Kararname (League of Prizren)

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Kararname
League of Prizren, group photo, 1878.jpg
Group photo of some of the delegates
Kararname of Prizren Committee for National Defence
Enacted by Prizren Committee for National Defence
Date enacted June 18, 1878
Related legislation
Ottoman Empire
Summary
announcement that the people from the "northern Albania, Epirus and Bosnia" are willing to defend the "territorial integrity" of the Ottoman Empire "by all possible means" from the troops of the Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro

The Kararname ("Decree") of Prizren Committee for National Defence is the name of the decree (the Book of Decisions[1]) signed by 47 Muslim deputies from the districts of Prizren, Yakova (present-day Gjakova), Ipek (present-day Peć), Gucia, Yeni Pazar (present-day Novi Pazar), Sjenica, Pljevlja, Mitrovica, Vučitrn, Pristina, Gnjilane, Skopje, Kalkandelen (present-day Tetovo), Kičevo, Gostivar, and Lower Dibra (present-day Peshkopi) and Upper Dibra (present-day Debar) on June 18, 1878.[2] The original text, written on Ottoman Turkish, is missing.[3] Around 300 Muslims participated on the assembly, including delegates from Bosnia and mutasarrif (sanjakbey) of the Sanjak of Prizren as representative of the Ottoman authorities.

Etymology[edit]

Kararname is a word from Turkish language, and means decree or the government approved decision of the president.[4] Origins of the word are Farsi; karar (gharār; قرار in Farsi) meaning stability, and Name (Nāmeh; نامه in Farsi) meaning letter.

Background[edit]

The Prizren Committee for National Defence delegates assembled in Prizren on June 10, 1878, and submitted an eighteen-page memorandum to Benjamin Disraeli the British representative at the Congress of Berlin, on June 13, 1878.[5]

Text and signatories of the Kararname[edit]

The Kararname represents an initial position, mainly supported by landlords and individuals related to the Ottoman administration, which is also reflected in an early name of the group (The Committee of the Real Muslims, Albanian: Komiteti i Myslimanëve të Vërtetë). The text of the kararname composed on the first meeting of the league was not based on the nationalistic but the religious solidarity. It said nothing about the reforms, nothing about the schools, nothing about the autonomy or about the union of the Albanian population within one, Albanian vilayet. The participants wanted to return to the status quo before the start of Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878. The main aim was to defend from immediate dangers.[6] Soon that position changed radically and resulted in demands of autonomy and open war against the Ottoman Empire.[7][8]

The text of Kararname had 16 articles. Basically the text contained announcement that the people from the "northern Albania, Epirus and Bosnia" are willing to defend the "territorial integrity" of the Ottoman Empire "by all possible means" from the troops of the Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro. It was signed by 47 Muslim deputies of the Prizren Committee for National Defence on June 18, 1878.[5] Around 300 Muslims participated on the assembly, including delegates from Bosnia and mutasarrif (sanjakbey) of the Sanjak of Prizren as representative of the central authorities, and no delegates from Scutari Vilayet.[9]

Aftermath[edit]

Kararname served to promote a new agenda of Albanian National Awakening composed by Abdyl Frashëri on a key assembly of landowners at the Bektashi monastery of his native village of Frashër, and adopted by League of Prizren on November 27, 1878.[10] It was not an appeal for Albanian independence, or even autonomy within Ottoman Empire but, as proposed by Pashko Vasa, simply the unification of all Albanian speaking territory within one vilayet.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bataković, Dušan T., "Entering the sphere of European interest", The Kosovo Chronicles, Belgrade, Serbia: Knižara Plato, ISBN 86-447-0006-5, archived from the original on January 18, 2011, retrieved February 21, 2011, called Kararname (Book of Decisions) 
  2. ^ Text of Kararname, translated from German, French and Albanian by Robert Elsie Archived 2011-02-19 at WebCite
  3. ^ 1878 - The Resolutions of the League of Prizren, published on the website of Robert Elsie
  4. ^ "Büyük Türkçe Sözlük". Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Elsie, Robert. "1878 The Resolutions of the League of Prizren". Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. On 10 June 1878,...The League of Prizren, Alb. Lidhja e Prizrenit, ... On 13 June 1878, the League submitted an eighteen-page memorandum to Benjamin Disraeli, the British representative at the Congress of Berlin 
  6. ^ Gawrych, George Walter (2006), The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874–1913, London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 46–47, ISBN 1-84511-287-3, a 16 point "decision memorandum" (kararname) said nothing about reforms, schools, autonomy, nothing even about the unification of the Albanian lands in one vilayet. Nor did it attempt to define the borders of the Albanian vatan. The memorandum thus represented a minimalist position framed within an Islamic-Ottoman medium without any stated national aspirations. Everything pointed to the desire of the participants to return to the status quo prior to the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877- 78. Thus, the overall thrust appeared more regional in scope, designed to defend against immediate threats rather than offer a political program of reform for all Albania. 
  7. ^ Kopeček, Michal; Ersoy, Ahmed; Gorni, Maciej; Kechriotis, Vangelis; Manchev, Boyan; Turda, Marius (2006), Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945), 1, Budapest, Hungary: Central European University Press, p. 348, ISBN 963-7326-52-9, retrieved January 18, 2011, The position of the League in the beginning was based on religious solidarity. It was even called Komiteti i Myslimanëve të Vërtetë (The Committee of the Real Muslims)... decisions are taken and supported mostly by landlords and people closely connected with Ottoman administration and religious authorities..  |first6= missing |last6= in Authors list (help)
  8. ^ Rigels Halili (April 24, 2004). "Generating national programmes – intellectuals and nationalism among Serbs and Albanians" (PDF). Polish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 19 February 2011. Its programme primarily was based on Muslim solidarity 
  9. ^ Kopeček, Michal; Ersoy, Ahmed; Gorni, Maciej; Kechriotis, Vangelis; Manchev, Boyan; Turda, Marius (2006), "Program of the Albanian League of Prizren", Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945), 1, Budapest, Hungary: Central European University Press, p. 347, ISBN 963-7326-52-9, retrieved January 18, 2011, there were no delegates from Shkodra villayet and a few Bosnian delegates also participated. Present was also mutasarrif (administrator of sandjak) of Prizren as representative of the central authorities  |first6= missing |last6= in Authors list (help)
  10. ^ Elsie, Robert. "1878 The Resolutions of the League of Prizren". Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011. which served to promote the national awakening, Abdyl bey Frashëri... key assembly of ... landowners at the Bektashi monastery of his native village of Frashër adopted a program for autonomy, which was accepted by the League in Prizren on 27 November 1878. 
  11. ^ Elsie, Robert (2005), Albanian literature: a short history, London: I.B. Tauris in association with the Centre for Albanian Studies, p. 82, ISBN 1-84511-031-5, retrieved January 18, 2011, Far from an appeal for Albania independence, or even autonomy within empire, Pashko Vasa proposed simply the unification of Albanian speaking territory within one vilayet, and a certain degree of local government 

External links[edit]