Is Albania really a Turkish country?

The Balkans under Turkish rule

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

,, Since the 2nd millennium BC The Illyrians lived on the Balkan Peninsula, in a region that included Kosovo, today's Macedonia and areas that are now in the south-west of Serbia. It was conquered by the Roman Empire, and from the 8th to the 12th centuries Kosovo was the center of the Middle Eastern state of Raska. Towards the end of the 12th century, the Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja annexed this area. During this time, the Serbian population in Kosovo increased. "1

One thesis that has been put forward is that the expulsion of the Illyrians from their original area also resulted in the expulsion of the Albanians who descended from them to the south (including today's Albania).

Contrary to this assumption, mainly Serbian authors agree with the widespread view that the Albanians did not immigrate to Kosovo until the 17th and 18th centuries during the Turkish era.2

The time of the Turkish rule:

The era of Turkish rule in the Balkans began in 1352 with the invasion of the Ottomans, a ruling dynasty of Turkic origin who came from Asia Minor on the former territory of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1354 Ankara was finally conquered and in 1361 Adrianople. The Ottomans continued to advance into the Balkans until the Battle of the Blackbird Field ("Kosovo Polje") broke out in 1389, resulting in a crushing defeat for the Serbs, Bulgarians, Bosnians, Albanians, Poles and Mongols (led by Lazar) would have.

During the battle, a Serbian nobleman came into the Turkish camp by posing as a deserter and stabbed Murad I, the sultan and general of the Ottomans, with a poisoned dagger. Despite this loss, the Ottomans won a decisive victory over the Serbian army; Lazar, the Serbian king was captured and executed, and Serbia became an Ottoman vassal state. June 28, Saint Vitus Day, has been an important national day of remembrance in Serbia since the battle on the Blackbird Field.3

The Balkan peoples, their reaction and their change through Ottomanization

“The Serbs, a South Slavic people, come from the area around the Raska River. The medieval Serbian state had to fight against strong neighbors (Bulgaria, Byzantium, Hungary). Serbia achieved its greatest expansion under Tsar Dusan (1308-1355). "

Figure not included in this excerpt4

But at the same time the Ottoman Empire continued to expand until it finally came to the battle of the Amselfeld and the resulting defeat of the Serbs. In the period that followed, there were repeated battles between Serbs and Turks, until they captured Smederevo south of Belgrade in 1459 and Serbia fell under direct Turkish rule. From then on, Serbia was finally under constant Turkish rule for 345 years. 5

However, the Serbs for the most part withstood their values ​​or, as a result of the Ottoman conquests, fled to Austria and Hungary, where they initially enjoyed the protection of the Habsburgs. The Habsburgs made this for themselves

Take advantage of population shifts to develop their own border defense system since the 16th century. The new settlers of the Habsburg monarchy received land and were largely exempt from taxes and duties. In return, they were obliged to do military service and defend the border against the advancing Ottomans. In addition to religious freedom, the Serbs were granted certain rights of self-administration in the famous "Statua Valachorum" in 1630. Finally, the "military border" developed from a few fortified settlements.6

Those Serbs who were still under Turkish influence were superficially Ottomanized, but in the end they clung to their religion, the Serbian Orthodox and their Serbo-Croatian language. However, there is still a Muslim minority in parts of Serbia. But it is not only religion that reminds us of the past Turkish rule. So you can still visit some mosques and buildings such as the Ottoman Bridge in Prizren. (Illustration)

Figure not included in this excerpt

From 1393 Bulgaria was finally under Turkish rule.

After the Bulgarians withdrew from the Byzantine rule, the 2nd Bulgarian Empire was founded. It initially consisted of the area between the Balkans and the Danube. Until the 13th century it included large neighboring areas, such as parts of Serbia and all of Western Macedonia. In 1230 Bulgaria became the largest state in Southeast Europe. At this time, the recognition of the Bulgarian Church was enforced. In 1330 the Bulgarian army suffered a defeat by the Serbs and then became little more than a Serbian province for 25 years.7

“When Sredec, which the Turks called Sofia from then on, first fell into the hands of the Ottomans in 1382, and the capital Veliko Tarnovo fell into the hands of the Ottomans in 1393, the Turkish supremacy could no longer be stopped. The victors (the Turks) changed the structure of the country to a greater extent than in the other areas they conquered. The center of the empire was not too far away and, for strategic reasons, needed some kind of solidified apron.

An early Turkish colonization first took hold of the cities and fortresses in which the politico-military administration settled. Some cities like Sofia already had a predominantly Turkish, or better said Islamic population in the 16th century, which changed the appearance of the place, and sometimes the name.

If churches were not destroyed, they were converted into mosques and new buildings in the oriental style were built. For strategic reasons, Turkish colonists were settled on the main roads along the Marica and Vardar rivers, but since 1515 also on the Black Sea coast. The development by Turkish settlers continued in the 17th century.

Even in the 19th century there were attempts to use Bulgarian to other Muslim ethnic groups

To settle the ground. Only with the re-establishment of an autonomous Bulgarian principality in 1879 did the situation fundamentally change.

The ancestors of today's Muslim minorities in Bulgaria - Turks, Pomaks and Gypsies - were largely immigrants from Anatolia. Another group, however, including the Pomaks in particular, was the result of a systematic policy of Islamization towards the subject population, the extent and extent of which is, however, controversial among historians. Initially, individuals and small groups converted to Islam for different reasons, whether it was because religious reasons were decisive, as in the case of the Bogumil sect, which had been persecuted by the two churches (the Catholic and the Orthodox), or out of opportunism (= a change in (political) attitudes or opinions that is intent on personal gain, unprincipled and adapted to the prevailing situation 8 ) for the sake of economic or social advantages as with individual landlords.

Fear for life and limb certainly played a role in some too. In the Bulgarian folk song, the fate of Bulgarian girls is lamented who were robbed by Turks and forced to marry and change religion. There were mass crossings in the Rhodope Mountains in the 17th century, with experts disputing the extent to which force and force were used. A source on which Bulgarian historians rely is doubted in its authenticity by the Turkish. The Greek metroplit of Plovdic had denounced some villages to the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pascha (= "to sneak on"), they refused to pay the taxes and were planning an uprising. Seven villages around Cepino were thereupon in order to avoid punitive measures, with the Riest Constantine and others the Ban Verljo at the top. In 1657, 33 monasteries and 218 churches with several villages were destroyed. As a result of the various Turkish wars, Christian populations were repeatedly subjected to Islamization. "9

Nowadays the majority of the population professes the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria. The official language is Bulgarian and is spoken by 90% of the population, although Turkish is the most widely spoken language among the minorities. As with language, it is also the case with religion - Muslims now only belong to a minority, like Catholics, Protestants and Jews.10

In 1453 Constantinople (Istanbul) was conquered by the Turks under Sultan Mehmed Fatih. This had the consequence of the fall of the Byzantine Empire, as the empire was militarily and financially shattered and the hoped-for help from the West failed to materialize. In the end, Constantinople becomes the Ottoman capital of the empire.

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire emerged from the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Emperor Justinian I could around the middle of the

6th century once again the Roman Empire under one rule

unite; under his successors, however, a large part of the conquests was lost again. The occupation of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453 marked the end of the Byzantine Empire. 11

After Constantinople was taken, the Turkish sultan made further forays into the Peloponnese and Attica. around 1460 these parts of Greece were annexed to the Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Empire). In the following 200 years the Ottomans drove Venice and other allied states from the bases they had left on the coast of Greece and on the Greek islands. The policy of conquest ended with the capture of Crete in 1669. Venice regained control of the Peloponnese for a short time (1699-1718), otherwise Greece remained under strict Ottoman rule until the 19th century, with the exception of the Ionian Islands, which still belong to Venice. Turkish rule was in many ways momentous for the Greek people; then over time it took on corrupt and brutal forms. However, some Greeks rose to relatively privileged positions within the empire. The Greek Patriarch was both the political and spiritual leader of all Orthodox, and many Phanariots (after the posh district

Named Constantinople) held high positions as Ottoman administrators and political advisers. 12

Muslims are now only a minority in Greece, as around 97 percent belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. The remaining 3 percent are predominantly Muslims, Catholics and Protestants.

The Muslims of Greece, who immigrated since the 14th century as far as the Turks are concerned, are Sunnis. In contrast to Turkey, where Ataturk's reforms in the legal system came into play, three muftis, i.e. religious leaders, are responsible for questions of family law. They are paid for with funds from religious foundations. Also in contrast to Turkey, where clergymen are forbidden to wear specific clothing, they appear in public with fez and green robes. This minority does not broadcast their own radio and television programs. It is therefore dependent on the reception of broadcasts from nearby Turkey, which makes it possible to exert certain influence in political crises.

In everyday life, living together with the Greeks is considered problem-free.13

,, In 1463 Bosnia becomes Ottoman. Despite numerous uprisings against the Turks, the country remained under Ottoman rule for almost 400 years.

Bosnia was transformed into an Ottoman province, the medieval urban culture was superimposed and displaced by the more massive Ottoman-Illamian urbanization, especially in the 16th century. Sarajevo, Mostar, Travnik and Banja Luka - small market towns in the Middle Ages - were developed into Ottoman centers. The Islamized population took an active part in the oriental imperial culture.

The most important result of the Turkish epoch, however, is the emergence of the completely new cofessional conditions in which Islam took a firm place and to this day has a major influence on the political dynamics in this region.

Until 1530, however, the Catholics were still the numerically strongest religious group. However, that changed radically in the course of the 16th and 17th centuries. The massive oriental urbanization (Bosnia was developed into a Turkish bulwark against Europe) was accompanied by intensive processes of Islamization, which ultimately led to Islam taking first place in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian population in the second half of the 16th century. Accordingly, the majority of the Bosnian Muslims were not Turks, but Bosnians who had converted to Islam and other southern Slavs who retained their Slavic language. At the same time, the proportion of the Serbian Orthodox population grew rapidly due to immigration from Serbia and Montenegro. As paramilitary forces in the Ottoman expansion against Central Europe, the Serbian-Orthodox Wallachians were mainly settled in the conquered border areas, in what is now northern and western Bosnia (which was then called Turkish Croatia). In the course of the numerous Turkish wars, a considerable number of these pastoral nomads went to Ldalmatia and Croatia and were even more tightly organized militarily under the new Venetian and Austrian rule. This is how the so-called Vojna Krajina (military border) came into being, which includes today's main crisis regions in Croatia and Bosnia.

Bosnian-Herzegovinian cathalolicism continued to shrink, both through conversion to Islam and through emigration, and in the 17th century fell back to the third place where it remains today. The Great Turkish War (see Turkish Wars on page 9 of the report) had catastrophic consequences for the population of Catholics, and then almost all Catholics from central and northeastern Bosnia joined the Austrian expeditionary corps. Almost the entire Catholic middle class (especially the merchants) left the country. Only in the course of the 18th and 19th centuries did the number of Catholics begin to recover.

The Muslim population also suffered numerical losses through Turkish wars and epedimies, but they were able to compensate for these losses through resettlers from Hungary, Croatia and Dalmatia after the Christian reconquest of these countries and thus held first place into the 19th century. In the 19th century the Serbs took over the first place and kept it until the end of the 1960s in the 20th century.

The proportion of the Serbian Orthodox increased steadily and after the Great Turkish War their socio-economic structure also improved significantly. Because while the Muslim and Catholic merchants suffered irreparable losses in this drieg, the Orthodox merchants took down strong roots in the cities, especially in the 18th century.

In the last phase of Ottoman rule in the 19th century, the Christian subjects in Bosnia-Herzigowina decided to adopt a modern national identity: Catholics saw themselves as Croats, Orthodox as Serbs. The Muslims, on the other hand, saw themselves as part of the

- supranational Ottoman imperial people. "14

So nowadays it is around 44 percent. The Serbs are the second largest ethnic group with around 31 percent; they are supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church. About 17 percent of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Croatians; the majority of them profess Christianity, mainly the Roman Catholic Church. All three ethnic groups speak Serbo-Croatian; Muslims and Croats use the Latin alphabet, while Serbs use the Cyrillic alphabet. 15

There are still many mosques built by the Turks. Among other things, the one near Mostar. (see picture)

In 1468 Albania is taken by the Ottomans.

As already reported under "Background Information", the Albanians (according to Albanian research) descend from the Illyrians. From the 3rd century onwards, the Albanians came under Roman rule, until the Serbs, Bulgarians, Normans and Venetians later on In the end, after fierce resistance, they were finally subjected to the Ottomans, and from then on they remained under Turkish rule for 500 years.

The Turks could never gain unrestricted rule over Albania. In the latter half of the 18th century, some local princes gained influence. From 1775 to 1796 the Bushatis ruled in the Duchy of Shkodër and extended their power to northern and central Albania. From 1790 to 1822 Ali Pasha ruled the Duchy of Janina, which included the area from Vlorë and Berat to Çamëria and Thessaly. At the end of the 19th century the national consciousness of the Albanians awoke. In 1878 the Albanian National Movement was formed (League for the Defense of the Albanian Nation). From 1878 to 1881 the Albanians fought to maintain their territorial unity and to break away from Turkey. 16

Around 70 percent of Albanians are still Muslim (the rest are divided into Orthodox and Catholic Christians). Century the Albanians mostly converted to Islam.Only now could they gain a privileged position within the Ottoman Empire. In 1967, however, all religious institutions were abolished by the Albanian government. It was not until 1990 that the right to religious freedom was officially granted again.

The Albanian language is part of the Thracian-Illyrian subgroup of the Indo-European language family and has two main dialects: Gheg and Tosk. After the communists came to power in 1944, an official language based on the Tuscan dialect was introduced. 17

Figure not included in this excerpt

Although the Turks have already been defeated by Hungarians several times, Hungary finally became an Ottoman province in 1526 after the Hungarian army was defeated in the Battle of Mohács.

At about the same time, the Crown of St. Stephen passed to the Habsburgs and as a result Croatia came under their influence. Over time, the territory of the Habsburgs extended to Hungary and the Hungarians were converted back to the Roman Catholic faith. Since then, little has changed in the religious attitude in Hungary. In addition to the Roman Catholic faith, a third of the population professes Protestantism. There are no longer any Muslims.18

The Turks reached the height of their expansion when they penetrated Vienna for the first time in 1529. However, the Ottoman army was poorly equipped for a siege and soon had to abandon its operation. At the end of October, Süleiman left; on his return in 1532, he could not resume the siege, since Ferdinand's brother, Emperor Karl V,

Had received support and in the meantime the fortifications of the city had been considerably strengthened. (Among other things also through the military border in Croatia and Slovenia.)19

The Siege of Vienna in 1529 (painting by Peeter Snayers, Rafael Valls Gallery, London).

Rafael Valls Gallery / Bridgeman Art Library

Decline of the Ottoman Empire

The Turks first suffered their first setbacks in the sea battle off Lapanto

(north of the Gulf of Corinth), which took place on October 7, 1571. In the battle, a Turkish fleet with over 270 galleys fought against the fleet of the Holy League formed by Spain, Venice and the Pope. Pope Julius II established this alliance in 1511. The Holy League's fleet consisted of 200 rowing galleys and six large Venetian sailing galleys and was commanded by Don Juan d'Austria. Both sides suffered heavy losses; In the end, the Holy League's fleet was victorious, capturing over 100 of the enemy galleys and freeing thousands of Christian slaves. This victory was the first great victory of the Christians over the Ottoman Empire and therefore of psychological importance that should not be underestimated. Although he initiated the decline of the supremacy of the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean, the Ottomans gradually gained superiority on land.20

The second siege of Vienna in 1683 marked the beginning of the end of Ottoman rule in Europe. This new Turkish advance was initiated by the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa, who urgently needed a military success to consolidate his own position; he expected a success against Emperor Leopold I, who had been weakened by the defeat against Louis XIV of France. The Turks, vastly outnumbered, closed a ring of siege around the city on July 16; However, they lacked the artillery necessary for a siege. In the meantime an Austro-German-Polish army under Johann III was advancing. Sobieski came up for relief and on September 12, 1683, decisively defeated the Turks on Kahlenberg near Vienna.21

- 1st Turkish War

In 1699 the Peace of Karlowitz came about. The House of Austria now had a well-rounded, closed territory, which filled the area of ​​the Eastern Alps, the Sudeten and Carpathian countries and whose eastern border now seemed secure. This great rise, which began on September 12, 1683, made Austria a great power; France's supremacy in Europe was broken, and Turkey was forced into a defensive position that could hardly pose a threat to Europe.22

In 1716 Austria rejoined Venice in the war against the Turks. Prince Eugene defeated the Ottomans at Peterwardein on August 5, 1716, and in the Peace of Passarowitz on July 21, 1718, Austria also received the Banat, Little Wallachia and Northern Serbia23

- 2nd Turkish war

In 1736 Austria, which had been weakened by the War of the Polish Succession, allied itself with Russia against the Ottomans. Austria, now without Prince Eugene and with a completely inadequate strategy, had to cede northern Serbia and Little Wallachia again to the Ottomans in the Peace of Belgrade on September 18, 1739.24 In 1774 the Russo-Ottoman peace treaty was celebrated by Kücük Kainarca (other spelling: Kütschük-Kainardschi). In this, the practice of religion for the inhabitants of the Moldavia province, Wallachia and Bessarabia was assured, with which the tsarist empire received the protection right over the Orthodox Christians in Turkey. Since then the oriental question has entered a new stage; it was no longer a question of bringing the European powers together in a common defense against the Doors, but rather of agreeing on the division of the Ottoman inheritance.25

From 1804 the Serbs waged a war of liberation that lasted nine years and ended with the area falling under Turkish control in 1813. Two years later, MiloObrenoviç led a second revolt. Within a few months, almost all of Serbia was liberated from Turkish rule. Obrenoviç was recognized as an Hereditary Prince in 1817, and Serbia was given limited autonomy under the sultan's suzerainty. The Treaty of Adrianople after the Russo-Turkish War (1828-1829) gave Serbia greater autonomy and the number of Turkish garrisons (= troops in peacetime) was reduced.26

In the years 1821-1829 the Greeks gained their independence from the Ottoman Empire. Influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment and the national movements in Central and Western Europe, the revolutionary secret society emerged in Greece at the beginning of the 19th century Hetairia Philikon. Encouraged by the successful survey of the

Serbs against the Ottomans (1804-1817) began the secret society with the preparation of the revolt against the Ottomans. On March 6, 1821, Alexandros Ypsilanti (1792-1828) advanced with his "Holy Band" and supported by Albanians and Bulgarians in the Principality of Moldova and called for an uprising. The uprising failed in June 1821, mainly because they were expected At the beginning of April 1821 the Archbishop of Patras had called for a general survey, and a little later the Greeks had almost the whole of the Peloponnese with the exception of Nauplia and Tripoli and on

May 7th also brought Athens under their control. The Greeks knew the Turkish

First repel attacks and defeat the Turkish fleet; but then the Ottoman Empire regained Greece as far as the Gulf of Corinth and prevented the uprising from spreading to Epirus. At the beginning of 1825 the Ottoman governor in Egypt, Mehmet Ali, intervened in favor of the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II in Greece; by the end of 1825 his troops had conquered almost the whole of the Peloponnese, in April 1826 Mesolongion fell, and on August 15, 1826 they took Athens; however, the Acropolis of Athens remained in Greek hands until June 1827.

The Holy Alliance had already condemned the Greek struggle for independence in 1822; but hundreds of Philhellenes, volunteers from all over Europe, among them Lord Byron, came to Greece, especially under the impression of the reconquest of the Peloponnese by the Ottomans, to fight for Greek independence, and they supported the struggle financially. On June 6, 1827, Great Britain, France and Russia decided in the London Treaty to intervene jointly in favor of Greece. After this

Finally, when Russian troops also advanced across the Balkans to Constantinople, Mehmet Ali withdrew all his troops from Greece.27

- Greece was independent!

In 1856 Christians and Muslims were given equal rights in the Ottoman Empire. In 1676 there were anti-Turkish uprisings in Bulgaria, which went out in favor of Bulgaria.

In 1877/78 another war took place between the Turks and the Russians

Treaty of San Stefano was terminated. With the resolutions of the Berlin Congress

(June / July 1878) the Treaty of San Stefano should be revised, which in March 1878

8. Had ended the Russo-Turkish War and through which Russia was able to significantly expand its position of power in the Balkans. Among other things, Romania and Montenegro became independent again, Serbia's independence is confirmed, Bulgaria becomes autonomous

Principality, Mekedonia remains Ottoman and Austria-Hungary receives the right to occupy (= take possession) of Bosnia-Herzegovina.28

In 1903 there were also anti-Turkish uprisings in Macedonia, which meant that even today there are no Muslims in this region. The Macedonians are predominantly of the Christian Orthodox faith, with the exception of a few Greek Catholic Macedonians and the Torbesi, who are ethnic Macedonians but of Islamic religion.29

The Balkan Wars:

1st Balkan War

The weakening of the Ottoman Empire offered the Balkan states the opportunity to conquer Macedonia and liberate the Balkans from the remnants of Ottoman rule. In the summer of 1912 the situation in the Balkans became more and more tense, especially after August 14, when Bulgaria asked the Turks to grant Macedonia autonomy. The states of the Balkan Federation - Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece

- started mobilization on September 30th; declared on October 8, 1912

Montenegro declared war against the Ottoman Empire, and on October 17 the followed

Declaration of war by the three other Balkan countries on the Ottoman Empire. During the next two months or so, the Balkan League won a series of decisive victories over the Turks and forced the Ottoman Empire to give up practically all of its European possessions. At the end of November the Turks asked for an armistice. The ceasefire agreement was signed on December 3rd by all allies except Greece; Greece continued its military operations against the Ottoman Empire. At the end of December, the representatives of the warring parties met with the major European powers at the London Ambassadors Conference to resolve the Balkans question. The Turks rejected the peace conditions of the Balkan states; the conference failed on January 6, 1913. On January 23, a coup d'état in the Ottoman Empire brought the Young Turks to power, and within a week the fighting flared up again.

The Turks, defeated on all fronts, again reached an armistice with Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia on April 19, 1913. Montenegro joined a few days later. On May 30, 1913, a preliminary peace was agreed in London, again through the mediation of the major European powers, according to which the Turks ceded the island of Crete to Greece and to all European areas west of the line between the Black Sea port of Midia and Enos, a city on the Turkish Aegean coast , had to do without; the Ottoman Empire thus only had a narrow strip of land between the Dardanelles and the Bosporus on the European mainland.

2nd Balkan War

The preliminary peace in London led to new conflicts between the states of the Balkan Alliance, especially between Serbia and Bulgaria, which fought over the division of Macedonia. In addition, Serbia was dissatisfied because, contrary to its expectations, it had not been given direct access to the Adriatic Sea. On June 1, 1913, Greece and Serbia formed an alliance against Bulgaria, and on June 29, the Second Balkan War broke out: a Bulgarian general attacked the Serbs' defensive positions without orders from his government. Although the Bulgarian government denied knowledge of the attack, Serbia and Greece formally declared war on Bulgaria on July 8th. Two weeks later, Montenegro, Romania and the Ottoman Empire had joined the war against Bulgaria. Since Bulgaria was not up to this alliance, it asked for a ceasefire on July 30th. In the subsequent peace agreement, signed in Bucharest, Romania on August 10, Bulgaria lost much of its profits from the 1st Balkan War, including almost 7,770 square kilometers to Romania, and most of Macedonia fell to Serbia and Greece. In later agreements Bulgaria also ceded some territory to Turkey. Albania, which had been under Ottoman sovereignty until the London Ambassadorial Conference, became an independent state.

The Balkan Wars had a profound effect on the further course of European history: the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria led to dangerous tensions between the successor states in the Balkans. The peace agreements had created a strong and ambitious Serbia, which led to great distrust of Serbia in neighboring Austria-Hungary against the background of nationality problems in their own country. The assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo finally provided Austria-Hungary with the pretext to declare war against Serbia on July 28, 1914, which finally triggered the First World War. 30

Effects of the Ottoman Empire still today:

The Ottoman rule in the Balkans, although it caused a turning point in the overall situation, can certainly not be categorized as the "Turkish yoke of violence" Interests of rival royal houses, which have now lost a large part of their power to the gate.

A profound process of Islamization and orientalization began in the areas occupied by the Turks. Cities and markets took on an oriental character. In Skopje (Turkish: Üsküb), for example, a city that was founded in Illyrian times, a number of mosques, a hammam (= Turkish bathhouse) from the 15th century and a Han (= hostel) from the 17th century still bear witness to this of the former Turkish way of life. There were also noticeable ethnicity

Changes for the country: Numerous Turks moved in as traders; Greeks and Armenians increasingly determined trade. The Jews were also very well represented in this branch. Its oldest center in the Balkans was Saloniki, which during the Ottoman period temporarily became the largest Jewish community in Europe and forever the most important Sephardic center in Southeastern Europe.31

Among other things, the Turks also imported coffee into our region. But above all, the origin of the present-day Balkan conflict can be found in the time of the Turkish rule.

"The Balkans under Turkish rule" by Johanna Martinkowic on May 25, 1999

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