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Turco-Albanians (Greek: Τουρκαλβανοί, Tourk-alvanoi, Albanian: turko-shqiptarë) is an ethnographic and religious term used for Muslim Albanians in the Greek War of Independence 1821-1830 and thereafter. From the middle of the nineteenth century, the term Turk and from the late nineteenth century onwards, the derivative term Turco-Albanian has been used as a pejorative term, phrase and or expression for Muslim Albanian individuals and communities.[1][2][3][4][5]

Apart from being associated with Muslim Albanians, in some specific works the term was used to mention the Labs (Greek: Liapides),[6] a socio-cultural and dialectal Albanian subdivision,[7] some of whom had converted to Islam during the Ottoman Empire era. The term was also used to denote Ottoman troops of both Turkish and Albanian ethnicity.[8] Albanians are often pejoratively named and or called by Greeks as "Turks", represented in the expression "Turkalvanoi".[2][5][1][4] Amongst the wider Greek-speaking population though, until the interwar period of the twentieth century, the term Arvanitis (plural: Arvanites) was used to describe an Albanian speaker regardless of their religious affiliations.[9] While in Greek Epirus today, the term Arvanitis is still used for an Albanian speaker regardless of their citizenship and religion.[9]

As with the term "Turk",[10] the expression (rendered also as Turko-Albanian)[2] was employed by some writers mainly in nineteenth and early twentieth century Western European literature regarding Muslim Albanian populations.[11] The term is a compound made up of the words Turk and Albanian. The word Albanian was and still is a term used as an ethnonym to describe Albanians.[12] Whereas the word Turk was viewed at times by Western Europeans[13][10] or by non Muslim Balkan peoples as being synonymous with Muslim.[3][14] As such, the word Turk within its usage also attained derogatory and derisive meanings that when applied to other words created pejorative meanings of cruel and inhumane behavior and or of being backward and savage.[15][16][17][18] Within a Balkans context during the twentieth century, the usage of the word "Turk" (and "Turkey") has also been politically employed to differentiate the “indigenous” from the “alien” that interpreted Balkan Muslims as “foreigners”.[19][18][20] With the case of the Albanians, this at times has resulted in Albanophobia, negative stereotyping, socio-political discrimination and even mass violence.[19][21][20][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][2][19][18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Megalommatis, M. Cosmas (1994). Turkish-Greek Relations and the Balkans: A Historian's Evalution of Today's Problems. Cyprus Foundation. p. 28. “Muslim Albanians have been called “Turkalvanoi” in Greek, and this is pejorative.”
  2. ^ a b c d Millas, Iraklis (2006). "Tourkokratia: History and the image of Turks in Greek literature." South European Society & Politics. 11. (1): 50. “The ‘timeless’ existence of the Other (and the interrelation of the Self with this Other) is secured by the name used to define him or her. Greeks often name as ‘Turks’ various states and groups—such as the Seljuks, the Ottomans, even the Albanians (Turkalvanoi)”.
  3. ^ a b Karpat, Kemal H. (2001). The politicization of Islam: reconstructing identity, state, faith, and community in the late Ottoman state. Oxford University Press. p. 342. “After 1856, and especially after 1878, the terms Turk and Muslim became practically synonymous in the Balkans. An Albanian who did not know one word of Turkish thus was given the ethnic name of Turk and accepted it, no matter how much he might have preferred to distance himself from the ethnic Turks.”
  4. ^ a b Tzanelli, Rodanthi (2008). Nation-building and identity in Europe: The dialogics of reciprocity. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 62. “Consequently, at the beginning of the 1880s the Greek press openly incited anti-Albanian hatred, associating the Albanian irredentists with Turkish anti-Greek propaganda, and baptizing them Vlachs and ‘Turkalbanian brigands’ (Aión. 10 and 14 July 1880; Palingenesía, 3 April 1881).”
  5. ^ a b Nikolopoulou, Kalliopi (2013). Tragically Speaking: On the Use and Abuse of Theory for Life. University of Nebraska Press. p. 299. “Instead of the term “Muslim Albanians”, nationalist Greek histories use the more known, but pejorative, term “Turkalbanians”.
  6. ^ Hamish, Alexander Forbes (2007). Meaning and identity in a Greek landscape: an archaeological ethnography. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86699-6, p. 223: ""Turks or Ljapidhes, the latter term explained as 'Turko-Albanians'"
  7. ^ Lloshi, Xhevat (1999). “Albanian”. In Hinrichs, Uwe, & Uwe Büttner (eds). Handbuch der Südosteuropa-Linguistik. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 285.
  8. ^ Umut Özkırımlı & Spyros A. Sofos (2008). Tormented by history: nationalism in Greece and Turkey. p. 50. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-70052-8.
  9. ^ a b Baltsiotis, Lambros (2011). The Muslim Chams of Northwestern Greece: The grounds for the expulsion of a “non-existent” minority community. European Journal of Turkish Studies.  "Until the Interwar period Arvanitis (plural Arvanitēs) was the term used by Greek speakers to describe an Albanian speaker regardless of his/hers religious background. In official language of that time the term Alvanos was used instead. The term Arvanitis coined for an Albanian speaker independently of religion and citizenship survives until today in Epirus (see Lambros Baltsiotis and Léonidas Embirikos, “De la formation d’un ethnonyme. Le terme Arvanitis et son evolution dans l’État hellénique”, in G. Grivaud-S. Petmezas (eds.), Byzantina et Moderna, Alexandreia, Athens, 2006, pp. 417-448."
  10. ^ a b MacLean, Gerald M. (2007). "When West Looks East: Some Recent Studies in Early Modern Muslim Cultures." Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies. 7.(1): 97. “In all fairness to Chew, Rouillard, Vaughn, and Schwoebel, none ever claimed that they were doing more than investigate the ways that early European writers regarded those they called "Turks" and the world of Islam they inhabited, but their indifference to who and what was being represented marks a cautionary absence. All four scholars, for instance, recycled the early modern European usage of "Turk" as synonymous with both "Muslim" -regardless of origin-and with "Ottoman," while to the Ottomans themselves, the term referred disparagingly to the Anatolian peasantry over whom they had come to rule. Many continue in this habit, one rendered even more confusing and potentially misleading since the Turkish Republic declared all inhabitants to be "Turks" in order to erase Kurds, Armenians, Laz, and other ethnicities from the national landscape. Acknowledging that the winners write history and that the very instruments of knowledge production were complicit in structures of power and authority, scholars of the Renaissance and early modern period also recognized how Said's analysis of imperial discourses was inappropriate for the era before Europe set out to rule over and colonize Eastern lands.”
  11. ^ Blumi, Isa. (1998). "The commodification of otherness and the ethnic unit in the Balkans: how to think about Albanians." East European Politics & Societies. 12. (3): 527-569; p. 533. “Such analysis is submerged in a refined treatment of history traditionally skewed for an audience that is more inclined to retain old stereotypes about Albanians, Muslims, and the “other,” than to dig deeper into the intricacies of the homogenized units of analysis being evoked—ethnicity, nation, Islam.”
  12. ^ Lloshi. Albanian. 1999. p. 277. "The Albanians of today call themselves shqiptarë, their country Shqipëri, and their language shqipe. These terms came into use between the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries. Foreigners call them albanesi (Italian), Albaner (German), Albanians (English), Alvanos (Greek), and Arbanasi (old Serbian), the country Albania, Albanie, Albanien, Alvania, and Albanija, and the language Albanese, Albanisch, Albanian, Alvaniki, and Arbanashki respectively. All these words are derived from the name Albanoi of an Illyrian tribe and their center Albanopolis, noted by the astronomer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, in the 2nd century AD. Alban could he a plural of alb- arb-, denoting the inhabitants of the plains (ÇABEJ 1976). The name passed over the boundaries of the Illyrian tribe in central Albania, and was generalised for all the Albanians. They called themselves arbënesh, arbëresh, the country Arbëni, Arbëri, and the language arbëneshe, arbëreshe. In the foreign languages, the Middle Ages denominations of these names survived, but for the Albanians they were substituted by shqiptarë, Shqipëri and shqipe. The primary root is the adverb shqip, meaning “clearly, intelligibly”. There is a very close semantic parallel to this in the German noun Deutsche, “the Germans” and “the German language” (Lloshi 1984) Shqip spread out from the north to the south, and Shqipni/Shqipëri is probably a collective noun, following the common pattern of Arbëni, Arbëri. The change happened after the Ottoman conquest because of the conflict in the whole line of the political, social, economic, religious, and cultural spheres with a totally alien world of the Oriental type. A new and more generalised ethnic and linguistic consciousness of all these people responded to this.”
  13. ^ Yassin, Dawlat Sami (2012). "Representation of Muslims in Early Modern English Literature." Plaza: Dialogues in Language and Literature. 2. (2): 10-22.
  14. ^ Mentzel, Peter (2000). "Introduction: Identity, confessionalism, and nationalism." Nationalities Papers. 28. (1): 8. "The attitude of non Muslim Balkan peoples was similar. In most of the Balkans, Muslims were “Turks” regardless of their ethno-linguistic background. This attitude changed significantly, but not completely, over time."
  15. ^ McCarthy, Kevin M. (1970). “The Derisive Use of Turk and Turkey”. American Speech. 45. (1/2): 157. "Among the nationalities that seem to have been disparaged throughout history, the Turks hold a prominent place. The name Turk or Turkey has long been associated with cruel, inhuman behavior and has often been used as a descriptive part of our speech in derogatory phrases."; p. 158. "As a noun in the English language Turk has meant, according to the OED, ‘a cruel, rigorous, or tyrannical man; any one behaving as a barbarian or savage; one who treats his wife hardly; a bad-tempered or unmanageable man.’"; p. 159. "Since it has such a tradition of derisive meanings, I was not surprised when I came across a recent application of turk, this time in the field of sports: turk is a nickname that professional football players have given to the bad news that they have been cut from the squad. Such an example points out the fact that, while many ethnic groups have served as the butt of jokes and the object of derision in particular periods of our history (for example, the Poles, Italians, Jews, and Irish), the Turks alone have generally been a constant target for derision and have unwillingly lent their name to many unfavorable situations."
  16. ^ Batur-VanderLippe, Pinar (1999). "Centering on global racism and antiracism: from everyday life to global complexity." Sociological spectrum. 19. (4): 472. “In the centuries-old stereotype of the “Terrible Turk,” Turks were pictured as the backward and savage enemies of civilization and progress. Whether the Terrible Turk was conceptualized as White or Black, the essential Orientalist categories of “backward” and “savage” always accompanied “darkness,” qualities in stark contrast to the self-image of the colonizer as white, progressive, scientific, and superior (VanderLippe 1997).”
  17. ^ Todorova, Maria Nikolaeva (1997). Imagining the Balkans. Oxford University Press. p.90. “English images of the Turk during the sixteenth and much of the seventeenth centuries were ones of tyranny, arbitrariness, extortions, slavery, piracy savage punishments, and Christian ordeals; they were also images of strangeness and diatribe against Islam.”
  18. ^ a b c Blumi, Isa (2013). Ottoman refugees, 1878-1939: migration in a post-imperial world. A&C Black. pp. 149-150. “It all started with war. War was the means by which new political elites in neighboring, former Ottoman territories like Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia identified an opportunity to rewrite the demographic landscape and in turn, claim a historical association with newly “ethnically cleansed” territories. As a consequence of the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, in particular, entire city neighborhoods were razed, names of villages changed, their inhabitants expelled, or more dramatically still, collectively “converted.” To many, the problem was that the beginning of World War I left these states not enough time to complete the ugly task of erasing the Ottoman Empire from “Christendom.” As in the Americas, an Ottoman human “refuse” lingered in independent Balkan countries where some of these “left-over” communities survive until today. Despite a long period of imposed socialism and declarations of brotherhood, Balkan Muslims lived in constant fear that one more round of “ethnic cleansing” will come sweeping through their communities. This is especially the case in Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia, where a century now of living as “minorities” often led to opportunistic, “functional” blood-letting campaigns in the larger contexts of “national” politics. In Yugoslavia, the non-Slav Albanian Muslim (and Catholic) evolved into a bureaucratic category especially susceptible to periodic state-led expulsion campaigns—throughout the 1920s, 1935–8, 1953–67, and then again in the 1990s—that passed through the region. Invariably castigated as “outsiders” and “fifth-column” threats to national security, the labeling of entire regions of Kosovo, Novipazaar, Montenegro, and Macedonia as inhabited by generic “Muslim Albanians” often meant the organized expulsion of those communities. In order to justify such measures to an occasional outside traveler bearing witness to the violent process, or delegations sent by the newly created League of Nations at the request of Albania (a member state), the Serbian/ Yugoslav state often rolled out historians, demographers, and anthropologists. In an often repeated exercise throughout the post-Ottoman Balkans, operatives of “ethnic cleansing” campaigns resurrected the “professional knowledge” of race sciences first developed in the United States at the turn-of-the-century. In the 1920s, for instance, state authorities eager to continue a process of expulsion started in 1912—briefly disrupted by World War I—sent an army of European-trained ethnographers to “Southern Serbia” to identify those communities least likely to ever accept Serbian rule. These ethnographers and human geographers adopted many of the same racist epistemologies identified in other Euro-American contexts to identify and catalogue the “sub-human” characteristics of hybrid “Turks” whose very “nature” made efforts to assimilate them into a modernizing Serbian/South Slav society “scientifically” impossible. While these stories now make up a core aspect of Albanian (and Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian) historical memory vis-à-vis Serbia’s torment, it has usefully been forgotten that the dynamics around such systemic violence was informed by a set of ideological and disciplinary frameworks that, once instrumentalized, as by the CUP after 1910, transformed the way once heterogeneous societies interacted with each other. These same ideological principles based on racial segregation and biological hierarchies influenced the intellectual elite of the early twentieth-century world. They ultimately mobilized a so-called fertility politics to justify why violent state-led colonialization/expulsion in Yugoslavia (and earlier in Greece and Bulgaria) was necessary in order to maintain the long-term demographic balance of society. Forced expulsion, the signing of “population exchange” agreements—popularized as a diplomatic “solution” already in the immediate aftermath of the first Balkan War of 1912—and ultimately colonization were all tactics used in the Balkans, as well as throughout the Euro-American dominated world.”
  19. ^ a b c Blumi, Isa (2011). Reinstating the Ottomans, Alternative Balkan Modernities: 1800-1912. Palgrave MacMillan. New York. p. 32. "As state policy, post- Ottoman “nations” continue to sever most of their cultural, socioeconomic, and institutional links to the Ottoman period. At times, this requires denying a multicultural history, inevitably leading to orgies of cultural destruction (Kiel 1990; Riedlmayer 2002). As a result of this strategic removal of the Ottoman past—the expulsion of the “Turks” (i.e., Muslims); the destruction of buildings; the changing of names of towns, families, and monuments; and the “purification” of languages—many in the region have accepted the conclusion that the Ottoman cultural, political, and economic infrastructure was indeed an “occupying,” and thus foreign, entity (Jazexhi 2009). Such logic has powerful intuitive consequences on the way we write about the region’s history: If Ottoman Muslims were “Turks” and thus “foreigners” by default, it becomes necessary to differentiate the indigenous from the alien, a deadly calculation made in the twentieth century with terrifying consequences for millions."
  20. ^ a b Austin, Robert Clegg (2012). Founding a Balkan State: Albania's Experiment with Democracy, 1920-1925. University of Toronto Press. p. 95. “A cornerstone of Greek policy, an approach also employed by the Yugoslavs, was to encourage religious differences in Albania and stress that Albania was a little ‘Turkey’ hostile to Orthodox Greeks. To popularize the idea of two Albanian states, one Moslem, the other Christian, throughout the early 1920s Greece continually complained that Albania’s majority Moslem population was actively persecuting the Orthodox minority. Albania denied this, stressed its well— documented legacy of religious tolerance, and added that while there was tension in the southern perimeter of the country, it was not between Muslims and Christians, but rather a rift had emerged because of the movement to create an autocephalous Albanian Orthodox Church and some citizens wished to remain under the Patriarchate”.
  21. ^ Müller, Dietmar (2009). "Orientalism and Nation: Jews and Muslims as Alterity in Southeastern Europe in the Age of Nation-States, 1878–1941." East Central Europe. 36. (1): 66. “Therefore, the Romanian and Serbian intellectuals and politicians considered themselves perfectly in line with the Occident’s mission civilisatrice when denying the Jews the citizenship, when driving out Turks and Albanians, initiating processes to “de-Orientalize” social practices, certain ethnical and religious groups, or whole provinces. More specifically, the Romanian legitimizing discourse directed towards the Great Powers ran as follows: Romanian citizenship could be granted to the Jews only when they had reached the heights of European culture; in the contrary case, Romania could not fulfill its mission civilisatrice in the Balkans. Equally Orientalistic was the Serbian discourse, which claimed as national duty to Europeanize Muslims and Albanians, or at least the territories inhabited by them.
  22. ^ Merdjanova, Ina (2013). Rediscovering the Umma: Muslims in the Balkans between nationalism and transnationalism. Oxford University Press. p. 43. "Immediately after the establishment of the communist regime, Albanian language schools were opened in both Kosovo and Macedonia, yet a few years later the Yugoslav government launched a crackdown on Albanian self-determination by closing most of the schools and banning Albanian national symbols and holidays. Albanians were encouraged to identify as “Turks” and new Turkish schools were opened, while a 1953 governmental treaty with Turkey, allowing the Turks in Yugoslavia to emigrate, unleashed a massive exodus to Turkey. Many Albanian and Slavic Muslims represented themselves as Turks in order to leave the country."
  23. ^ Salla, Michael Emin (1998). "Traveling the full circle: Serbia's ‘final solution’ to the Kosovo problem." Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 18. (2): 230. “The first dates from the Balkan wars of 1912—1913 to the beginning of the Second World War. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenia, dominated by the Serbian Karadjeodjic dynasty, began a systematic policy of repression and forced emigration of Albanians in an effort to ‘correct’ the demographic nature of the territories. Many Muslim Albanians were simply categorised as Turks and expelled to Turkey, as part of an agreement between Turkey and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenia. Estimates of Albanians forced to emigrate to desolate regions of Anatolia to form a dependable buffer population for Turkey go as high as 250,000 while 50,000 emigrated to Albania proper.”
  24. ^ Hilaj, Arjan (2013). "The Albanian National Question and the Myth of Greater Albania." The Journal of Slavic Military Studies. 26.(3): 8. “In the aftermath of World War I, Greece considered all Albanian Muslims in Çamëria as Turks, and therefore transferred them to Turkey with other Turkish nationals, following the international treaty signed between the two states in 1923 at Lausanne.”
  25. ^ Baltsiotis. The Muslim Chams of Northwestern Greece: The grounds for the expulsion of a “non-existent” minority community. 2011. “The presence of a population considered hostile to national interests near the frontier caused anxiety to Greek officials which was exacerbated by a militaristic perception of security and territory. The central Greek state was eager to push the “hostile” population to migrate to Turkey. To that end it utilized harassment tactics which were carried out by local paramilitary groups. This was a practice that was well known and had been adopted as early as the period of the Balkan Wars. In other cases it just forced people to leave the country, after handing down ultimatums.”
  26. ^ Tzanelli, Rodanthi (2010). “Islamophobia and Hellenophilia: Greek Myths of Post-colonial Europe”. In Sayyid, S &Vakil, AK, (eds.). Thinking Through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives. Hurst Publishers. p. 224. “In the context of transcontinental labour mobilities Greek Islamophobia has manifested itself as Albanophobia.”
  27. ^ Kokkali, Ifigeneia (24 - 25 February 2011). Being Albanian in Greece or elsewhere: negotiation of the (national) self in a migratory context. International conference on the “Myths of the Other in the Balkans. Representations, social practices and performances”. Thessaloniki. Retrieved 15 May 2010. p . 3. “The word ‘Albanian’ soon became synonymous to ‘criminal’ and ‘danger’ and ‘albanophobia’ settled for good and dominated the public imaginary during the whole decade of the 1990s until even the mid-2000s.”
  28. ^ Ramet, Sabrina P. (2005). Serbia since 1989: Politics and Society under Milošević and After. University of Washington Press. p. 49. “For a comprehensive analysis of the role of media in the collapse of Yugoslavia, see Mark Thomson, Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Luton, U.K.: University of Luton Press, 1994). While all Croats were increasingly becoming associated with the Ustasha, Kosovar Albanians and Bosniaks were referred to as “Turks,” implying their supposed collaboration with Serbia’s historic enemy despite the fact that many Albanians had actually fought with the Serbs against the Ottoman invasion and that Bosnia’s Muslims are ethnically Slavs.”; p. 400. “After the outbreak of the war in 1991, the State Council of Education in Belgrade introduced new history textbooks in the elementary and secondary schools. As Dubravka Stojanović has shown, these textbooks cast Serbs as the perennial victims of their neighbors, and, using emotionally charged language in describing certain periods, offered pupils a picture of the world “brimming with xenophobic contempt and hatred for neighboring nations, [as well as for the] European and the world community.” In discussions of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Serbia for roughly four centuries, the Christian subjects are described as “the enslaved peoples,” with every lesson “followed by a short passage taken from historical sources in which those who commit the described actions (usually atrocities) are called Turks.” Needless to say, there is no mention of the fact that, for most of this period, the Ottomans were more tolerant of both confessional diversity and linguistic diversity than any other state in Europe, with the partial exception of Prussia.”
  29. ^ Clark, Howard (2000). Civil resistance in Kosovo. Pluto Press. p.xx. “The claim to be ‘autochthonous’ has particular importance because Serbian authorities, regarding this as an Austrian-instilled myth, treat Albanians as immigrants and twice In the twentieth century they have sought to ‘repatriate’ Albanians to Turkey. Whatever their origins, Albanians and Serbs have coexisted in Kosovo for centuries.”
  30. ^ Moe, Christian (2014). "Religion in the Yugoslav conflicts: post-war perspectives." Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis. 19: 263-264. “The reinterpreted Kosovo myth assumed a central place in Serbian culture only in the late nineteenth century. To Anzulović, its association with Vid’s Day (28 July) represents an irruption of Slavic pagan myth into modern Serb culture that favours a warrior ethic over Christian ethics (1999: 80–5, cf. 13, 25–6, 60, 69–71). In Sells’s interpretation, to the contrary, the national mythology thus ‘portrays Slavic Muslims as Christ killers and race traitors’ (1996: 27), identifies them with the Turks who killed Lazar, and unleashes on them the same violence that the blood libel called forth against Jews (p. xv). Sells likens the Serbian government’s use of nationalist propaganda and religious symbols around the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the Kosovo battle (1989) to the medieval passion play, with its ability to collapse time and incite the audience to commit pogroms. He further interprets the Mountain Wreath as placing the killings ‘explicitly outside the category of the blood feud’, as the Muslim offer of a traditional ceremony of reconciliation is rejected by the Christians on the grounds that it requires baptism. Instead, the conflict becomes a ‘cosmic duality of good and evil’. Killing the ‘Turkifiers’ is explicitly referred to as a ‘baptism by blood’, and Sells argues, questionably, that the poem portrays this killing as ‘an act sacred in itself’ that is not sinful but cleansing (Sells 1996: 42–3) – here, we return to the notion of ‘atrocity as sacrament’. What matters is not whether this is a plausible reading of the 1847 poem, but whether similar readings informed behaviour in the 1990s, a question to be settled empirically. In any case, this only accounts for the demonising of Muslim Bosniaks and Albanians, not for the Croat–Serb conflict.”
  31. ^ Mertus, Julie (1999). Kosovo: How myths and truths started a war. University of California Press. p. 184-185. “The importance of the Kosovo myth to Serbian politics, as Gale Stokes has observed, “lies not in these actual histories but in its selection by the nationalists as the appropriate symbolic universe of Serbianness. It provides a vocabulary of experiences outside of time.” In 1989, the “great defeat” served as a reminder of Serbian suffering and the need for Serbs to defend even their motherland, Kosovo. Mention of the Ottoman Empire also triggered the image of the evil Turks — shorthand for all Muslims, including Kosovo Albanians (regardless of their religion) and Yugoslav (“Slavic”) Muslims, who were considered to be race traitors for converting to Islam during Ottoman rule. Milošević had long capitalized on the “vocabulary of experiences” created by the myth of Kosovo. For him, the anniversary extravaganza for the Battle of Kosovo was tailor made. He arrived at the ceremony by helicopter in a display of power and took the place of honor on a stage decorated with the emblems of Serbian nationalism — including an enormous Orthodox Cross encircled by four Cyrillic C’s (for the slogan “Only Unity/Harmony Saves the Serbs”). The entire federal leadership was in attendance to hear his warning: “Serbs in their history have never conquered or exploited others. Through two world wars, they liberated themselves and, when they could, they also helped other people to liberate themselves. The Kosovo heroism does not allow us to forget that at one time we were brave and dignified and one of the few who went into battle undefeated. Six centuries later, again we are in battles and quarrels. They are not armed battles, though such things cannot be excluded yet.” By capitalizing on the greatest myth in Serbian folklore, Milošević pitted Serbs not only against Albanians but also against the other enemy identified by the Kosovo myth: Slavic Muslims. It would be the last time the entire federal leadership would stand on the same stage in unity with Milošević.”
  32. ^ Brunnbauer, Ulf (2004). "Fertility, families and ethnic conflict: Macedonians and Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia, 1944–2002." Nationalities papers. 32. (3): 583. “Once communist power was established, the Albanians, and the Muslim communities in general, felt increasingly alienated from the state, for example, because of its anti-religious agenda, its ethnic Macedonian outlook, the strong Serbian influence, and its radical attempts to change the role of women…. This alienation from socialist transformation was among the reasons why thousands of Albanians emigrated as “Turks” to Turkey in the 1950s. Hence, the effects of discrimination by state authorities were multiplied by those of self-isolation.”