Greçë Memorandum

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The Greçë Memorandum (Albanian: Memorandumi i Greçës[1][2]) or the Red Book (Albanian: Libri i Kuq) was a memorandum with twelve requests for the establishment of an autonomous Albanian province within the Ottoman Empire. The Memorandum was jointly written by Ismail Kemal bey Vlora and Luigj Gurakuqi.[3]

Copy of the Greçë Memorandum (1911)
Memorial plaque of 2011


The leaders of the Albanian Revolt of 1911 organized a meeting at the location of Greçë near Selcë village.[4][5][6][7] It is believed to have been a location in Zatrijebač,[8][9] in modern-day eastern Podgorica municipality. Ismail Qemali joined them and together they draw up the memorandum, sometimes referred to as the "Red Book" because of the color of its covers,[10] which addressed their requests both to Ottoman Empire and Europe (in particular to the Great Britain).[11] This memorandum was signed by 22 Albanian chieftains, four from each tribe of Hoti, Gruda and Shkreli, five from Kastrati, three from Kelmend and two from Shalë.[12]

Requests in the memorandum included:[13]

  • General amnesty for all participants in the revolt
  • Demand for recognition of the Albanian ethnicity
  • Election of the deputies of Albanian ethnicity for the Ottoman Parliament according to the proportional system
  • Albanian language in schools
  • Governor and other appointed high officials have to know Albanian language and all other positions in the administration have to be reserved only for people of Albanian ethnicity
  • Men who are ethnic Albanians to serve army only in Albania during peacetime
  • Confiscated arms to be returned
  • All Albanian property damaged by Ottoman troops to be compensated

The Memorandum was submitted to the representatives of Great Powers in Cetinje, Montenegro.[14] It was drafted by Qemali as a reply to amnesty offered by Ottoman military commander Shefqet Turgut Pasha on 18 June.[15][16]


Although the Sublime Porte tried to minimize the effects of the Memorandum by treating it as a local initiative of the Malësia region, it gave the Albanian struggle for independence a strong boost. Leaders such as Namik Delvina, Muharrem Rushiti, Musa Demi, Spiro Bellkameni and Qamil Panariti and their chetas strengthened the pressure on the Ottoman authorities to accept requests of the Memorandum. In a July 17 meeting held in a monastery in Cepo, delegates from all kazas of Janina Vilayet declared that they will fully support the Greçë Memorandum. They sent a letter to the Sultan, there they appealed for the implementation of the Memorandum and the treatment of the Albanian people as a whole. This countered with the aim of the Sublime Porte to treat the Memorandum as a local issue of Malësia. After the letter was sent, the secret committee of Janina organized a number of new armed acts. They planned a culminating action on July 23, in the anniversary of the Young Turk Revolution but failed. Later, some other efforts failed, and the Memorandum of Greçë gradually lost its importance. The coming events and situation in 1912 enabled Albanians to better organize their efforts, and consequently to successfully declare the independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kaliopi Naska (1987), Ismail Qemali në Lëvizjen Kombëtare Shqiptare [Ismail Qemali in the Albanian National Movement], Akademia e shkencave e RPS të shqipërisë, Instituti i historisë, p. 96, OCLC 28807917, Memorandumi i Greçës ose «Libri i kuq», siç u quajt në atë kohë, titullohej «Memorandum mbi vendimet e dha- nuna prej Kuvendit të Përgjithshëm të krerëve shqiptarë në Greçë më 10/23 qershor 1911... 
  2. ^ Journey to Greçë on the 104 anniversary of the meeting (in Albanian)
  3. ^ Ahmet Ersoy; Macie J. Gorny; Vangelis Kechriotis (30 October 2010). Modernism: The Creation of Nation States. Central European University Press. p. 235. ISBN 978-963-7326-61-5. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Skënder Anamali (2004). Historia e Shqipërisë, Vellimi 2. Akademia e Shkencave e RPS të Shqipërisë, Instituti i Historisë. p. 402-409. 
  5. ^ Kacza, Thomas (2007). Zwischen Feudalismus und Stalinismus: albanische Geschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Trafo. p. 46. ISBN 978-3-89626-611-8. Juni auf einer Versammlung in Gerça (Montenegro) verabschiedete. 
  6. ^ An Outline of the People's Republic of Albania. 8 Nëntori. 1978. p. 30. The Albanian patriot headed by Ismail Qemal and a new figure, which w making a name in the movement, Luigj Gurakuqi (187! -1925), gathered at Gerca in Montenegro on June 2! 1911, sent a memorandum to the Turkish Governmea ... 
  7. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 186

    On 23 June 1911, the Albanians gathered in the small village in Montenegro and drafted the Gerche Memorandum, also known as The Red Book.

  8. ^ Tirana (Albania). Universiteti Shtetëror. Instituti i Historisë e Gjuhësisë. Historia e Shqipërisë. p. 318. 
  9. ^ Abas Ermenji (1996). Vendi që zë Skënderbeu në historinë e Shqipërisë. Çabej. p. 295. 
  10. ^ Skendi, Stavro (1967). The Albanian national awakening, 1878–1912. Princeton University Press. p. 417. Retrieved 10 October 2011. The Gerche memorandum, referred to often as "The Red Book" because of the color of its covers 
  11. ^ Treadway 1983, p. 78
  12. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 187

    Twenty two Albanians signed the memorandum, including four each from the fises of Grude, Hoti and Skrel; five from Kastrati; three from Klement, and two from Shale

  13. ^ Gawrych 2006, p. 187

    The demands included a guarantee of immunity from punishment for all Albanians, the recognition of "the national existence of Albanians",... selecting Albanian deputies ...according to the principle of proportional representation...Albanian language in ... schools, ...

  14. ^ Mikić, Đorđe (1983). Austro-Ugarska i Mladoturci: 1908-1912. Institut za istoriju u Banjaluci. p. 273. У исто време су Албанци емигранти у Црној Гори, на челу са Исмаилом Кемалом и Луибијем Гуракућијем, образложили своје захтеве под називом »Меморандум из Герче« или »Црвена књига« и предали их представницима великих сила на Цетињу. 
  15. ^ Bartl, Peter (2001) [1995], Albanci : od srednjeg veka do danas (in Serbian), translated by Ljubinka Milenković, Belgrade: Clio, p. 131, ISBN 9788671020176, OCLC 51036121, retrieved 1 February 2012 
  16. ^ Balkan Studies. The Institute. 1967. p. 41.