1918 and were not much integrated into Ottoman paramilitary formations based on the Eastern Front, unlike other more established communities like the Circassians. Albanians were seen as possible recruits for those structures and some Albanians from the Ottoman elite who had previous affiliations to the CUP in the Balkans or joined later in Anatolia, worked to recruit Albanians. At the end of the First World War, Albanians of the Bursa and Kirmasti regions in paramilitary formations had sided with the Turkish Nationalists. Albanian armed groups fought against Laz and Georgian paramilitaries due to local interests and familial rivalries in the South Marmara region while Albanian paramilitaries attacked Christian villages and Ottoman officials had minimal to no control of the wider area. Fighting also occurred between Albanian and Circassian paramilitaries of whom the latter sacked and plundered Albanian properties in the Marmara region. Some Circassian paramilitaries focusing on provincial issues cooperated with incoming Greek military forces in 1920 during the Turkish War of Independence and Albanian paramilitaries fought against them. Albanian paramilitaries were also active in the Bafra region. Little attention was placed by the older Istanbul Albanian diaspora toward the plight of Albanians recently arrived in Anatolia. Instead they were indifferent to the occupation of Ottoman Anatolian lands and mainly interested in Balkan Albanian affairs, in relation to Yugoslav encroachment of Albanian sovereignty in the early 1920s.
The Turkish republic was established in 1923 and Albanian immigration continued unabated through Thrace and Turkey found it difficult to resettle Albanian refugees in state assigned areas or to stop them going to regions that were classed as forbidden. The Turkish government instead preferred Turks and other Muslims from the Balkans and the National Assembly forbid Albanians with Serbian and Yugoslav passports from entering Turkey. The Turkish republic reserved a right to remove, disperse and resettle Albanians to parts of Turkey it desired. Unlike the previous Young Turk government, Albanians were no longer forbidden by new republican authorities to settle in the South Marmara region, as the capital Istanbul was transferred to Ankara and the region lost its strategic importance. By allowing freedom of movement for the Albanian community, Turkey sought to integrate those Albanians already present into Turkish society. Local Turkish administration authorities differed toward their views in resettling Albanians with some like provinces of Antalya, Kocaeli and Çatalca refusing assistance, while others such as Iğdır and Adana expressed a willingness to accept Albanian refugees. Albanian communities in many areas were newly established such as those in Çatalca, Niğde, Kirkkilise, Kastamonu and Osmaniye made up mainly of Albanian refugees from Kosovo and Macedonia with some working as merchants, government employees while some others engaged in banditry.
Some Turkish administration officials in official correspondences under reported Albanian numbers of both long established communities and newer arrivals living in parts of Turkey. Other Turkish authorities noted that Albanian communities had become dense living in many Turkish villages, towns, neighbourhoods and often comprising at least 10 percent of the population. The region of İzmir had the most Albanians made up of a long established population, some that were displaced by Greek military forces during the war and newer arrivals squatting on abandoned Greek properties of which some were relocated to the Anatolian interior around Isparta and Niğde and given former Armenian property. In Istanbul Turkish authorities compiled lists of names and other family details of which Albanians, mainly from Kosovo and Macedonia were to remain and others to be relocated in Anatolia. Albanians from the Istanbul area had a preference to be resettled in the region of İzmir. Turkish officials generated a large corpus of correspondences and administrative documents that contained details about Albanian refugees and immigrants regarding their location, numbers and percentage of the population and where they could be relocated. Other administrative documents refer to Turkish officials losing track of other Albanians who were unregistered or unaccounted for during the period of war. Integrated Albanians who were employed as state civil servants, merchants, landowners, tradesmen, officials and officers featured little in Turkish state documentation and attention was toward Albanian refugees and the poor viewed as populations who could threaten the state. Continued Albanian immigration was viewed negatively by the Turkish government as Albanians in immigration law (1926) were placed within the third tier alongside Arabs, Kurds and Romani populations, viewed as subversive and undesirable that were forbidden to be naturalised.
Albania pursued developing and furthering interstate relations with Turkey of which were considerations and concerns toward safeguarding the interests of the large Albanian population in Turkey who were experiencing economic and political problems. Within the context of Albanian-Turkish bilateral relations, both countries signed the Citizenship Agreement (1923) that contained provisions for safeguarding property and citizenship rights of Turkish citizens in Albania and of Albanian nationals in Turkey while due to the Lausanne Treaty Ankara did not uphold those protocols in relation to Christian Albanians. In 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne formalised a Greco-Turkish population exchange which was done according to religious affiliation and not based on linguistic or other differences. High ranking Turkish officials such as Rıza Nur, a close associate of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had negative views of Albanians and pressed for their exclusion from the population exchange to Turkey of which Greece agreed. Greek representatives noted that Albanians were confined only to Chameria and had promised Turkish officials that only Turkish speakers from Epirus and other regions from Greece would be sent. Thousands of Albanians from Chameria arrived to Turkey alongside others from Preveza, Ioannina and Florina that resettled around Bursa and the wider South Marmara region and were part of the Turkish effort to rebuild settlements destroyed during the war. Albania tried and failed to convince Ankara to omit Orthodox Albanians who were regarded as Greeks from the population exchange with Greece and to safeguard their property and assets in Turkey. Turkey claimed that conventions in the Lausanne treaty defined automatically all Orthodox people as Greeks and could not be undone for individual groups or cases.
Tirana was also concerned about the forced removal of Muslim Albanians during the population exchange with Greece who had arrived to Turkey and were living in difficult economic circumstances to be permitted migration to Albania if they so wished. Granted that right for Albanians from Chameria, the arrangement also covered Albanians arriving to Turkey from Yugoslavia the ability for migration to Albania. Turkish officials such as Nur expressed their displeasure that Albanians had arrived as Turks contravening the exchange agreement and that they were resettled in areas such as Kartal, Pendik and Erenköy, west of İzmit considered to be high quality lands and in Ankara. Albanians descended from people arriving during the population exchange still inhabit the areas of Erenköy and Kartal in Istanbul, as well as a number of towns in the area of Bursa, especially Mudanya. Albanians from the Kastoria region in Greece during the population exchange also arrived to Turkey. Riza Nur placed blame on Abdülhalik Renda, an Albanian native of Ioannina and close associate of Atatürk who served as İzmir governor during the period of encouraging Albanians to resettle from other Anatolian regions to İzmir. Official Turkish government reports of the gendarmerie and local officials refer to large numbers of Albanians from the Anatolian interior from places such as Bursa, Eskişehir, Konya and others traveling toward the Turkish Aegean coast, in particular İzmir. Turkish authorities expressed concerns that Albanians were going to "make this place into Albania". Albanians kept arriving into Turkey illegally and their main destination was İzmir.
From 1925 onward Yugoslavia sought an agreement with Turkey to allow for the migration of Muslims and Albania was concerned that it entailed the removal of Albanians from the Balkans to be resettled in depopulated parts of Turkey. Turkey reiterated to Albania its disinterest in Albanians from Yugoslavia coming to Anatolia and that the matter mainly related to ethnic Turks of Vardar Macedonia. With large numbers of Albanian refugees present in Turkey by the mid 1920s an understanding had arisen with Albania to cooperate and stem Albanian migration from Yugoslavia which decreased substantially during the remainder of the 1920s. Between 1923-1939 however, 115,000 Yugoslav citizens migrated to Turkey and both Yugoslavian and Turkish sources note that the majority of migrants were Albanian. Albanian scholars from Albania and Kosovo place the number of Albanian immigrants in the hundreds of thousands. As there is no access to the Turkish Foreign Ministry archive regarding this issue, the total numbers of Albanians arriving to Turkey during the interwar period are difficult to ascertain. Turkey attempted to resettle these Albanians in eastern Anatolia within areas such as Yozgat, Elazığ, and Diyarbakır though many Albanians eventually settled in Eskişehir, Kocaeli, Tekirdağ, İzmir, Bursa and Istanbul. Albanians from Yugoslavia migrated to Turkey for a variety of reasons that included confiscations of land and redistribution to Serb colonists in Kosovo alongside the warfare between the armed Albanian Kaçak resistance movement active in Kosovo and north-western Macedonia with Yugoslav authorities. Yugoslav authorities viewed Albanians as a hostile population and preferred to reduce their presence in Yugoslavia, while Turkey wanted to repopulate areas of Anatolia that had been emptied of its previous Orthodox Greek speaking and Turkish speaking Christians during the population exchange.
In 1933, several visits by the Turkish foreign minister Tevfik Rüştü Aras to Belgrade in talks with the Yugoslav foreign ministry discussed the deportation of Muslims from the area of Yugoslavia that had been designated as South Serbia to Anatolia. In 1938, Aras and his Yugoslav counterpart Milan Stojadinović after five years of negotiations signed a joint convention regarding the migration of Muslim Turks to Turkey. The agreement referred to the proposed relocation of 40,000 families between 1939-1944 in accordance with regulations and requirements such as being fluent in Turkish, exclusion of Romani and targeting municipalities in Kosovo and western Macedonia for the migration process. Rural communities were to be mainly targeted and properties of those people deported was to be liquidated in Yugoslavia, while the journey to Anatolia from the port of Thessaloniki would be funded by Turkey and monitored by a joint Turkish-Yugoslav commission. Archival and printed literature from the period show the agreement to have been a misleading and deceptive document in its wording and intent as the outcome was for the removal of the Albanian population to Turkey. During the negotiation of the bilateral convention Atatürk met with Yugoslav authorities and later submitted the agreement to the Turkish parliament for ratification. In July 1938, some 5 months before the death of Atatürk, the Turkish parliament refused to ratify the agreement and with the onset of the Second World War, the measure was not reconsidered. Of all those who settled in villages where Albanians became or are the only population, the language has been retained to various degrees, whereas in ethnically mixed areas language retention has been obsolete.
Third Phase: 1945-2000s
The third phase of Albanian migration to Turkey involves the post-world war two period until 1999. Albanian migrants during this era originated from Yugoslavia, in particular Kosovo during the 1950s–1970s often due to discrimination and or pressure exhibited by the state on Albanians to declare themselves Turkish and migrate to Turkey. Between 1952-1967 some 175,000 Muslims emigrated from Yugoslavia and though many were Macedonian speaking Muslims (Torbeš), Bosniaks and ethnic Turks, the majority of migrants were Albanians. Many of these Albanians from Yugoslavia settled in urban centres such as İzmir, Gemlik and Aydin. With the fall of communism, some Albanians arrived from Albania to Turkey after 1992. In 1999, some Albanians arrived to Turkey fleeing the conflict in Kosovo. Albanians from this third group have mainly settled in large urban centres located in western areas of Turkey.
There are Albanian language schools in Turkey. The Turkish-Albanian Brotherhood Culture and Solidarity Association aims to preserve Albanian culture and traditions by hosting cultural nights and folklore festivals. This organization based in Bayrampaşa (Istanbul) has three branches located in Küçükçekmece and in the provinces of Ankara and Bursa. It also provides Albanian language classes throughout the year and organizes celebrations to commemorate the independence of Albania.
Albanians are active in the civic life of Turkey. In Turkey, Albanians participate in Turkish politics through membership of local and national cultural associations (dernek). These organisations range from the more religiously conservative Rumeli Türk Derniği, the ethno-nationalist Türk-Arnavut Kardeșliği and the more community oriented Sakarya Arnavutları Kültür ve Dayanıșma Derniği. After the Turks and Kurds, Albanians are the third most represented ethnic group of parliamentarians in the Turkish parliament, though belonging to different political parties. The Albanian diaspora in the country lobbied the Turkish government for recognition of Kosovo's independence by Turkey. State relations of Albania and Kosovo with Turkey are friendly and close, due to the Albanian population of Turkey maintaining close links with Albanians of the Balkans and vice versa and also Turkey maintaining close socio-political, cultural, economic and military ties with Albania and Kosovo. Albanians who migrated in a post Second World War context, in particular from Kosovo and Macedonia have closer family contact with relatives in Turkey and vice versa than those from Albania whose migrations to Anatolia occurred much earlier. Turkey has been supportive of Albanian geopolitical interests within the Balkans. In Gallup polls conducted in the 2010s, Turkey is viewed as a friendly country with a positive image amongst a large majority of people in Albania, Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia which contains a sizable Albanian minority.
Albanians form a significant population group in Turkey and have contributed to Turkish society and the state with many merchants, army officers, labourers, officials, educators and intellectuals. The Turkish military has traditionally viewed Albanian identity in Turkey as a sub-ethnic identity alongside others forming part of the larger state-centric Turkish identity and that debates about primary versus sub-identities would undermine (Turkish) national identity. The current AKP Turkish political leadership has acknowledged that there are large numbers of people with Albanian origins within Turkey, more so than in Albania and Kosovo combined and are aware of their influence and impact on domestic Turkish politics. Albanian identity in Turkey was given prominent focus in 2013 when Hakan Şükür, a former soccer player turned politician declared "I am Albanian, as such i am not a Turk" while giving a university speech which caused media controversy and heated public discussions about Turkish identity.
In 2016, as part of a state project named "living languages and accents in Turkey" the Turkish government accepted the Albanian language as a selective course for its schools and announced that classes would start in 2018, first being piloted in areas with people of Balkan origins. The first inaugural Albanian language class opened (2018) in a school within the Izmir area, attended by the Turkish and Albanian education ministers İsmet Yılmaz and Lindita Nikolla.
Cham Albanians in Turkey
Muslim Chams in Turkey form the second largest community of Chams, after Albania. This community was established after the two World Wars. After the First World War, Chams were forced to leave for Turkey during the population exchange, and another migration wave followed after the Second World War, when a minority of the Chams expelled from Greece chose Turkey over Albania because of their anti-communist sentiments.
The exact number of Muslim Chams in Turkey is unknown, but various estimates conclude that they number between 80,000 and 100,000, from a total population of 1.3 to 6 million Albanians that live in Turkey. The Chameria Human Rights Association declares that most of them have been linguistically assimilated, although they maintain Albanian consciousness and regional Cham traditions. A considerable number of Chams in Turkey have changed their surnames to Cam or Cami, which in Turkish means pine, in order to preserve their origin. They are organized within the "Albanian-Turkish Brotherhood Association" (Albanian: Shoqëria e Vllazërisë Shqiptaro-Turke, Turkish: Türk-Arnavut Kardeşliği Derneği), which fights for the rights of Albanians.
In Turkey there exists small communities of Albanian speaking Romani in Adana and Gaziantep who self-identify as Albanians and are employed in trades such as blacksmithing, metalwork and ironwork. The collapse of Ottoman rule in southern Europe due to the Balkan wars (1912-1913) caused their ancestors to migrate and settle in Turkey.
Famous Albanians of Turkey
- Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938
- Ali Rıza Efendi – Father of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
- Makbule Atadan – Sister of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey
- Şükrü Saracoğlu – Turkish politician, the fifth Prime Minister of Turkey and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs during the early stages of World War II
- Koca Sinan Pasha – Ottoman grand vizier, Ottoman military figure, and statesman
- Abdi Pasha the Albanian – Ottoman politician and military leader
- Oruç Reis – Ottoman bey (governor) of Algiers and beylerbey (chief governor) of the West Mediterranean
- Lütfi Pasha – Ottoman statesman and grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman the Magnificent from 1539 to 1541
- Said Halim Pasha – Ottoman statesman
- Gedik Ahmed Pasha – Ottoman statesman and admiral
- Koçi Bey – high-ranking Ottoman bureaucrat
- Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Pasha – Ottoman military officer and statesman. He served as Kapudan Pasha and as grand vizier.
- Köprülüzade Numan Pasha – Ottoman statesman who was the grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire*Hacı Halil Pasha – Ottoman Grand vizier
- Dukakinzade Ahmed Pasha – Ottoman statesman, serving as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to 1515
- Şemsi Pasha – prominent Ottoman nobleman and statesman
- Tabanıyassı Mehmed Pasha – Ottoman statesman*Damat Ferid Pasha – Ottoman statesman, who held the office of Grand Vizier*Hacı Halil Pasha – Ottoman Grand vizier
- Mehmet Akif Ersoy – Ottoman born Turkish poet, writer, academic, member of parliament, and the author of the Turkish National Anthem
- Bayezid Pasha – Ottoman statesman who served as grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1413 to 1421
- Yakup Ağa – Former Sipahi
- Djevdet Bey – Governor of the Van vilayet of the Ottoman Empire during World War I and the Siege of Van
- Reshid Akif Pasha – Ottoman statesman during the last decades of the Ottoman Empire
- Mehmed Ferid Pasha – Ottoman statesman
- Abdülhalik Renda – Turkish civil servant and politician.
- Birgül Ayman Güler – female Turkish academic and politician.
- Mustafa Kemal Kurdaş – Turkish economist who served as Turkish Minister of Finance
- Kenan Evren – Seventh President of Turkey from 1980 to 1989
- Vasıf Çınar – Turkish educator, politician, journalist and diplomat
- Abdülkadir Aksu – Turkish politician
- Ahmet Piriştina – two term mayor (1999 - 2004) of Turkey's third largest city, Izmir
- Hüseyin Numan Menemencioğlu – Turkish diplomat and politician
- Ali Fuat Cebesoy – Turkish army officer and politician
- Yahya Kemal Beyatlı – Leading Turkish poet and author, as well as a politician and diplomat
- Ahmet Erdem – Turkish civil servant who served as the Minister of Labour and Social Security in the interim election government formed by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu between 28 August and 17 November 2015
- Oya Araslı – female Turkish academic and politician
- Levent Gök – Turkish politician from the Republican People's Party (CHP) who currently serves as one of the three parliamentary group leaders for his party since 22 August 2014
- Lale Karabıyık – Turkish scholar and politician. She is currently a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for the Republican People's Party
- Aziz Kocaoğlu – Turkish politician who has been the Mayor of İzmir, Turkey's third largest city
- Erhan Afyoncu – Turkish historian, writer, academician, television programmer and columnist. Rector of the National Defense University
- Rıdvan Turan – Turkish politician from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)
- Meral Akşener – Turkish politician. She served as Minister of the Interior and was a vice-speaker of the Parliament.
Banking, Business and Finance
- Murat Çetinkaya – Current Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey appointed on April 2016
- Erdem Başçı – Turkish economist and the former Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey
- Osman Birsen – Turkish high-ranking civil servant for finance and was the CEO of the Istanbul Stock Exchange between 1997 and 2007
- Cem Uzan – Turkish businessman and politician
- Enver Pasha – Ottoman military officer
- Kara Mustafa Pasha – Ottoman military commander and Grand Vizier, who was a central character in the Ottoman Empire's last attempts at expansion into both Central and Eastern Europe.
- Nuri Killigil – Ottoman general in the Ottoman Army
- Kâzım Özalp – Turkish military officer, politician, and one of the leading figures in the Turkish War of Independence.
- Hayrullah Fişek – Officer in the Turkish army
- Mehmet Esat Bülkat – Ottoman general active during the First Balkan War
- Hayreddin Barbarossa – Ottoman admiral of the fleet
- Hasan Tahsin Pasha – Ottoman military officer, who served in Yemen and in the First Balkan War.
- Alemdar Mustafa Pasha – Ottoman military commander and a Grand Vizier
- Ahmed Izzet Pasha – Ottoman general during World War I
- Wehib Pasha – General in the Ottoman Army
- Ismail Fazıl Pasha – General of the Ottoman Army
- Ishak Pasha – Ottoman general, statesman, and later Grand Vizier
- Kara Murat Pasha – Ottoman statesman and military officer
- İzzettin Çalışlar – Officer of the Ottoman Army and the general of the Turkish Army
- Yaşar Büyükanıt – 25th Chief of the Turkish General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, from 28 August 2006 to 28 August 2008
- Mustafa Levent Göktaş – Turkish colonel, who took part in the 1999 operation to catch Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdish terror organization PKK
- Nurettin Ersin – Turkish general. He was the Commander of the 6th Corps during the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, and the Commander of the Turkish Army during the 1980 military coup
- Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ – Turkish actor.
- Tolgahan Sayışman – Turkish actor and model
- Beren Saat – Turkish actress
- Halit Ergenç – Actor, Ergenç's mother is of Albanian descent.
- Bergüzar Korel – Turkish actress
- Saadet Aksoy – Turkish actress
- Barış Arduç – Actor and Model, born in Switzerland in the family of Albanian immigrants
- Bensu Soral – Turkish actress
- Semih Kaplanoğlu – Turkish screenwriter, film director and producer
- Nur Fettahoğlu – Turkish-German actress
- Kaan Urgancıoğlu – Turkish actor,Urgancıoğlu's mother is of half Albanian origin
- Haluk Bilginer – Turkish actor
- Engin Altan Düzyatan – Turkish actor.
- Filiz Akın – Turkish actress
- Berrak Tüzünataç – Turkish female actress
- Sinem Öztürk – Turkish actress and presenter
- Naz Elmas – Turkish female actress.
- Hande Ataizi – Turkish actress.
- Hazal Kaya – Turkish actress and model
- Can Yaman – Turkish actor and lawyer
- Özgü Namal – Turkish actress. She is known as one of the best actresses in Turkey
- Begüm Kütük – Turkish actress and model
- Nur Sürer – Turkish actress
- Meral Çetinkaya – Turkish film actress
- Şehnaz Dilan – Turkish former women's footballer, model, film and TV actress and singer
- Engin Öztürk – Turkish actor
- Özgür Çevik – Turkish singer and actor
Arts and entertainment
- Simge – Turkish female singer, songwriter and composer
- Gülben Ergen – Turkish female singer.
- Zeki Müren – Turkish singer, composer, songwriter, actor and poet. Known by the nicknames "The Sun of Art" and "Pasha" he was one of the prominent figures of the Turkish classical music
- Candan Erçetin – Turkish singer, songwriter and Vice-President of Galatasaray.
- Yeşim Salkım – Turkish singer
- Soner Özbilen – Turkish folk singer, conductor, and compiler
- Emel Sayın – Turkish singer and movie actress
- Engin Noyan – Turkish musician
- Ayşegül Aldinç – Turkish singer and actress
- Seda Sayan – Turkish pop folk singer, actress, and TV variety-show hostess
- Izel – Turkish pop singer
- Ebru Şallı – Television personality, model, businesswoman, author, actress, and former beauty pageant titleholder from Turkey
- Gül Gölge – well-known former host of the program "Canlı Canlı" which is aired on Kanal D. She is also a model and actress.
- Çağla Kubat – Turkish model, actress and windsurfer who is member of Fenerbahçe sailing & windsurfing team
- Selen Soyder – Turkish actress, activist, model and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss World Turkey 2007 and represented her country in the Miss World 2007 in Sanya, China
- Gizem Karaca – Turkish actress and model
- Tuba Ünsal – Turkish actress and model
- Aysun Kayacı – former Turkish model, current actress and presenter.
- Katre Türkay – Turkish model, actress and television hostess.
- Tuvana Türkay – Turkish actress and model
- Tuğçe Kazaz – Turkish model, actress and Miss Turkey 2001
- Merve Boluğur – Turkish model and actress
- Ali Sami Yen – Albanian-Turkish sports official best known as the founder of the Galatasaray Sports Club
- Qemal Omari – Turkish former football player and manager
- İlhan Cavcav – Former President of Gençlerbirliği S.K.
- Hakan Şükür – Footballer Şükür is of Kosovar Albanian origin
- Arif Erdem – football player
- Emre Aşık – Turkish former international footballer
- Tugay Kerimoğlu – Turkish former footballer who played the majority of his career for Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers
- Abdullah Ercan – retired Turkish international footballer
- Ayhan Akman – retired Turkish footballer who last played for Galatasaray
- Emre Belözoğlu – Turkish footballer of Albanian origin
- Serdar Aziz – Turkish footballer of Albanian origin
- Semih Kaya – Kaya's grandfather emigrated from Macedonia to the Turkish city of İzmir
- Necip Uysal – Uysal's parent are of Kosovo Albanian origin
- Serdar Kurtuluş – Turkish footballer of Albanian origin
- Serkan Kurtuluş – football player
- Erkan Kaş – Turkish footballer who plays for Kayserispor
- Atınç Nukan – Turkish professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Süper Lig club Beşiktaş.
- Erten Ersu – Turkish footballer who plays for Fenerbahçe
- Eray İşcan – Turkish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Süper Lig club Galatasaray.
- Ufuk Ceylan – Turkish professional footballer
- Mert Günok – Turkish professional footballer
- Ertuğrul Ersoy – Turkish professional footballer who plays as a defender for Turkish Süper Lig club Bursaspor
- Okan Kocuk – Turkish professional footballer
- Semih Yuvakuran – Turkish football manager and retired footballer
- Utku Yuvakuran – Turkish football goalkeeper
- Berkay Can Değirmencioğlu – Turkish footballer
- Derya Arhan – Turkish women's football defender
- Sertan Vardar – Turkish professional footballer
- Orhan Ak – Turkish former professional footballer
- Sinan Güler – Turkish professional basketball player for Fenerbahçe
- Barış Hersek – Turkish professional basketball player for Fenerbahçe of the Turkish Basketball Super League (BSL)
- Mehmet Okur – Turkish retired professional basketball player
- Kenan Sipahi – Turkish-Kosovar professional basketball player for Beşiktaş
- Birsel Vardarlı – Turkish basketball player
- Caner Erdeniz – Turkish professional basketball player for Galatasaray
- Namık Kemal – Ottoman democrat, writer, intellectual, reformer, journalist, playwright, and political activist
- Abidin Dino – Turkish artist and a well-known painter
- Gökşin Sipahioğlu – Turkish photographer and journalist who founded the renowned Paris-based photo agency Sipa Press
- Meltem Arıkan – Turkish novelist and playwright
- Musa Hakan Asyalı – Turkish scientist and professor of biomedical engineering
- Albania–Turkey relations
- Kosovo–Turkey relations
- Albania under the Ottoman Empire
- Man of Soil (Njeriu prej Dheu) - 1984 Kosovan drama-thriller film about Albanian migration to Turkey
- Saunders 2011, p. 98.
- "Türkiye'deki Kürtlerin sayısı!" (in Turkish). 6 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
- Yenigun 2009, p. 184. "Turkey contains 5-6 million Albanians (more than in the Balkan area)"
- Geniş & Maynard 2009, pp. 553–555. "Taking a chronological perspective, the ethnic Albanians currently living in Turkey today could be categorized into three groups: Ottoman Albanians, Balkan Albanians, and twentieth century Albanians. The first category comprises descendants of Albanians who relocated to the Marmara and Aegean regions as part of the Ottoman Empire's administrative structure. Official Ottoman documents record the existence of Albanians living in and around Istanbul (Constantinople), Iznik (Nicaea), and Izmir (Smyrna). For example, between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries Albanian boys were brought to Istanbul and housed in Topkapı Palace as part of the devşirme system (an early Ottoman practice of human tribute required of Christian citizens) to serve as civil servants and Janissaries. In the 1600s Albanian seasonal workers were employed by these Albanian Janissaries in and around Istanbul and Iznik, and in 1860 Kayserili Ahmet, the governor of Izmir, employed Albanians to fight the raiding Zeybeks. Today, the descendants of Ottoman Albanians do not form a community per se, but at least some still identify as ethnically Albanian. However, it is unknown how many, if any, of these Ottoman Albanians retain Albanian language skills. The second category of ethnic Albanians living in modern Turkey is composed of people who are the descendants of refugees from the Balkans who because of war were forced to migrate inwards towards Eastern Thrace and Anatolia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the Ottoman Empire dissolved. These Balkan Albanians are the largest group of ethnic Albanians living in Turkey today, and can be subcategorized into those who ended up in actual Albanian-speaking communities and those who were relocated into villages where they were the only Albanian-speaking migrants. Not surprisingly, the language is retained by some of the descendants from those of the former, but not those of the latter. The third category of ethnic Albanians in Turkey comprises recent or twentieth century migrants from the Balkans. These recent migrants can be subcategorized into those who came from Kosovo in the 1950s–1970s, those who came from Kosovo in 1999, and those who came from the Republic of Albania after 1992. All of these in the third category know a variety of modern Albanian and are mostly located in the western parts of Turkey in large metropolitan areas. Our research focuses on the history of migration and community formation of the Albanians located in the Samsun Province in the Black Sea region around 1912–1913 who would fall into the second category discussed above (see Figure 1). Turkish census data between 1927 and 1965 recorded the presence of Albanian speakers in Samsun Province, and the fieldwork we have been conducting in Samsun since September 2005 has revealed that there is still a significant number of Albanians living in the city and its surrounding region. According to the community leaders we interviewed, there are about 30,000–40,000 ethnic Albanian Turkish citizens in Samsun Province. The community was largely rural, located in the villages and engaged in agricultural activities until the 1970s. After this time, gradual migration to urban areas, particularly smaller towns and nearby cities has been observed. Long-distance rural-to-urban migration also began in later years mostly due to increasing demand for education and better jobs. Those who migrated to areas outside of Samsun Province generally preferred the cities located in the west of Turkey, particularly metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa mainly because of the job opportunities as well as the large Albanian communities already residing in these cities. Today, the size of the Albanian community in Samsun Province is considered to be much smaller and gradually shrinking because of outward migration. Our observation is that the Albanians in Samsun seem to be fully integrated into Turkish society, and engaged in agriculture and small trading businesses. As education becomes accessible to the wider society and modernization accelerates transportation and hence communication of urban values, younger generations have also started to acquire professional occupations. Whilst a significant number of people still speak Albanian fluently as the language in the family, they have a perfect command of the Turkish language and cannot be distinguished from the rest of the population in terms of occupation, education, dress and traditions. In this article, we are interested in the history of this Albanian community in Samsun. Given the lack of any research on the Albanian presence in Turkey, our questions are simple and exploratory. When and where did these people come from? How and why did they choose Samsun as a site of resettlement? How did the socio-cultural characteristics of this community change over time? It is generally believed that the Albanians in Samsun Province are the descendants of the migrants and refugees from Kosovo who arrived in Turkey during the wars of 1912–13. Based on our research in Samsun Province, we argue that this information is partial and misleading. The interviews we conducted with the Albanian families and community leaders in the region and the review of Ottoman history show that part of the Albanian community in Samsun was founded through three stages of successive migrations. The first migration involved the forced removal of Muslim Albanians from the Sancak of Nish in 1878; the second migration occurred when these migrants’ children fled from the massacres in Kosovo in 1912–13 to Anatolia; and the third migration took place between 1913 and 1924 from the scattered villages in Central Anatolia where they were originally placed to the Samsun area in the Black Sea Region. Thus, the Albanian community founded in the 1920s in Samsun was in many ways a reassembling of the demolished Muslim Albanian community of Nish. This trajectory of the Albanian community of Nish shows that the fate of this community was intimately bound up with the fate of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans and the socio-cultural composition of modern Turkey still carries on the legacy of its historical ancestor."
- Milliyet, Türkiyedeki Kürtlerin Sayısı. 2008-06-06.
- "Albanians in Turkey celebrate their cultural heritage Archived 31 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine.". Today's Zaman. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
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- Musaj 2013, p. 232.
- Musaj 2013, pp. 234–236.
- Baltsiotis 2011. para. 28-29; footnote 48.
- Gingeras 2009, pp. 158–160.
- Gingeras 2009, p. 158.
- Gingeras 2009, p. 158. "Greek authorities ultimately followed through on the deportation of thousands of Muslims from the Çamëria, together with tens of thousands of others from Larissa, Langada, Drama, Vodina, Serez, Edessa, Florina, Kilkis, Kavala, and Salonika."; p. 159.
- Musaj 2013, pp. 237–239.
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- Gingeras 2009, p. 164.
- Gingeras 2009, pp. 160–161.
- Fabbe, Kristin (18 October 2007). "Defining Minorities and Identities - Religious Categorization and State-Making Strategies in Greece and Turkey" (PDF). Washington, United States of America: Presentation at: The Graduate Student Pre-Conference in Turkish and Turkic Studies University of Washington. p. 49.
- Yildirim 2006, p. 121.
- Gingeras 2009, p. 160.
- Musaj 2013, pp. 244–246.
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- Daskalovski 2003, p. 20.
- Emmert & Ingrao, p. 94.
- Judah 2008, p. 52.
- Berisha, Mal (November 2000). Diaspora Shqiptare në Turqi (in Albanian). New York: ACCL Publishing. p. 13.
- Hale 2002, p. 265.
- Tabak, Hüsrev (03 March 2013). "Albanian awakening: The worm has turned! Archived 17 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Gingeras 2009, p. 237.
- Petrović & Reljić 2011, p. 162. "However, there are not only historical memories which tie Turkey and south-east Europe but also current political issues. Turkish leaders say that up to 10 million Turkish citizens can trace their ancestry to the Western Balkans. Several waves of migration during the 20th century of both Turks and Slavic Muslims brought hundreds of thousands of Balkan migrants to Turkey and reinforced the cultural and familial ties with the region. Consequently, the turmoil in Yugoslavia in the 1990s generated significant popular pressure in Turkey to react and protect its kin-peoples, the Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sandžak, and the Albanians in Kosovo. Davutoğlu often underlines that there are more people of Bosnian origin and people of Albanian origin in Turkey than in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo or Albania. Thus, conflicts in the region of former Yugoslavia have a direct impact on domestic politics in Turkey. In Davutoğlu's words, "We are paying the bill for our Ottoman history because whenever there is a crisis in the Balkans (Bosnians, Albanians, Turks in Bulgaria...) they look to Istanbul." Nonetheless, the Western Balkan diaspora in Turkey is evidently not unique in its pressure on Ankara to pursue specific policy goals according to the diaspora's requests. The pressure of the Bosniak diaspora in the 1990s and of the Albanian diaspora for the recognition of Kosovo mirrors examples of similar pressures from the Abkhaz and the Chechen communities in Turkey on behalf of the recognition of Abkhazia and advocating strong reactions to the Russian crackdowns in the northern Caucasus."' p. 166. "In Albania, Turkish schools enjoy the reputation of being among the best and are attended by approximately 3,000 students per year. In addition, Turkish universities receive Albanian students, according to some unofficial estimates up to 1,500, and, similarly, 100 students per year from Kosovo receive state scholarships from Turkey to attend Turkish universities."; p. 169. "For critics of Turkish activism in the Western Balkans, one of the most evident contradictions in Ankara's policy is the support for the secession of Kosovo Albanians. Ankara has indeed been Priština's staunch promoter (and an enthusiastic participant in NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999) despite being plagued by a similar secessionist problem with its Kurdish minority."; p. 170. "A positive image of Turkey is not omnipresent in the Western Balkans, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the Gallup Balkan 2010 Monitor, just about 40 percent of the population of this state considers Turkey to be a "friendly country." This figure corresponds more or less to the number of Bosniaks (in comparison, corresponding figure in other countries are: in Serbia 15 percent, Croatia 24 percent, Albania 73 percent, Kosovo 85 percent, Republic of Macedonia 80 percent—this is mainly because of Turkish support for Skopje in the "name dispute" with Athens)."
- Schmidt-Neke 2014, p. 15.
- "Genci Muçaj: Albania enjoys magnificent relations with Turkey Archived 2015-09-03 at the Wayback Machine.". Koha Jonë. 14 Mars 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Öktem 2011, p. 158. "This assertion holds particularly true for Kosovo and Macedonia, where most remaining Albanians and Turks are in close contact with family members living in Turkey, and even more so for Bulgaria and Greece, where channels of interaction with Turkey are very intensive. It is less so the case for Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where emigration to Turkey occurred mostly in earlier stages, not between the post-war years and the 1990s."
- Gingeras 2009, p. 165.
- Hale & Çarkoğlu 2008, p. 237. "The National Security Policy Document (MGSB) of Turkey defines Kurdish, Bosniak, Albanian and Chechen identities as sub-ethnic identities under the state-centric Turkish identity. The military believes that the debate over primary versus sub-identity will erode (Turkish) national identity."
- Bayar 2014, pp. 1–2.
- Buyuk, Hamdi Firat (18 April 2018). "Pioneer Albanian Class Starts in Turkish School". Balkan Insight.
- Vickers, Miranda. The Cham Issue - Where to Now? (PDF). Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.
- Roudometof 2002, p. 182.
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- Bollati, Sali; Vehbi Bajrami (June 2005). "Interview with the head of Chameria organization / Bollati: Chameria today" (in Albanian and English). New York, United States of America. Iliria Newspaper.
- Tarlan, Kemal Vural, ed. (2017), The Dom, The "Other" Asylum Seekers From Syria: Discrimination, Isolation and Social Exclusion: Syrian Dom Asylum Seekers in the Crossfire (PDF), Kırkayak Kültür Sanat ve Doğa Derneği, p. 21
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- Daskalovski, Židas (2003). "Claims to Kosovo: Nationalism and Self-determination". In Bieber, Florian; Daskalovski, Židas. Understanding the war in Kosovo. London: Psychology Press. pp. 13–30. ISBN 9780714653914.
- Emmert, Thomas; Ingrao, Charles (2013). Conflict in Southeastern Europe at the End of the Twentieth Century: A "Scholars' Initiative" Assesses Some of the Controversies. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781317970163.
- Geniş, Şerife; Maynard, Kelly Lynne (2009). "Formation of a Diasporic Community: The history of migration and resettlement of Muslim Albanians in the Black Sea Region of Turkey". Middle Eastern Studies. 45 (4): 553–569.
- Gingeras, Ryan (2009). Sorrowful Shores: Violence, Ethnicity, and the End of the Ottoman Empire 1912-1923. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199561520.
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- Hale, William M.; Çarkoğlu, Ali (2008). The Politics of Modern Turkey: Major issues and themes in contemporary Turkish politics. Routledge. ISBN 9780415456456.
- Judah, Tim (2008). Kosovo: What everyone needs to know. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199704040.
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- Öktem, Kerem (2011). "Between emigration, de-Islamization and the nation-state: Muslim communities in the Balkans today". Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. 11 (2): 155–171.
- Petrović, Žarko; Reljić, Dušan (2011). "Turkish interests and involvement in the Western Balkans: A score-card" (PDF). Insight Turkey. 13 (3): 159–172.
- Roudometof, Victor (2002). Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian question. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275976484.
- Saunders, Robert A. (2011). Ethnopolitics in Cyberspace: The Internet, Minority Nationalism, and the Web of Identity. Lanham: Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739141946.
- Schmidt-Neke, Michael (2014). "A burden of Legacies: The transformation of Albanian's political system". In Pichler, Robert. Legacy and Change: Albanian Transformation from Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Münster: LIT Verlag. pp. 13–30. ISBN 9783643905666.
- Yenigun, Cuneyt (2009). "GCC Model: Conflict Management for the "Greater Albania"" (PDF). SDU Faculty of Arts and Sciences Journal of Social Sciences. 2: 175–185. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-27.
- Yildirim, Onur (2006). Diplomacy and displacement: Reconsidering the Turco-Greek exchange of populations, 1922–1934. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415979825.