Sanjak of Elbasan

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Sanjak of Elbasan
İlbasan Sancağı
sanjak of Ottoman Empire


Coat of arms of Sanjak of Elbasan

Coat of arms

Location of Sanjak of Elbasan
Capital Elbasan
 •  Construction of the Elbasan fortress 1466
 •  First Balkan War 1913
Today part of  Albania

The Sanjak of Elbasan (Turkish: İlbasan Sancağı) was one of the sanjaks of the Ottoman Empire. Its county town was Elbasan in Albania.


Although Halil Inalcik explains that the Sanjak of Elbasan was established as soon as the fortress of Elbasan has been constructed, based on Tursun Beg's records there is a possibility that Elbasan initially was part of the Sanjak of Ohrid.[1]

The Sanjak of Elbasan had three kazas:[2]

It became part of the Manastir Vilayet when it was established in the 19th century.[3]

Marino Bizzi, the Archbishop of Bar (Antivari), stated in his report that on May 17, 1591 that name of the sanjakbey of Sanjak of Elbasan was Mehmet Bey.[4]

During the reign of Köprülü Fazıl Mustafa Pasha (1637 – August 19, 1691) one of the sanjakbeys of Elbasan was Hasan Pasha.[5] In 1714 the sanjabey of the Sanjak of Elbasan was Zejnil-beg.[6] At the beginning of 20th century sanjakbey of Elbasan was Necib Efendi, who was transferred to another position in February 1904.[7]


In 1467 many Christians from Skopje, Ohrid, Serres and Kastoria were forcibly deported to Elbasan.[8] At the beginning of the 16th century the Sanjak of Elbasan had the highest population density of all Ottoman sanjaks in the Balkans, with 5.65 per square kilometre (14.6/sq mi).[9] Between 1520 and 1535 up to 94,5% population of the Sanjak of Elbasan were Christians.[10] An Ottoman traveller Evliya Çelebi recorded in 1670 that Elbasan had 18 quarters with Muslim population and 10 quarters populated by an Orthodox and Roman Catholic population. He also stated that Serbs, Bulgarians and Voyniks (Ottoman Christian mercenaries) were not allowed to take up residence in Elbasan, otherwise they would be immediately slain according to ancient custom.[11] The Albanian language was spoken by all residents, most of whom also had an advanced knowledge of Turkish. The merchants could also speak Greek and Italian.

At the beginning of the 20th century it was estimated that 15,000 people lived in Elbasan, which was then the seat of a Greek bishop.[12] In the region between Elbasan and Berat there were numerous villages which population publicly declared themselves as Muslims, but privately practised Christianity.[13]

Albanians who lived in Elbasan were Tosks and because of that the Sanjak of Elbasan was seen as part of Toskalik, land of Tosks, together with sanjaks of Ergiri, Preveze, Berat, Yanya, Gorice and Manastir. Toskalik did not have a tribal society like Gegalik had.[14]


Territorial expansion of the Kingdom of Serbia in 1913.

During the First Balkan War at the end of 1912 the Sanjak of Elbasan together with most of the territory of Albania was occupied and annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia. Тhe Sanjak of Elbasan was on November 29, 1912 included in administrative system of Kingdom of Serbia as a srez (Serbian: Срез Елбасан) within Drač County (Serbian: Драчки округ).[15] In 1914 Elbasan became a part of the newly established Principality of Albania, established on the basis of peace contract signed during London Conference in 1913.[16]


  1. ^ Kiel, Machiel (1990), Ottoman architecture in Albania, 1385-1912, Istanbul: Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture, p. 39, ISBN 978-92-9063-330-3, retrieved 9 January 2012, ...states that Elbasan became a sandjak capital right after 1466 but the usually well informed Tursun Beg noted for 1466: "The sultan attached this fortress of Elbasan to the Sancak of Ohrid and returned to Edirne..." 
  2. ^ "20. yüzyılda Osmanli Vilayetleri" (PDF) (in Turkish). Retrieved 28 July 2011. İlbasan Sancağı ...İlbasan Liva merkezi Grameç Kaza merkezi Peklin Kaza merkezi  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ Ottoman Provinces before 1908
  4. ^ Bizzi, Marino (1610), Relatione della visita fatta da me, Marino Bizzi, Arcivescovo d'Antivari, nelle parti della Turchia, Antivari, Albania et Servia alla santità di nostro Signore papa Paolo V (Report of Marino Bizzi, Archbishop of Bar (Antivari), on his visit to Turkey, Bar, Albania and Serbia in the year 1610), p. 74, Elbasan is a town on the plain and has ancient walls. The sanjak bey of this province resides here. The present sanjak bey is called Mehmet Bey 
  5. ^ Jagoš, Jovanović (1947). Stvaranje Crnogorski države. Narodna Knjiga. p. 103. Retrieved 1 August 2011. Под Ћуприлићевом командом били су скадарски Ахмед-паша, елбасански Асан-паша, 
  6. ^ Pelidija, Enes (1989). Bosanski ejalet od Karlovačkog do Požarevačkog mira, 1699-1718. Veselin Masleša. p. 82. Retrieved 1 August 2011. Već 15. maja 1714...već krajem maja .. Numan paša je dobio ferman....Fermani sa sličnim pretnjama su dolazili....Elbasanskom Zejnil-begu 
  7. ^ Gawrych, George Walter (2006), The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913, London: I.B. Tauris, p. 110, ISBN 1-84511-287-3, In February 1904... transfer of Necib Efendi, the mutasarrif of Elbasan, because of charges of impotence and bad morals 
  8. ^ Shukarova, Aneta; Mitko B. Panov, Dragi Georgiev, Krste Bitovski, Academician Ivan Katardžiev, Vanche Stojchev, Novica Veljanovski, Todor Chepreganov (2008), Todor Chepreganov, ed., History of the Macedonian People, Skopje: Institute of National History, p. 133, ISBN 9989-159-24-6, OCLC 276645834, retrieved 26 December 2011, At the same time or nearly in 1467 the citizens from Skopje, ...were expa-triated to the Albanian city of Konjuh (Elbasan), which was constructedas a fortress to help the fighting against Skender-Bey. ... these Christians from Skopje as Elbasan’s citizens appeared other families from Ohrid, Kastoria and Serres that were compulsorily moved into this city..  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  9. ^ Vranjski glasnik, Volumes 17-19. Narodni muzej u Vranju. 1984. p. 26. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 1520....На Балканском полуострву само је Елбасански санџак имао већу густину живља (5,65)... In 1520... on Balkan peninsula only Elbasan sanjak had higher population density (5,65)... 
  10. ^ Zhelyazkova, Antonina (2000). "Albania and Albanian Identities". International Center for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations. Retrieved January 10, 2011. According to data published by Ö. Barkan, concerning the period of 1520–1535, the Christian population in the sancak of Elbasan ran up to 94.5 per cent. 
  11. ^ Chelebi, Evliya (1670), Robert Elsie, ed., 1670 Evliya Chelebi: Seyahatname - a Journey to Berat and Elbasan 
  12. ^ Raza, Moonis (1906). Geographical Dictionary Of The World In The Early 20th Century. Logos Press. p. 588. Retrieved 31 July 2011. Elbassan, el-basvsan', a town of European Turkey, in Albania, 64 miles SE. of Scutari. It has numerous mosques and is the seat of a Greek bishop....Pop estimated at 15,000 
  13. ^ Gawrych, George Walter (2006), The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913, London: I.B. Tauris, p. 27, ISBN 1-84511-287-3 
  14. ^ Gawrych, George Walter (2006), The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913, London: I.B. Tauris, p. 23, ISBN 1-84511-287-3 
  15. ^ Bogdanović, Dimitrije; Radovan Samardžić (1990). Knjiga o Kosovu: razgovori o Kosovu. Književne novine. p. 208. Retrieved 2 August 2011. На освојеном подручју су одмах успостављене грађанске власти и албанска територија је Де Факто анектирана Србији : 29. новембра је основан драчки округ са четири среза (Драч, Љеш, Елбасан, Тирана)....On conquered territory of Albania was established civil government and territory of Albania was de facto annexed by Serbia: On November 29 was established Durres County with four srez (Durres, Lezha, Elbasan and Tirana) 
  16. ^ Vickers, Miranda (1999). The Albanians: a modern history. I.B.Tauris. pp. 77, 78. ISBN 978-1-86064-541-9. 

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