Mehmet Pashë Dërralla

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Mehmet Dërralla
General Staff of the Ottoman empire Gendarmerie
In office
? – 1878
Provisional Government of Albania Minister of War
In office
Personal details
Born 1843
Gradec, Kalkandelen, Ottoman Empire
Died 1918 (aged 75)
Podgorica, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Nationality Albania Albanian
Awards Order of Freedom (Kosovo) [1]
Military service
Allegiance League of Prizren
League of Peja
Provisional Government of Albania
Battles/wars Albanian Revolt of 1912
Albania during the Balkan Wars

Mehmet Pashë Dërralla also known as Kallkandeleni, was one of the signatories of the Albanian Declaration of Independence.[2] Mehmet Pashë Dërralla was the Minister of War in the Provisional Government of Albania. He was a major figure of anti-Ottoman uprisings, and also opposed Serbian and Montenegrin encroachments.[3]


Early life[edit]

Mehmet Dërralla was born in 1843, the year of the Uprising of Dervish Cara, in Gradec, Kalkandelen (present day Tetovo).[2] He was the son of noted Albanian patriot, Hasan Dërralla.[3] He went to Maktab in Kalkandelen and completed secondary education in Uskub (present day Skopje) and Monastir. Dërralla did his tertiary education at the Military Academy of Istanbul.[3] After graduating with top marks, Dërralla served in the infantry regiment in Anatolia. After serving for several years, Dërralla was promoted to the General Staff and was given the title of Pasha.

Ottoman duty[edit]

Dërralla served as the general of the gendarmerie and exercised high military functions in Baghdad, later in Aleppo and than finally Selanik (present day Thessaloniki). After serving in Salonika, Dërralla moved to Uskub where he commanded the Prizren Vilayet. Shortly after, Dërralla ended his career as General in the Ottoman army.

The Albanian uprising[edit]

Dërralla changed allegiance when using his influence, lifted protests in Kosovo and joined the Volunteer Army of the League of Prizren. Mehmet Dërralla was appointed adviser to Sulejman Vokshi, who was the Defence minister of the cabinet.[2]

The Prizren League had 16,000 armed members under its control, who launched a revolution against the Ottoman Empire after the debacle at the Congress of Berlin and the official dissolution of the League ordered by the Ottomans who feared the League would seek total independence from the empire. The Albanian rebels were able to kill Mehemed Ali Pasha, the Turkish emissary, in Yakova in August 1878.[4][5] The Ottoman Empire sought to suppress the League and they dispatched an army led by Turkish commander Dervish Pasha, that by April 1881 had captured Prizren and crushed the resistance at Ulcinj.

After escaping arrest by the Ottoman authority, Dërralla went to contribute his services to the League of Peja, a political organization established in 1899 in the city of Peja. It was led by Haxhi Zeka, a former member of the League of Prizren. However, like the League of Prizren, the League of Peja was stopped by Ottoman forces. During the crisis, Dërralla was detained by government forces and was exiled to the deserts of Iraq.[3] Dërralla returned to Kosovo due to receiving amnesty after the Young Turks uprising.

With the Ottoman empire deteriorating, the Ottomans offered Dërralla a position again in the Ottoman army. However, Dërralla refused stating that he already belongs to another cause.[2] Dërralla ran major uprisings in Kosovo from 1910 to 1912,[3] where the battles that culminated in the summer of 1912, marked the taking of Skopje, the former Kosovo vilayet center.[2] The focus of their movement in this period was decided by disregarding the hegemony of neighboring states Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece, which already invested their strategy, was to deny the existence of the Albanian nation.[6][7] Dërralla was one of the main protagonists of resistance attacks against Serbia and Montenegro, who aimed at conquering northern Albania.[3] Under Dërralla's command, the Albanian rebels, managed to push back Serb forces in the space between the White Drin and Black Drin.[8][3]

Albanian Declaration of Independence[edit]

Dërralla was one of eighty-three leaders meeting in Vlora in November 1912 to declare Albania an independent country and set up a provisional government.[9] Dërralla was a member of the Kosovo delegation. Isa Boletini suggested that Dërralla serve as Minister of War in the Provisional Government of Albania in which Dërralla accepted.[2][3]

World War I and death[edit]

World War I interrupted all government activities in Albania, and the country was split into a number of regional governments. Political chaos engulfed Albania after the outbreak of World War I. Dërralla was involved with the Kachak guerrilla movement against Serbia. He was captured by Serbian forces in 1916 and was imprisoned for a year and a half in Belgrade and Podgorica where he was poisoned.[3]


  1. ^,128
  2. ^ a b c d e f "History of Albanian People" Albanian Academy of Science.ISBN 99927-1-623-1
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Elsie, Robert (2012). A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History. I.B Tauris. p. 105. ISBN 978 1 78076 431 3. 
  4. ^ Ayfer Özçelik, Ali Fuad Cepesoy, Akçağ Yayınları, 1993, ISBN 975-338-006-2, p. 2. (Turkish)
  5. ^ Halil Sedes, 1876-1878 Osmanlı-Rus Savaşları Bosna Hersek ve Bulgaristan İhtilalleri, Çituri Biraderler, İstanbul, 1946, p. 180. (Turkish)
  6. ^ Josef Redlich, Baron d'Estournelles, M. Justin Godart, Walter Shucking, Francis W. Hirst, H. N. Brailsford, Paul Milioukov, Samuel T. Dutton (1914). "Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and the Conduct of the Balkan Wars". Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Piece. p. 47. Retrieved 10 January 2011. The Servians hastened to oppose the plan of a "Greater Albania" by their plan for partition of Turkey in Europe among the Balkan States into four spheres of influence. 
  7. ^ Josef Redlich, Baron d'Estournelles, M. Justin Godart, Walter Shucking, Francis W. Hirst, H. N. Brailsford, Paul Milioukov, Samuel T. Dutton (1914). "Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and the Conduct of the Balkan Wars". Washington D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Piece. p. 49. Retrieved 10 January 2011. In a few weeks the territories of Turkey in Europe .. by the Balkan their hands as condominium 
  8. ^ Kur ngrihej flamuri
  9. ^ Schmidt-Neke, Michael (1987). Entstehung und Ausbau der Königsdiktatur in Albanien, 1912–1939. Oldenbourg Verlag. p. 320. ISBN 3-486-54321-0.