History of Montenegro

Ottoman Rule
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1496 Jan 1

Ottoman Rule

Montenegro

In the fall of 1496, the Turkish sultan asked Đurđ Crnojević to immediately come to Constantinople to pay homage, or else to leave Montenegro. Finding himself in danger, Đurađ decided to defect under the protection of the Venetians. Immediately after taking possession of the land, the Turks created a separate vilayet of Crnojević on the territory of the former state of Crnojević, which was part of the Skadar Sanjak, and the first census of the newly created vilayet was carried out immediately after the establishment of the new government.


After the establishment of power, the Turks introduced taxes and spahic duties throughout the country, as in other parts of the empire. After the fall, Serbian Christians were exposed to various persecutions and oppression by Muslims, including the infamous system of "blood tribute", forced conversion, various Sharia laws inequalities, including forced labor, jizya , harsh taxation and slavery.


During the first years of Turkish rule, the Skadar sandjakbegs tried to consolidate direct Turkish rule in the Crnojević vilayet , but with considerable difficulties due to the growing Turkish-Venetian rivalry, which led to the official outbreak of the Venetian-Turkish war (1499-1503) in 1499 . It became obvious that among the conquered population there was a desire to cooperate with the Venetians in order to liberate them from Turkish rule. In 1513, in order to suppress the Venetian influence and strengthen his own authority, the sultan made a decision on separating the former vilayet of Crnojević from the composition of the Skadar sanjak, after which a separate Sanjak of Montenegro was created in that area. Skender Crnojević , the youngest brother of the last Zeta lord Đurđ Crnojević, was appointed as the first (and only) sandjakbeg.


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