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Albanian Revolt of 1847

Albanian Revolt of 1847
Date 1839-1847
Location Pashalik of Yanina, modern southern Albania and northern Greece
Result Rebellion hold until 1847

The Albanian Revolt of 1847 was a 19th-century uprising in southern Albania directed against Ottoman Tanzimat reforms which started in 1839 and were gradually being put in action in the regions of Albania. One of the characteristics of the uprising was the absence of known bey families among its leaders and the massive participation of the peasants. In Albanian communist history this event was also called the Great Peasant Uprisings (Albanian: Kryengritjet e Mëdha Fshatare).


The primary aim of the Tanzimat reforms was that of creating a strong modern local apparatus with which to govern the empire. The old privileges were abolished and taxes were to be collected from Ottoman officials, rather than by local Albanian beys.[1]

After the uprising in Berat Sandjak, which would include the regions of Vlorë, Mallakastër, Skrapar and Përmet. His forces began putting the new reforms into action, disarming the population and requesting new taxes.


Albanian peasants in southern Albania reacted to the actions of Ottoman administration and in June 1847, their representatives met in Mesaplik.[2] In a memorandum sent to the Turkish sultan they declared that they would not send soldiers in the regular army, would not pay the new taxes and would also not accept the new administration

The insurgents created a committee with Zenel Gjoleka as its leader. When the new Ottoman administration tried to gather the new taxes in Kuç, the peasants went into open rebellion in July 1847. 500 men led by Zenel Gjoleka marched toward Delvinë and liberated the city. In a short period of time the uprising expanded in all Vlorë region, Chameria, Përmet and especially in Mallakastër where the local rebels were led by another notable local leader, Rrapo Hekali.[3]

Isuf bey Vrioni with its men attacked the rebels in the Mallakastër area. The Ottoman forces were defeated, with Isuf and his brother being captured during the fighting and executed by the rebels. After that, Rrapo Hekali and the Mallakastër rebels attacked Berat, but having no artillery they could not capture the castle. They continued the siege without attacking the castle. At the same time, the rebels led by Gjoleka and Çelo Picari defeated an Ottoman force coming from Ioannina. The Gjoleka men also attacked Gjirokastër and kept its castle under siege. The Porte was alarmed by the news and a relief force of 3000 men under Shahin bey Kosturi was sent from Thessaly against the rebels in Gjirokastër, but Kosturi and his Ottoman force were also defeated by the forces of Gjoleka. Gjoleka also tried to cooperate with the Greeks, and negotiated with the Greek government of Ioannis Kolettis, but with little success.[4] A new Ottoman army of 5000 men was sent from Ioannina against Gjoleka. With a force of 1500 men Gjoleka was able to defeat again the Ottoman army yet again in the Battle of Dholan on 28 August 1847.[5]

At the same time some 15,000 Ottoman forces under the Turkish marshal

  1. ^ a b Vickers, Miranda (1999). The Albanians: a modern history (3 ed.). I.B.Tauris. p. 25.  
  2. ^ La Ligue albanaise de Prizren, 1878-1881: discours et exposés tenus à l'occasion de son centenaire Author Zëri i popullit Publisher Académie des sciences de la RPS d'Albanie, Institut d'histoire, 1978 p.68
  3. ^ The history of Albania: a brief survey Author Kristo Frashëri Publisher s.n., 1964 p.122-123
  4. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie (2002). Albanian Identities: Myth and History. Indiana University Press. p. 180.  
  5. ^ The history of Albania: a brief survey Author Kristo Frashëri Publisher s.n., 1964 p.123


, which ended the uprising. Greece, where he was poisoned on December 30, 1847. Gjoleka with a small group of fighters retreated to Manastir whereas Rrapo Hekali was sent to a prison in [1]

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