Sanjak of Niš
|Sanjak of Niš|
Sanxhaku i Nishit
|Sanjak of the Ottoman Empire|
|January 11, 1878|
|Today part of||Serbia, Bulgaria|
The Sanjak of Niš (Turkish: Niş Sancağı, Serbian: Niški Sandžak, Bulgarian: Нишки санджак/Nishki sandzhak, Albanian: Sanxhaku i Nishit) was one of the sanjaks of the Ottoman Empire and its county town was Niš. It was composed of the kazas of Niš (Niş), Pirot (Şehirköy), Leskovac (Leskofça), Vranje (İvranye), Kuršumlija (Kurşunlu), Prokuplje (Ürküp) and Tran (Turan).
Ottoman Empire captured Niš in 1375 for the first time. At the Battle of Niš (early November 1443), crusaders led by John Hunyadi, captured Ottoman stronghold Niš and defeated three armies of the Ottoman Empire. After 1443 Niš was under control of Đurađ Branković. In 1448 it was again captured by Ottoman Empire and remained under its control for the next 241 years.
Toponyms such as Arbanaška and Đjake shows an Albanian presence in the Toplica and Southern Morava regions (located north-east of contemporary Kosovo) since the Late Middle Ages. Albanians in the Niš region converted to Islam after the area became part of the Ottoman Empire.
17th and 18th centuries
In 1689 (during Great Turkish War) and in 1737 Niš was captured for a brief period of time by Austrian monarchy. The Ottoman-Habsburg wars and their aftermath resulted in the city of Niš and the wider area losing a sizable part of its population, due to them having fled or death. Some Albanians from contemporary northern Albania and Western Kosovo settled in the Toplica and Morava regions in the second half of the 18th century, at times instigated by Ottoman authorities.
Midhat Pasha was one of the most noteworthy sanjak-beys of Niš (1861–64) whose reforms in the sanjak were so beneficial that the sultan charged him with preparing the scheme for adapting them to the whole empire. The Sanjak of Niš became part of the Danube Vilayet when the latter was created in 1864. In 1868 the sanjak was joined with the Sanjak of Prizren, Sanjak of Skopje and Sanjak of Dibra into one vilayet, Prizren Vilayet, which existed until 1877. In 1871 the sanjak was joined with the Sanjak of Novi Pazar to establish the new Vilayet of Novi Pazar which existed less than a year, when the previous situation was restored.
Albanians were a majority population in some areas of the Sanjak of Niš, like the Toplica region and some villages in the district of Vranje, prior to the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). During and after the Serbian–Ottoman War of 1876–78, between 30,000 and 70,000 Muslims, mostly Albanians, were expelled by the Serb army from the Sanjak of Niș and fled to the Kosovo Vilayet.
The largest part of Sanjak of Niš was annexed by the Principality of Serbia after Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), while smaller part and the whole Sanjak of Sofia were annexed by the Principality of Bulgaria.
- Godišnjak grada Beograda. Museum of the Belgrade. 1977. p. 116. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- Uka, Sabit (2004). Jeta dhe veprimtaria e sqiptarëve të Sanxhakut të Nishit deri më 1912 [Life and activity of Albanians in the Sanjak of Nish up to 1912]. Verana. pp. 244–245. "Eshtë, po ashtu, me peshë historike një shënim i M. Gj Miliçeviqit, i cili bën fjalë përkitazi me Ivan Begun. Ivan Begu, sipas tij ishte pjesëmarrës në Luftën e Kosovës 1389. Në mbështetje të vendbanimit të tij, Ivan Kullës, fshati emërtohet Ivan Kulla (Kulla e Ivanit), që gjendet në mes të Kurshumlisë dhe Prokuplës. M. Gj. Miliçeviqi thotë: “Shqiptarët e ruajten fshatin Ivan Kullë (1877–1878) dhe nuk lejuan që të shkatërrohet ajo”. Ata, shqiptaret e Ivan Kullës (1877–1878) i thanë M. Gj. Miliçeviqit se janë aty që nga para Luftës se Kosovës (1389).  Dhe treguan që trupat e arrave, që ndodhen aty, ata i pat mbjellë Ivan beu. Atypari, në malin Gjakë, nodhet kështjella që i shërbeu Ivanit (Gjonit) dhe shqiptarëve për t’u mbrojtur. Aty ka pasur gjurma jo vetëm nga shekulli XIII dhe XIV, por edhe të shekullit XV ku vërehen gjurmat mjaft të shumta toponimike si fshati Arbanashka, lumi Arbanashka, mali Arbanashka, fshati Gjakë, mali Gjakë e tjerë.  Në shekullin XVI përmendet lagja shqiptare Pllanë jo larg Prokuplës.  Ne këtë shekull përmenden edhe shqiptarët katolike në qytetin Prokuplë, në Nish, në Prishtinë dhe në Bulgari.....  M. Đj. Miličević. Kralevina Srbije, Novi Krajevi. Beograd, 1884: 354. "Kur flet mbi fshatin Ivankullë cekë se banorët shqiptarë ndodheshin aty prej Betejës së Kosovës 1389. Banorët e Ivankullës në krye me Ivan Begun jetojnë aty prej shek. XIV dhe janë me origjinë shqiptare. Shqiptarët u takojnë të tri konfesioneve, por shumica e tyre i takojnë atij musliman, mandej ortodoks dhe një pakicë i përket konfesionit katolik."  Oblast Brankovića, Opširni katastarski popis iz 1455 godine, përgatitur nga M. Handžic, H. Hadžibegić i E. Kovačević, Sarajevo, 1972: 216.  Skënder Rizaj, T,K “Perparimi” i vitit XIX, Prishtinë 1973: 57. Jovan M. Tomić, O Arnautima u Srbiji, Beograd, 1913: 13.
- Geniş, Şerife, and Kelly Lynne Maynard (2009). "Formation of a diasporic community: The history of migration and resettlement of Muslim Albanians in the Black Sea Region of Turkey." Middle Eastern Studies. 45. (4): 556–557: Using secondary sources, we establish that there have been Albanians living in the area of Nish for at least 500 years, that the Ottoman Empire controlled the area from the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries which led to many Albanians converting to Islam, that the Muslim Albanians of Nish were forced to leave in 1878, and that at that time most of these Nishan Albanians migrated south into Kosovo, although some went to Skopje in Macedonia. ; pp. 557–558. In 1690 much of the population of the city and surrounding area was killed or fled, and there was an emigration of Albanians from the Malësia e Madhe (North Central Albania/Eastern Montenegro) and Dukagjin Plateau (Western Kosovo) into Nish.
- Jagodić, Miloš (1998). "The Emigration of Muslims from the New Serbian Regions 1877/1878". Balkanologie. 2 (2).CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) para. 10, 12.
- Grandits, Hannes; Nathalie Clayer, Robert Pichler (2010). Conflicting Loyalties in the Balkans The Great Powers, the Ottoman Empire and Nation-building. Gardners Books. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-84885-477-2. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
In 1868 the vilayet of Prizren was created with the sancaks of Prizren, Dibra, Skopje and Niš; it only existed till 1877
- Šabanoić, Hazim (1959). Bosanski pašaluk: postanak i upravna podjela. Naučno društvo NR Bosne i Hercegovine. p. 98. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Bataković, Dušan T. (2007). Kosovo and Metohija: living in the enclave. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute for Balkan Studies. p. 35. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
Prior to the Second Serbo-Ottoman War (1877–78), Albanians were the majority population in some areas of Sanjak of Nis (Toplica region), while from the Serb majority district of Vranje Albanian-inhabited villages were emptied after the 1877–1878 war
- Pllana, Emin (1985). "Les raisons de la manière de l'exode des refugies albanais du territoire du sandjak de Nish a Kosove (1878–1878) [The reasons for the manner of the exodus of Albanian refugees from the territory of the Sanjak of Niš to Kosovo (1878–1878)] ". Studia Albanica. 1: 189–190.
- Rizaj, Skënder (1981). "Nënte Dokumente angleze mbi Lidhjen Shqiptare të Prizrenit (1878–1880) [Nine English documents about the League of Prizren (1878–1880)]". Gjurmine Albanologjike (Seria e Shkencave Historike). 10: 198.
- Şimşir, Bilal N, (1968). Rumeli’den Türk göçleri. Emigrations turques des Balkans [Turkish emigrations from the Balkans]. Vol I. Belgeler-Documents. p. 737.
- Bataković, Dušan (1992). The Kosovo Chronicles. Plato.
- Elsie, Robert (2010). Historical Dictionary of Kosovo. Scarecrow Press. p. XXXII. ISBN 9780333666128.
- Stefanović, Djordje (2005). "Seeing the Albanians through Serbian eyes: The Inventors of the Tradition of Intolerance and their Critics, 1804–1939." European History Quarterly. 35. (3): 470.
- Balcanica, Volume 37. Srpska Akademija Nauka i Umetnosti, Balkanološki Institut. 2007. p. 122. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
Serbia retained the largest part of the former Sanjak of Nis, while the smaller part and the whole Sanjak of Sofia were annexed by the Sanjak of Sofia.