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Battle of Deçiq

Battle of Deçiq
Part of Albanian Independence Movement
Date April 6, 1911
Location Deçiq near Tuzi, Ottoman Empire (now Montenegro)
Result Albanian Malesor victory
Belligerents
Northern Albanian (Malesor) tribes  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Ded Gjo Luli Dedvukaj
Sokol Baci
Pretash Zeka
Shefket Turgut Pasha
Strength
3,280 soldiers[1] 27.000 soldiers (34 infantry battalions)[1]
20 heavy machine guns[1]
24 mountain cannons[1]

The Battle of Deçiq (Albanian: Beteja e Deçiqit) marked the beginning of the turning point for Albanian liberty. It was in this battle that the Scanderbeg's flag was raised for the first time after 442 years of Ottoman occupation. Before this battle, the Albanian flag was last flown in 1480, when the Castle of Shkodra had fallen to the Turks.[2]

Contents

  • Location and background 1
  • The battle 2
  • Outcome 3
  • Notable warriors 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6

Location and background

The battle took place near Deçiq, south of the town of Tuzi (today in Montenegro). Tuzi is the town center for the region of Malësia that lies within Montenegro, whereas the capital town for all of Malësia is Koplik. Malësia is simply translated to "The Great Highlands", which is a well depicted name due to the rough mountainous terrain within this region. The region of Malësia is mostly under the Roman Catholic faith. The tribesman of Malësia are known as Malësor, meaning Highlander. The Malësori people were always a fiercely independent people, with very little suppression from any conquering armies.

The battle

The main cause to the battle came from the disrespect of the Ottoman government on the Albanian people. The Albanian highlanders, Malissori, were tricked by the Young Turks. The Turks promised them independence and freedom only if the Albanians disarmed their weapons. Albanians trusted the Turks, thinking they would imply the freedom that they longed hoped for. Instead, after the disarming, the Turks started to oppress them like never before.

The backstabbing actions committed by the Turks only infuriated the Albanians and led them to a state of seeking revenge. The highlanders decided to wage a battle against the "Young Turk" regime led by the infamous leader himself, Shefqet Turgut Pasha. The Albanians, on the other hand, had their own leaders named Ded Gjo Luli Dedvukaj, from the Hoti tribe, and Sokol Baci Ivezaj, from the Gruda tribe. This very battle happened to determine the independence for the region of Malësia, as well the spark to Albanian Independence. The number of soldiers of both combating parties are unknown, but both were indicated in the mid-thousands. It was more likely that the Turks had more soldiers.

The main portion of the battle took place between Tuzi and Koplik (Albania), where the Malësors went against thousands of Turks. Koplik is the largest town in Malësia, right across the border with Montenegro is Tuzi. During the battle, the women and children were sent to the dark woods within Malësia to keep away from the battle scene and protection from any wandering Turks.

As the fighting proceeded, both armies decided to move north into the town of Tuzi, where the battle ended. It was in this town, where the Albanian flag was raised on the mountain top of Deçiq, claiming the victory.

Outcome

The outcome to this long battle was in favor of the Albanians. Although a large number of Albanians died that day, they still managed to claim victory from the Ottomans.

In 1913, at the Treaty of London, the powers of Europe decided to annex half the land of Malësia to Montenegro, wheres the rest remained in Albania. Tuzi, along with the tribes of half of Hoti (Traboini), Grudë, Triesh, and Koja e Kuçit went to Montenegro. Kelmendi, the other half of Hoti (Rapsha), Kastrati, Shkreli, and the town of Koplik remained in Albania, but certain parts of Kelmendi such as Vuthaj, Martinaj, Plav, Gusinje, went to Montenegro and Rugova was annexed to Serbia. Even though this decision was finalized, all seven tribes still proudly call themselves the "Djemtë te Malësis" (Sons of the Highlands). It was in this battle to which they celebrate their victory.

Notable warriors

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Ded Gjo Luli and the battle of Deçiq". www.dedgjoluli.org. 
  2. ^ Nikprelaj, Gjergj (5 January 2006). "DEDE GJO LULI, MBROJTESI FISNIK I TROJEVE SHQIPTARE" (in Albanian). Koha Jone. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 

Further reading

  • Martini, Luigj, 2005 "Prek Cali, Kelmendi Dhe Kelmendasit" ISBN 9994334077 Publisher: Camaj-Pipaj
  • Tallon, James "The failure of Ottomanism: The Albanian Rebellions of 1909--1912" |url=http://gradworks.umi.com/35/26/3526980.html
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