Hasan Prishtina

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Hasan Prishtina
Hasan Pristina.jpg
8th Prime Minister of Albania
In office
7 December 1921 – 12 December 1921
Preceded by Qazim Koculi
Succeeded by Idhomene Kosturi
Personal details
Born 27 September 1873
Poljance, Ottoman Empire (today Kosovo)
Died 14 August 1933 (aged 59)
Thessaloniki, Greece
Resting place Kukës, Albanian Kingdom
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Religion Islam

Hasan Prishtina (Turkish: Priştineli Hasan) originally known as Hasan Berisha (September 27, 1873–August 14, 1933), was an Albanian politician, who served as the 8th Prime Minister of Albania in December 1921.


Family and early life[edit]

According to Ivo Banac and Miranda Vickers, Hasan was a member of the Šišković clan of Vučitrn,[1] whom Serbs held as traitors.[2] Hasan was born in 1873 in Poljance in the Drenica region,[3] his father Ahmed Berisha having moved there from the Vučitrn kaza in 1871.[4] After finishing the French gymnasium in Thessaloniki, he studied politics and law in Istanbul. He was originally known as "Hasan Berisha".[5][4]

He initially supported the Young Turks and was elected to the Ottoman parliament in 1908. He changed his last name into Prishtina in 1908, when he was elected as the Pristina delegate[4] in the Ottoman parliament in Istanbul during the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire.[6] However, Prishtina lost his position in 1912 as did all the Albanian deputies.

Albanian National Movement[edit]

After the Ottoman Government did not keep their promises for more rights and independence to the Albania nation, Hasan Prishtina and several other prominent Albanian intellectuals started organizing the Albanian National Movement. He together with Isa Boletini and Bajram Curri took the responsibility to start the Albanian National Movement in Kosovo.

Prishtina took an active part in the 1912 uprising in Kosovo and formulated the autonomy demands that were submitted to the Turkish government in August 1912, the so-called fourteen points of Hasan Prishtina.

Üsküp, capital of the Kosovo vilayet, after being captured by Albanian revolutionaries

Until August 1912, Prishtina led the Albanian rebels to gain control over the whole Kosovo vilayet (including Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Priština and even Skopje), part of Scutari Vilayet (including Elbasan, Përmet, Leskovik and Konitsa in Janina Vilayet and Debar in Monastir Vilayet.[7]

Albanian Independence and World War I[edit]

In December 1913, after Albanian independence, he served as Minister of Agriculture, and in March 1914 was made minister of postal services in the government of Independent Albania led by Ismail Qemali.

During the First World War he organized divisions of volunteers to fight for Austria-Hungary.[8] In 1918, after the Serb recapture of his native Kosovo from Austria-Hungary, Prishtina, together with Bajram Curri, fled to Vienna and later to Rome, where he was in contact with Croatian, Macedonian and Montenegrin opponents of the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia.[8] Hasan Prishtina became a head of the Committee for the National Defence of Kosovo in Rome in 1918.[8]

Political career[edit]

Hasan Prishtina was in charge of the delegation of the Committee in December 1919 which represented Albanians for the protection of their rights in the Paris Peace Conference, where he requested the unification of Kosovo and Albania. The Kosovar delegation was, however, not given leave to participate in the debates.

Prishtina then returned to Albania where in January 1920 he helped organise the Congress of Lushnjë and in April 1921 became a member of parliament for Dibra.[8] He took part in a coup d'état that year and served as Primer minister for a brief five days from 7 to 12 December, but was forced out of office by Ahmet Zogu, who was a Minister of Interior at that time and regarded it as imperative to avoid conflict with Belgrade.[8]

Thereafter, Hasan helped organise uprisings in Kosovo and led several anti-government insurrections in Albania, the latter being easily suppressed by the administrations of Xhafer Bej Ypi and Ahmet Zogu.[8]

He returned to Tirana during the Democratic Revolution of 1924 under Fan Noli, whom he accompanied to the League of Nations in Geneva.

Exile and death[edit]

When Zogu took power in December 1924, Hasan bey Prishtina was forced to leave Albania. As he could not return to Kosovo, he settled in Thessalonika where he purchased a large estate.[8] Hasan Prishtina is known to have been very rich, and sold almost all his property to finance the education of Albanians from Kosovo in universities around Europe, and for the armed resistance, during all his life.

Hasan bey Prishtina was a enemy of Ahmet Zogu, the two having attempted to assassinate one another.[8] He was imprisoned by Yugoslav police for a period, was released in 1931. In 1933, he was killed by Ibrahim Celo[8] in a cafe in Thessalonika on the orders of the Serbian government.[9] His mansion in the city is currently used as Thessaloniki's school for children with visual impairment.


Hasan Prishtina is commemorated in Kosovo and Albania. In 1993, when a meeting commemorating the 60th anniversary of his death was convened in Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbian police raided the place and showed machine guns to the participants. Out of 80 participants, 37 were arrested and the rest were beaten for 5 to 15 minutes by police.[10] In 2012 a statue of Prishtina was elevated in Skopje in Skanderbeg Square [1].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vickers, Miranda (1998). Between Serb and Albanian : a history of Kosovo. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-231-11383-0. Hasan Pristina (1873-1933), 23 who came from the powerful Siskovic clan in Vucitrn, 
  2. ^ Banac, Ivo (1988). Nacionalno pitanje u Jugoslaviji : porijeklo, povijest, politika (in Croatian). Zagreb: Globus. p. 283. ISBN 978-86-343-0237-0. Retrieved 12 April 2012. Hasan-beg Prish- tina (ili Šišković, iz Vučitrna, kojega su Srbi držali srpskim narodnim izdajni- " 
  3. ^ Studia Albanica. 27. L'Institut. 1990. Prishtina was born in 1873 in the village of Polac in the District of Drenica 
  4. ^ a b c Bernath & Schroeder 1979, p. 485.
  5. ^ Elsie 2010, p. 223.
  6. ^ Malcolm 1998, p. 245.
  7. ^ Bogdanović, Dimitrije (November 2000) [1984]. "Albanski pokreti 1908-1912.". In Antonije Isaković. Knjiga o Kosovu (in Serbian). 2. Belgrade: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Retrieved January 9, 2011. ... ustanici su uspeli da ... ovladaju celim kosovskim vilajetom do polovine avgusta 1912, što znači da su tada imali u svojim rukama Prištinu, Novi Pazar, Sjenicu pa čak i Skoplje... U srednjoj i južnoj Albaniji ustanici su držali Permet, Leskoviku, Konicu, Elbasan, a u Makedoniji Debar... 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Elsie 2010, p. 224.
  9. ^ Gail Warrander, Verena Knaus (2010). Kosovo, 2nd: The Bradt Travel Guide (2 ed.). Connecticut: the globe pequot press. p. 87. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch/Helsinki (Organization : U.S.) (1993). Open wounds: human rights abuses in Kosovo. Human Rights Watch. pp. 57–60. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 


Further reading[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Member of the Ottoman Parliament
(as representative of Pristina)

Succeeded by
Post abolished
Preceded by
Qazim Koculi
Prime Minister of Albania
7 December 1921 – 12 December 1921
Succeeded by
Idhomene Kosturi