Why were the Albanians betrayed?

2023-11-29 11:00:07Pikëpamje SHKRUAR NGA MONIKA STAFA
Monica Staff

For half a century we have all learned that Albania was declared a kingdom because of Ahmet Zogu's unbridled ambition for power. This opinion has continued for almost 33 years despite the fact that the studies have been disseminated since the political march.

But why do we still have this image?

How does the truth stand?

It all comes down to a syncretic look at the history of the country's political system, a political history that we still lack.

The national government of I. Qemal, at least declaratively, was recognized by some of the Great Powers. But what was Albania itself in the eyes of these powers? Republic? The monarchy?

The truth is that the Great Powers, exactly in 1913, when they accepted the declaration of independence of Albania, decided to recognize the newest state of the Balkans as a monarchical state. And this is one of the reasons why I. Qemali resigned. He went into political exile because his comrades accused him of having declared Albania independent in order to crown himself as king.

Only a year later, the Great Powers were the ones who brought a prince to Albania and declared Albania a hereditary principality, a wrinkled monarchy.

This is the reason why the year 1913 is always mentioned as an evil year for Albania. This is where most of her misfortunes took place;

The instability of the political system.

Dependence on its chauvinistic neighbors.

The great force of pressure from cynical foreigners indifferent to its fate and the deep fragmentation of its territories.

The Conference of Ambassadors in London projected a strange status for the Albanian state. A project with strong conceptual paradoxes. Both autonomous and sovereign. Both autonomous and neutral. Both sovereign and under international control.

What was this system for the Albanians and their lands already stolen internationally?

Where were her friends? And why were they so badly betrayed?

The notion of principality that foreigners introduced for us presupposed a filiation with European monarchies. And this was a good project on paper because it provided for the election of a prince from the Great Powers.

A judicial system where foreigners would be the ones who would play the decisive role, implying that under the regulation of Albania's status, everything would proceed on the basis of an international principle.

And where was the national team in the project?

The real road would be different. The International Control Commission that was established in Vlora did not even formally recognize the government of I. Qemali. It was considered a 'local' factor, equivalent to other factors, such as Esad Pasha's government in Durrës or the international military government in Shkodër. And with these factors it would be possible to cooperate until the election of the prince.

It was this Commission that sabotaged and opposed every national action of the government of Vlora, leading to the resignation of I. Qemali.

The traps that were set up for the Albanians after that were consecutive. Albania was small. The political elite was fragmented and without any state-forming tradition. Based on this, the neighbors who were behind her to take advantage of everything from their weakness did everything for fun to make it possible to take the fate of a nation like Albania in their hands.

In 1924, the highest authority of the state was the Supreme Council, with four members, who constituted the presidency of the state. They also held a funny title; quarter-king.

The High Council was a creature of the Congress of Lushnja. An attempt to show the Great Powers at a dangerous moment for the Albanian state that the Albanian political class was still respecting the choice they themselves had made. This solution was conceived as a temporary thing, until the form of the regime was established.

During the entire period until the formal proclamation of the monarchy (1928), Albania had as its highest institution sometimes a "council of state", sometimes a "head of state", which in fact performed the functions of a polycratic sovereign without a crown.

It was the same Great Powers that welcomed the formal change of regime form from republic to monarchy with spectacular indifference. The only one who opposed King Zog in his initiative was the founder of republican Turkey M. Ataturk.

What system do we live in?

This question of the poet-philosopher L. Poradeci to the writer I. Kadare, in its essence, is not a matter of poetic whimsy, but one of the key nodes that has conditioned the historical fate of the Albanian people since the founding of the national state. Occasional shocks in the political system, overthrows, taking power by force, popular revolutions, fluctuations and insecurities, zig-zags and many other uncertainties, are the fundamental reason that Albania has passed its century without crossing its Rubicon.