Albania & it’s ethnic regions
Today’s Republic of Albania makes up only about 1/4 of the region occupied by ethinic Albanians. During the Ottoman occupation, the region was known as theAlbanian Villayet which was composed by the Villayet of Kosovo (present day Kosovo and Preshevo valley, the parts of southern Serbia known as Sanjak) ,Villayet of Manastir (present day western Macedonia), Villayet of Janina(present day Northwest Greece and theVillayet of Shkodra (Northern Albania and parts of southern present day Montenegro). All of which today make up the map of ethnic territory of Albania.
Partition of Albania
The Partition of Albania (Albanian: Copëtimi i Shqipërisë) is a term used for the partition of the Albanian state, which proclaimed its independence on 28 November 1912. The delination of the newly established Principality of Albania under the terms of the London Conference of 1912-1913 (29 July 1913) and the Ambassadors of the six Great Powers of that time (Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Italy) as a resolution to the Balkan Wars and sake of Balkan stability, left Albanian populations outside its borders.
As a result the ethnic Albanians live in the Republic of Albania, Kosovo, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro.
The Albanians in neighboring countries
Montenegro also contains sizeable Albanian populations mostly concentrated in areas such as southern Malësia, the Ulcinj (Ulqini) municipality on the coast, the Tuzi area near Podgorica, and parts of the Plav (Plava) and Rožaje (Rozhajë) municipalities. See Albanians in Montenegro.
Main articles: Chameria and Cham Albanians
The coastal region of Thesprotia in northwestern Greece referred to by Albanians as Çamëria is sometimes included in Greater Albania. According to the 1928 census held by the Greek state, there were around 20,000 Muslim Cams in Thesprotia prefecture. They were forced to seek refuge in Albania at the end of World War II after a large part of them collaborated and committed a number of crimes together with the Nazis during the 1941–1944 period. In the first post-war census (1951), only 123 Muslim Çams were left in the area. Descendants of the exiled Muslim Chams (they claim that they are now up to 170,000 now living in Albania) claim that up to 35,000 Muslim Çams were living in southern Epirus before World War II. Many of them are currently trying to pursue legal ways to claim compensation for the properties seized by Greece. For Greece the issue “does not exist”.
Republic of Macedonia
See also: Albanians in Republic of Macedonia and 2001 Macedonia conflict
The western part of the Republic of Macedonia is an area with a large ethnic Albanian minority. The Albanian population in Republic of Macedonia make up 25% of the population. Cities with Albanian majorities or large minorities include Tetovo (Tetova), Gostivar(Gostivari), Struga (Struga) and Debar (Diber) .
In 1992, Albanian activists in Struga proclaimed also the founding of the Republic of Ilirida (Albanian: Republika e Iliridës) with the intention of autonomy or federalization inside the Republic of Macedonia. The declaration had only a symbolic meaning and the idea of an autonomous State of Ilirida is not officially accepted by the ethnic Albanian politicians in the Republic of Macedonia.. See Albanians of Republic of Macedonia
Preshevo Valley (Serbia)
of Preševo (Albanian: Preshevë), Bujanovac (Albanian: Bujanoc) and part of the municipality of Medveđa (Albanian: Medvegjë) include an Albanian population. According to the 2002 census, Preševo contained an overwhelming Albanian ethnic majority of over 90%. Bujanovcac around 54.69% and Medveđa 26.17%.
Tense relations between ethnic Serbians and Albanians and also the increased hatred after the Kosovo War, resulted in military actions after the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (Albanian: Ushtria Çlirimtare e Preshevës, Medvegjës dhe Bujanocit, UÇPMB) was formed. One of UÇPMB’s roles entails seceding these specific municipalities from Serbia and annex them to the independent Republic of Kosovo.