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Albanian can be divided into two cultural and linguistic groups including the northern Ghegs and the southern Tosks. The diversity between Ghegs and Tosks can be substantial, both sides identify strongly with the common national and ethnic culture.
Most Albanians in Albania speak foreign languages as revealed by a new study carried out by Eurostat , the statistical agency of the European Union , which analyzed the demography of the adult population of several european countries as of The results of the Adult Education Survey, released in May , showed that the The main foreign language known is English with The English speakers were mostly young people, the knowledge of Italian is stable in every age group, while there is a decrease of the speakers of Greek in the youngest group.
Nowadays most Albanians are non observant with many who are irreligious. A majority among Albanian Muslims are Sunni, while a large minority are Bektashi an esoteric Shia-derived sect known for liberal attitudes and there are also smaller Sufi groups, while Christians are split between Orthodox and Catholics with a smaller presence of Protestant sects.
The Albanians first appear in the historical record in Byzantine sources of the late 11th century. All Albanians were Orthodox Christians until the middle of the 13th century when the Ghegs were converted to Catholicism as a mean to resist the Slavs. Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism continued to be practiced with less frequency. During the 20th century the monarchy and later the totalitarian state followed a systematic secularization of the nation and the national culture.
This policy was chiefly applied within the borders of the current Albanian state. It produced a secular majority in the population.
All forms of Christianity , Islam and other religious practices were prohibited except for old non-institutional pagan practices in the rural areas, which were seen as identifying with the national culture.
The current Albanian state has revived some pagan festivals, such as the Spring festival Albanian: It is a national holiday. According to census, Christianity is practiced by The remaining population is either irreligious or belongs to other religious groups. The Communist regime that took control of Albania after World War II persecuted and suppressed religious observance and institutions and entirely banned religion to the point where Albania was officially declared to be the world's first atheist state.
Religious freedom has returned to Albania since the regime's change in Albanian Muslim populations mainly secular and of the Sunni branch are found throughout the country whereas Albanian Orthodox Christians as well as Bektashis are concentrated in the south; Roman Catholics are found primarily in the north of the country. For part of its history, Albania has also had a Jewish community. Members of the Jewish community were saved by a group of Albanians during the Nazi occupation.
A modest amount of literature written by early Albanians was about religious themes. Albanian independence until the advent of the Second World War marked a transition from patriotic and political Rilindja related literature to more distinctive, expressive and matured forms of Albanian literature, prose and poetry focusing upon additional themes of contemporary life.
Albanian folk music displays a variety of influences. Albanian folk music traditions differ by region, with major stylistic differences between the traditional music of the Ghegs in the north and Tosks in the south.
Since the s, some composers such as Fan S. Noli have also produced works of Albanian classical music. An Arnaut in Cairo , Egypt. Albanian custom Catholic woman from Shkodra , Albania. Man and woman from Elbasan , Albania. A traditional male folk group from Skrapar , Albania. Albanian shepherds of Macedonia. Albanian folk dance from Civita , Calabria , Italy.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Albanians as an ethnic group. For demographic information, see Demographics of Albania. Scholars Marija Gimbutas J. Names of the Albanians and Albania , Albania toponym , and Shqiptar. Albanians in Turkey , Egypt , and Syria. Muhammad Ali of Egypt. Origin of the Albanians. After serving the Ottoman Empire for 20 years Skanderbeg deserted and began a rebellion that halted Ottoman advance into Europe for 25 years left.
Ali Pasha of Tepelena was notably one of the most powerful autonomous Muslim Albanian rulers, he ruled over the Pashalik of Yanina , and even attempted to rival the Dey of Algiers in the seas right.
Albanian language and Albanian dialects. Albania portal Society portal. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February , but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in , as part of the Brussels Agreement.
Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from out of United Nations member states. Archived from the original on 13 November Retrieved 3 October Archived from the original on 31 October Retrieved 4 November There are upwards of 5 million ethnic Albanians in the Turkish Republic; however, the vast majority of this population is assimilated and no longer possesses fluency in the language, though a vibrant Albanian community maintains its distinct identity in Istanbul to this day.
Egypt also lays claim to some 18, Albanians, supposedly lingering remnants of Mohammad Ali's army. Archived from the original PDF on 27 September Archived PDF from the original on 22 September Retrieved 22 September The Promise of Cooperation. Greek National Statistics Agency. Archived from the original PDF on 25 December Retrieved 3 June Deutscher Bundestag — Berlin, Donnerstag, den 5. Juni Archived 3 January at the Wayback Machine.
Archived from the original PDF on 7 July Retrieved 24 December Census of Population, Households and Dwellings Croatian Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 11 August Retrieved 18 August Archived from the original on 26 September Archived from the original on 22 December Retrieved 12 January Archived from the original on 26 December Greenwood Press, p.
United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 November Archived from the original on 20 December Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 June Archived from the original PDF on 16 September People, Health and Wild Plant Resources , vol. Retrieved 7 August Language, religion and national identity in Europe and the Middle East: Central and South-Eastern Europe In many instances the Arvanites were invited by the Byzantine and Latin rulers of the time. They were employed to resettle areas that had been largely depopulated through wars, epidemics and other reasons, and they were employed as soldiers.
Some later movements are also believed to have been motivated to evade Islamisation after the Ottoman conquest. The main waves of the Arvanite migration into southern Greece started around , reached a peak some time during the 14th century, and ended around Arvanites first reached Thessaly, then Attica and finally the Peloponnese Clogg. Regarding the number of Arvanites in Greece, the census the last census in Greece that included a question about language gives a figure of Sociohinguistic research in the s in the villages of Attica and Biotia alone indicated a figure of at least Although still regarded as ethnically distinct in the nineteenth century, their participation in the Greek War of Independence and the Civil War has led to increasing assimilation: A similar concern with being identified as Greek is exhibited by the bilingual Arvanites of the Eastern Argolid.
Ottoman control rested upon allowing local communities to keep their religion, language, local laws, and representatives, provided that taxes were paid the millet system. There was no pressure for Greeks and Albanians to conform to each other's language or other behavior. Clear signs of change are revealed in the travel diaries of the German scholar Ludwig Ross , when he accompanied the Bavarian Otto, whom the Allies had foisted as king upon the newly freed Greek nation in the aftermath of the War of Independence in the s.
Ross praises the well-built Greek villages of central Greece with their healthy, happy, dancing inhabitants, and contrasts them specifically with the hovels and sickly inhabitants of Albanian villages. In fact, recent scholarship has underlined how far it was the West that built modem Greece in its own fanciful image as the land of a long-oppressed people who were the direct descendants of Pericles.
Thus from the late nineteenth century onward the children of the inhabitants of the new "nation-state" were taught in Greek, history confined itself to the episodes of pure Greekness, and the tolerant Ottoman attitude to cultural diversity yielded to a deliberate policy of total Hellenization of the populace—effective enough to fool the casual observer. One is rather amazed at the persistence today of such dual-speaking populations in much of the Albanian colonization zone.
However, apart from the provinciality of this essentially agricultural province, a high rate of illiteracy until well into this century has also helped to preserve Arvanitika in the Boeotian villagers Meijs I would like to suggest that they possess what we might term a passive ethnicity. As a result of a number of historical factors, much of the rural population in central Greece was Albanian-speaking by the time of the creation of the modern Greek state in the s.
Until this century, most of these people were illiterate and unschooled, yet there existed sufficient knowledge of Greek to communicate with officials and townspeople, itinerant traders, and so on, to limit the need to transform rural language usage.
Life was extremely provincial, with just one major carriage-road passing through the center of the large province of Boeotia even in the s beyond which horseback and cart took over; van Effenterre Even in the s, Arvanitic village children could be figures of fun for their Greek peers in the schools of Thebes One of the two regional towns K. Sarri, personal communication, It was not a matter of cultural resistance but simple conservatism and provinciality, the extreme narrowness of rural life, that allowed Arvanitic language and local historic memories to survive so effectively to the very recent period.
Hellenization was perhaps well on its way prior to service abroad, since Albanian stradioti had settled in Greek lands for two generations prior to their emigration to Italy. Since many served under Greek commanders and served together with Greek stradioti, the process continued.
Another factor in this assimilative process was the stradioti's and their families' active involvement and affiliation with the Greek Orthodox or Uniate Church communities in Naples, Venice and elsewhere. Hellenization thus occurred as a result of common service and church affiliation.
What was essential to understand at that tender age was that modern Greeks descended from the ancient Greeks. Grown up children, however, must have been no less confused than adults on the criteria for defining modern Greek identity.
On the Slavs of Macedonia there seems to have been no consensus. Were they Bulgars, Slavicized Greeks or early Slavs? There was no consensus, either, on the Vlachs. Were they Latinized Greek mountaineers of late immigrants from Vlachia?
As in the case of the Slavs of Macedonia, Vlach descent shifted from the southern Balkans to the Danube, until the Romanians claimed the Vlachs for their brethren; which made the latter irrevocably indigenous to the southern Balkan mountains.
Firstly, the Albanians had been living in southern Greece, as far south as the Peloponnese, in considerable numbers. Secondly, Christian Albanians had fought with distinction and in considerable numbers in the War of Independence. Thirdly, credible Albanian claims for the establishment of an Albanian nation state materialized too Late for Greek national theorists to abandon well-entrenched positions. Commenting on a geography textbook for primary schools in , a state committee found it inadequate and misleading.
We can say that all in some way belong to a kind of ethnic category, and often more than one. As an example, I cite the case of Zadar Arbanasi.
To understand the problem of the Albanians and their ethnolinguistic ethnic and linguistic identity, it is necessary to go into the history of their immigration that goes back to the beginning of the 18th century. Fleeing from the Ottomans, plague and other troubles, the general provider Nicola Erizzo II allowed them to settle in the area of today's Arbanasa and Zemunik.
One part of the population in Zemunik became assimilated with the local population, forgetting their language. The second part of the population tried to maintain their ethnic and linguistic identity during these years. On May 10, marked the th anniversary of their arrival in the suburb of Zadar. It was not easy, especially in the beginning, because they did not have their own church, school, etc. Four villages with Albanian population are located in the Ukraine: Three hundred years later they had moved from Bulgaria to the Russian empire on account of Turkish-Russian opposition in the Balkan Peninsula.
Ethnic Albanians also live in Moldova, Odessa and St. Nowadays, in the Ukraine and Russia there are an estimated ethnic Albanians. Bulgarians and Gagauzes live side by side with Albanians in Karakurt; Russians and Ukrainians share the same space with Albanians in the Azov Sea region. It is worth mentioning that in these multi-lingual environments, the Albanian patois retains original Balkan features. These terms came into use between the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries.
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.
The name passed over the boundaries of the Illyrian tribe in central Albania, and was generalised for all the Albanians. The primary root is the adverb shqip , meaning "clearly, intelligibly".
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. The following instance is indisputable. It comes from the same Attaliates, who wrote that the Albanians Arbanitai were involved in the ; rebellion of Bonn V, 6; XI, 6. Archived from the original on 7 February Within the Indo-European family, it forms a group of its own.
In Albanian, the language is called shqip. The Greeks refer to all the varieties of Albanian spoken in Greece as Arvanitika. In the second century AD, Ptolemy, the Alexandrian mathematician, astronomer and geographer, used the name Albanoi to refer to an Illyrian tribe that used to live in what is now central Albania.
During the Middle Ages the population of that area was referred to as Arbanori or Albanon. Enciklopedija Jugoslavije 2nd ed. Their attempts to use early Ottoman provincial surveys tahrir defterleri to gauge the ethnic make—up of the population in the fifteenth century have proved little.
Leaving aside questions arising from the dialects and pronunciation of the census scribes, interpreters, and even priests who baptized those recorded, no natural law binds ethnicity to name. Imitation, in which the customs, tastes, and even names of those in the public eye are copied by the less exalted, is a time—tested tradition and one followed in the Ottoman Empire.
Such cultural mimicry makes onomastics an inappropriate tool for anyone wishing to use Ottoman records to prove claims so modern as to have been irrelevant to the pre—modern state.
Given that a large Albanian population lived in Kosovo, especially in the west and centre, both before and after the Habsburg invasion of —90, it remains possible, in theory, that at that time in the Ottoman Empire, one people emigrated en masse and another immigrated to take its place. Indictment of the Exterminators of the Albanian People". Archived from the original on 31 May Archived from the original PDF on 3 January Migrating and Settling in a Mobile World: Ottoman Albanians, Balkan Albanians, and twentieth century Albanians.
The first category comprises descendants of Albanians who relocated to the Marmara and Aegean regions as part of the Ottoman Empire's administrative structure. In the s Albanian seasonal workers were employed by these Albanian Janissaries in and around Istanbul and Iznik, and in Kayserili Ahmet, the governor of Izmir, employed Albanians to fight the raiding Zeybeks.
Today, the descendants of Ottoman Albanians do not form a community per se, but at least some still identify as ethnically Albanian. However, it is unknown how many, if any, of these Ottoman Albanians retain Albanian language skills. The second category of ethnic Albanians living in modern Turkey is composed of people who are the descendants of refugees from the Balkans who because of war were forced to migrate inwards towards Eastern Thrace and Anatolia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the Ottoman Empire dissolved.
These Balkan Albanians are the largest group of ethnic Albanians living in Turkey today, and can be subcategorized into those who ended up in actual Albanian-speaking communities and those who were relocated into villages where they were the only Albanian-speaking migrants.
Not surprisingly, the language is retained by some of the descendants from those of the former, but not those of the latter. The third category of ethnic Albanians in Turkey comprises recent or twentieth century migrants from the Balkans. These recent migrants can be subcategorized into those who came from Kosovo in the s—s, those who came from Kosovo in , and those who came from the Republic of Albania after All of these in the third category know a variety of modern Albanian and are mostly located in the western parts of Turkey in large metropolitan areas.
Our research focuses on the history of migration and community formation of the Albanians located in the Samsun Province in the Black Sea region around — who would fall into the second category discussed above see Figure 1.
Turkish census data between and recorded the presence of Albanian speakers in Samsun Province, and the fieldwork we have been conducting in Samsun since September has revealed that there is still a significant number of Albanians living in the city and its surrounding region.
According to the community leaders we interviewed, there are about 30,—40, ethnic Albanian Turkish citizens in Samsun Province. The community was largely rural, located in the villages and engaged in agricultural activities until the s. After this time, gradual migration to urban areas, particularly smaller towns and nearby cities has been observed.
Long-distance rural-to-urban migration also began in later years mostly due to increasing demand for education and better jobs. Those who migrated to areas outside of Samsun Province generally preferred the cities located in the west of Turkey, particularly metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa mainly because of the job opportunities as well as the large Albanian communities already residing in these cities.
Today, the size of the Albanian community in Samsun Province is considered to be much smaller and gradually shrinking because of outward migration. Our observation is that the Albanians in Samsun seem to be fully integrated into Turkish society, and engaged in agriculture and small trading businesses.
As education becomes accessible to the wider society and modernization accelerates transportation and hence communication of urban values, younger generations have also started to acquire professional occupations. Whilst a significant number of people still speak Albanian fluently as the language in the family, they have a perfect command of the Turkish language and cannot be distinguished from the rest of the population in terms of occupation, education, dress and traditions. In this article, we are interested in the history of this Albanian community in Samsun.
Given the lack of any research on the Albanian presence in Turkey, our questions are simple and exploratory. When and where did these people come from? How and why did they choose Samsun as a site of resettlement?
How did the socio- cultural characteristics of this community change over time? It is generally believed that the Albanians in Samsun Province are the descendants of the migrants and refugees from Kosovo who arrived in Turkey during the wars of — Based on our research in Samsun Province, we argue that this information is partial and misleading.
The interviews we conducted with the Albanian families and community leaders in the region and the review of Ottoman history show that part of the Albanian community in Samsun was founded through three stages of successive migrations.
Thus, the Albanian community founded in the s in Samsun was in many ways a reassembling of the demolished Muslim Albanian community of Nish. This trajectory of the Albanian community of Nish shows that the fate of this community was intimately bound up with the fate of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans and the socio-cultural composition of modern Turkey still carries on the legacy of its historical ancestor.
Retrieved 17 July The worm has turned! Archived 17 July at the Wayback Machine. In the 11th century at least it was the name given to the mountainous area to the west of Lake Ohrid and the upper valley of the river Shkumbin Central European Department for Medieval Studies. Bernardino de Vitabilus, These records show that the magnitude of banditry involving Albanians grew through the s and s to reach crisis proportions in the s and s. Other peoples, such as Georgians, Ahkhaz, Circassians, Tatars, Kurds, and Bedouin Arabs who were frequently identified by their ethnicity, shared similar cultural traits.
For the Byzantine period. Retrieved 9 April