(redirected from Ethnic Albanian)



(in Albanian, the singular is shqipetar).

(1)The nation which forms the basic population of Albania, numbering about 1,855,000 (1966). About 1 million Albanians live in Yugoslavia, mainly in Kosovo, Metohija, and Macedonia; there are several thousand in Greece and 100,000–150,000 in the southern regions of Italy and the island of Sicily. A small number of Albanians live in Turkey, Bulgaria, and Rumania; there are 5,000 Albanians in the USSR, in Odessa and Zaporozh’e oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR. The Albanian language constitutes an independent branch of the Indo-European family. Seventy-one percent of the Albanians who are religious are Muslims, 19 percent are Orthodox, and 10 percent are Catholics.

Opinions differ on the ethnogeny of the Albanians. Some scholars (including Albanian) see the Illyrians as the basic element in their ancestry, while others consider the Thracians the basic element. Roman rule in Illyria (second century B.C. to fourth century A.D.) left its traces in the language and culture of Albanians. During the Middle Ages, the Albanian lands were the scene of uninterrupted struggle among Byzantines, Bulgarians, Normans, Serbs, and others, and this too has left its mark on the ethnic makeup of Albanians. The term “Albanians,” which first appeared in the second century as a tribal name, began to be applied to all the inhabitants of present-day Albania in the 11th century.

Turkish hegemony, which lasted from the late 15th century until 1912, served as a brake on the historical development of Albanians. Feudal fragmentation meant the disruption of economic ties between regions and the deepening of differences of dialect; regional designations of Albanians emerged. The old term “Albanians” was gradually replaced by the newer Shqipetar, by which those speaking fluent Albanian—that is, shqip —were distinguished from foreigners. In the second half of the 18th and early 19th centuries, designations for the two basic regions of Albania and their inhabitants took shape: Toskeria and the Tosks in the south and Ghegeria and the Ghegs in the north.

The ethnic consolidation of Albanians, which took place in the context of uninterrupted resistance to Turkish rule, increased particularly in the mid-19th century, when capitalist relations began to arise and the sharp struggle for national self-determination unfolded. The victory of the people’s revolution in Albania (1944) and the transition to the construction of socialism brought about the national unification of Albanians.


Arsh,G. L., I. G. Senkevich, and N. D.Smirnova. Kratkaia istoriia Albanii. Moscow, 1965.

Historia e Shqipërisë, vols. 1–2. Tirana, 1959–65.


(2) Caucasian Albanians were one of the ancient tribes of the Eastern Transcaucasus.

References in periodicals archive ?
No ethnic Albanian is heading any of the candidate lists of the opposition led by Zoran Zaev.
The demonstrations which have begun on March 1 were started by ethnic Macedonians furious at the appointment of ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi's as defense minister.
TMRO-VEP President Straso Angelovski comments for Vreme that the arsenal of methods for pressuring the Republic of Macedonia for changing the name is expanding and the international community uses the already checked players in this dirty game--the members of the ethnic Albanian minority in Macedonia.
At least one hand grenade was also thrown in the clash which began after three ethnic Albanian children drowned when they were chased into a river by Serbs.
The ambush happened as key government and ethnic Albanian leaders were engaged in a second day of peace talks in the southwestern city of Ohrid aimed at ending five bitter months of conflict between security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels.
2) Ethnic Albanian children in the town of Urosevac in Kosovo greet President Clinton on Tuesday by waving American flags and cheering.
And ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova has vowed Yugoslavia will never regain control of Kosovo, even if President Slobodan Milosevic is ousted.
First, NATO demonstrated its efficiency at Milosevic's old job of ethnic cleansing by killing approximately 100 ethnic Albanian civilians in a bombing raid.
News of the proposed charity, called the Midlands Ethnic Albanian Foundation, will be announced to asylum seekers and refugees at a meeting today.
Serb forces have tried to suppress Kosovo's ethnic Albanian rebels for more than a year.
I am a completely apolitical person, an ethnic Albanian intellectual, successful in her career of an artist, told Nova Makedonija's reporter.
We are convinced that the advancement of the position of ethnic Albanian citizens is in the interest of the Republic of Macedonia and it is a signal for the progress of all citizens of this country, not only ethnic Albanians but everyone else as well.