Smajl Martini Ivezaj

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Smajl Martini Ivezaj
OccupationDefender and military bajraktar of the Albanian forces.
Years active1870 - 1911.
Known forFighting Ottoman occupiers.
FamilyTringe Smajli

Smajl Martini Ivezaj (born ca. 1850, Grudë, Ottoman Albania - dead 1911, Battle of Vranje) was an Albanian bajraktar from the Grude tribe who led the Albanian forces against the Ottomans in the Battle of Vranje in 1911.[1] He led his forces against Montenegrins and Ottomans throughout his life, and his deeds were heard of in "The New York Times" in 1911. His daughter, the famous Tringe Smajli, replaced him during the Battle of Vranje in 1911 and the Albanian forces were victorious. Already as an 18 year old Martini fought the Ottoman occupiers and participated in many battles around the Malesia Highlands. He came from an patriotic family, together with Prec and Bace Vuksani, known for battles during the 1780s. In 1835, Ivezaj fought at the castle and church of Shkodra against the Ottomans. During the Battle of Vranje, Smajl Martini was kidnapped and never seen again.[2]


At the age of 17, he lost his parents and grew up constantly fighting occupiers. He led many victorious forces all around Northern Albania against the Ottomans. The Ottomans, being unable to defeat his forces, followed his activities and captured him in 1883 where he was temporarily isolated. In 1886 the military court of the Sultan sentenced him, together with his men Ded Ula, Ujk Dushi, Shabe Smaku, Gic Gila, Prek Gjetja, Lulash Deda and Lucew Preka to eternal banishment. However, escaping Ottoman custody, he returned to fight with Baca Kurti with the League of Prizren, and later with Ded Gjo Luli in 1878. Much of the history about the Gruda and Hoti tribes were documented by the author Toni Assagazino, who in 1780 wrote of the Malsia Highlands struggle. In 1856, he wrote about the roles of the bajraktars had to protect Albanian lands.[3] According to Andrija Jovicecic, Smajl Martini continued to fight the Montenegrin occupiers with the same force as he did when fighting the Turks. His struggle was heard of in America, and "The New York Times" wrote of his bravery on 21 May 1911. Despite that he lost his parents at the age of 17, he continued to struggle and he lost two sons, Gjon and Pjeter, fighting Montenegro and he also lost his daughter fighting the Ottomans.[4] Small Martini is today a venerated figure amongst Albanians.


Smajl Martini was kidnapped during the battle of Vranje in 1911 by Ottomans and was never heard of again. He was most likely killed.[5]


Smajl Martinis deeds were spread amongst the Albanians of Malsia and his daughter kept on fighting in her father's name, maintaining their Albanian heritage and customs.


  1. ^ Eslie, Robert (2015). The Tribes of Albania: History, Society and Culture (Volym 1 av Library of Balkan studies ed.). I.B.Tauris, 30 maj 2015. ISBN 9781784534011.
  2. ^ Tiziana Serena, Costanza Caraffa (2015). Photo Archives and the Idea of Nation Framsida. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 1 jan. 2015. ISBN 9783110390032.
  3. ^ Ivezaj, Gjeto. "Smajl Martinin Ivezaj and his heroic struggle". Pr. and Dr. Palokë Berisha “Punime nga shkencat humanitare”, Ulqin, 2011. Edi Shukriu “Gratë e shquara shqiptare”, Prishtinë 2003. Andija Joviçeviq, “Malësia 1914-1923 “, The New York Times”. 21 May 1911. Retrieved 2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ E Bashkuar, Shqiperia (2015). "The life of Small Martini Ivezaj and Tringa Smajli". Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ Bacaj, Ndue. "Ndue BACAJ: Tringë Smajlja , heroina që Gruda i "fali" pavarsisë së Shqiperisë." Kosova tek AlbEmigrant. Retrieved 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)