Ded Gjo Luli
|Dedë Gjo Luli|
Photo of Ded Gjo Luli
Trabojin, Sanjak of Scutari, Ottoman Empire (now in Podgorica, Montenegro)
|Died||24 September 1915
Orosh (in modern Mirditë District, Albania)
|Known for||Commander of the 1911 revolt|
Ded Gjo Luli (1840–1915), was an Albanian nationalist figure and guerrilla leader most notable for commanding the 1911 revolt against Ottoman troops. He was posthumously awarded the "Hero of Albania". Luli was the clan chieftain of the Hoti tribe.
Luli was born in the village of Trabojin, at the time part of the Sanjak of Scutari of the Ottoman Empire (now in Podgorica, Montenegro). He belonged to the Dedvukaj family (or brotherhood) of the Hoti tribe. In the late Ottoman period, Hoti was regarded the foremost bajrak of the Malësia e Madhe region. Luli adhered to Roman Catholicism.
League of Prizren
A member of the League of Prizren, Luli participated in the conflicts in Plav and Gusinje (1879–80) that resisted the decision of the Congress of Berlin (June–July 1878) to cede Ottoman territories to the Principality of Montenegro (as part of ending the Great Eastern Crisis). As the cession of Plav and Gusinje was proven impossible without bloodbath, the Ottoman Empire ceded Ulqin in January 1880 as compensation.
During the Albanian revolt of 1910 and amidst the campaign by Ottoman forces to restore order in the Malësia highlands, Luli and his tribe Hoti along with the highlanders of Shalë defied the vali of Shkoder and refused to pay taxes or give up their arms.
By the beginning of 1911, Roman Catholic Albanians were disturbed by the Ottoman situation in the Balkans. Montenegrin king Nikola Petrović encouraged the northern Albanian tribes (Malissori) to revolt against the Ottoman Empire. In the highlands north of Shkodër an uprising broke out by March 1911 and Luli along with his men attacked Ottoman watch-posts on the Ottoman-Montenegrin border. After having led a premature rebellion in the mountains north of Scutari in late March 1911, succeeding in capturing Tuzi, Luli was compelled by King Nikola to rally the Malissori in April. Albanian rebels and refugees from the Kosovo Vilayet had been given refuge in Montenegro. General Vukotić himself passed out weapons to them, despite the fact that Montenegro was officially neutral. Rebels were returned across the frontier, and some 8,000 men, with Montenegrin supply of arms, ammunition and advice, fought against Ottoman divisions, defeating the large contingent of Shefket Turgut Pasha several times. After the victory at Deçiq, an Albanian flag was symbolically raised on the Bratile mountain for the first time in several centuries since Ottoman occupation.[better source needed] Despite aiding the rebels, Nikola's strategy was to spark unrest in northern Albania and north-western Kosovo so that he could intervene and expand his borders.
Ded is most known for starting the revolution for the Albanians, which eventually led to later actions by Luigj Gurakuqi, Ismail Qemali, and Isa Boletini. In Tirana, Albania's capital city, there is a street named in his honor called "Rruga Ded Gjo Luli". In the village of Bardhaj in Hot, the rubble of his house, that was left in ruins after the war, was converted into a museum which represents his life as a hero to the Albanian people.
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