Russo Turkish War 1877 1878

Expulsion of the Albanians
1877 Dec 15 - 1878 Jan 10

Expulsion of the Albanians

İşkodra, Albania

The Expulsion of Albanians 1877–1878 refers to events of forced migration of Albanian populations from areas that became incorporated into the Principality of Serbia and Principality of Montenegro in 1878. These wars, alongside the larger Russo-Ottoman War (1877–78) ended in defeat and substantial territorial losses for the Ottoman Empire which was formalised at the Congress of Berlin. This expulsion was part of the wider persecution of Muslims in the Balkans during the geopolitical and territorial decline of the Ottoman Empire.[16]

On the eve of conflict between Montenegro and the Ottomans (1876–1878), a substantial Albanian population resided in the Sanjak of İşkodra.[17] In the Montenegrin-Ottoman war that ensued, strong resistance in the towns of Podgorica and Spuž toward Montenegrin forces was followed by the expulsion of their Albanian and Slavic Muslim populations who resettled in Shkodër.[18]

On the eve of conflict between Serbia and the Ottomans (1876–1878), a substantial, at times compact and mainly rural Albanian population alongside some urban Turks lived with Serbs within the Sanjak of Niş.[19] Throughout the course of the war, the Albanian population depending on the area reacted differently to incoming Serbian forces by either offering resistance or fleeing toward nearby mountains and Ottoman Kosovo.[20] Although most of these Albanians were expelled by Serbian forces, a small number were allowed to remain in the Jablanica valley where their descendants live today.[21] Serbs from Lab moved to Serbia during and after the first round of hostilities in 1876, while incoming Albanian refugees thereafter 1878 repopulated their villages.[22]