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177 birth anniversary of Ismail Qemali

  • 1/16/2021 6:05 PM
177 birth anniversary of Ismail Qemali

Today is the 177 th birth anniversary of  the Albanian diplomat, politician, the principal author of the Independence Declaration.

Facts about Ismail Qemali

-Ismail Qemali, in fact was called Ismail bey Vlora. His name was changed during the communist regime on the communist worldview to the title "Bej", but no historian or personality has ever explained this change.

-Ismail Qemali was one of the most important characters of the famous Vlora family, a rich family with many traditions, and which has produced many important characters in Albanian political life.

-Ismail Qemali was born on October 16, 1846 in Kanina, Vlora and died on January 24, 1919 in Perugia, Italy. 

-Ismail Qemali lived 72 years, 3 months and 8 days or a total of 2628 days. He was of average height and with a body of average weight.

-Ismail Qemali wore a dress of the time, with a suit of the time, a tie of the time, carefully combed gray hair and a white beard combed as well. The color of the costumes was generally black and he wore hats.

-Ismail Qemali throughout his life lived in the following countries: Albania, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, Syria and briefly in France, England, Switzerland and Germany.

-Ismail Qemali graduated from Zosimea Gymnasium in Ioannina and after a considerable career in Turkish administration. Educated in Paris for Legal and Economic Sciences. With this education he was one of the most educated in the Turkish administration of that time.

-Ismail Qemali was also known as a polyglot, a weapon that served him in all his political activity for the Albanian cause. He was fluent in Albanian, Ottoman, Modern Turkish, Ancient Greek, Latin, Italian and French.

-Ismail Qemali is considered the father of the nation, since he has performed the most historic act in the entire history of the Albanian state. He raised the flag of Independence in Vlora, on November 28, 1912 and declared Albania an independent state, asking the international powers to recognize this decision. Under no circumstances and in no situation did he use this sublime moment to gain and receive appreciation. 

-Ismail Qemali is the first prime minister and president in the history of the Albanian state. He remained in charge of the government from November 28, 1912 to January 22, 1914 for 12 months and 56 days.

-Ismail Qemali raised in Vlora the red flag with two eagle heads, a flag that to this day comes in three variants.

-The following words were written in the evaluations of the work done by the leaders of the Turkish administration for Ismail Qemali: Worthy Wave, diplomat, MP, head of state, thinker and the first president of the Albanian state.

-Ismail Qemali began his political career as a translator in the Foreign Ministry of Ottoman Turkey in 1860. The second task in the administration of Ismail Qemali was in 1868, director of the Secretariat in the Legal Office in Sofia, Bulgaria, which at that time was part of Ottoman Turkey.

-Ismail Qemali then took over as deputy prefect of the Ruschuk region, a position he held for five years. In 1873, he resigned and resigned from that post.

-Ismail Qemali was appointed Secretary General of the Turkish Foreign Ministry in 1876, a task that greatly helped him to know Turkish diplomacy from within, but also from abroad. He remained in this position for a year. In 1877, he suffered a punishment in his career, precisely for his patriotic activity towards Albania. On the grounds that he demanded the autonomy of Albania, he was interned for seven years in Kytahja, Anatolia. But the pressure of a part of the Turkish administration, but also of the Albanian patriots, made Sultan Avdylhamiti remove his exile and even appointed him Vali in Bollu, Turkey.

-Ismail Qemali was appointed Vali in Syria, a very high position at that time and moreover it was a province that later gained its independence as an independent state. He held this position until June 28, 1892. For good work Ismail Qemali managed to become the personal advisor of Sultan Avdylhamit, at the moment when the Ottoman Empire was at its end. A task he held from 1892 to 1900. 

-On May 1, 1900, Sultan Avdylhamiti for good work and qualities appointed the General Governor of Libya, a very high task of that time. But Ismail Qemali left for Tripoli, but on the way he returned and went to Paris, London and elsewhere, to work on the Albanian cause.

- In 1908, with the help of the Albanians of North Macedonia, Ismail Qemali was elected deputy of the district of Berat, but in fact was a representative of all Albania. During the time that Ismail Qemali was a member of the first Parliament of modern Turkey, he had considerable weight. Ismail Qemali's speeches in the Assembly have been among the most oratorical and thoughtful, inciting opponents to attack him unjustly.

- Ismail Qemali stood out in 1871, right in the heart of Ottoman Turkey, for presenting three consecutive requests for the opening of Albanian schools in Albania. Although working as part of the Ottoman administration, he attended a meeting of the Albanian Renaissance in Istanbul to create the Albanian alphabet.

-In 1865 Ismail Qemali started working for the independence of Albania, creating for this issue a club in the capital of the empire, Istanbul, together with Konstandin Kristoforidhi.

-The security service of the Turkish administration revealed that while Ismail Qemali was working for Turkey, he had drafted a document for the project of an independent Albania. This was also one of the biggest causes of the persecution that was undertaken against him.

- Ismail Qemali died in mysterious circumstances in Perugia, Italy, shortly before giving a press conference. To date there is in fact no explicit variant of his death, but doubts have always been cast.

- Ismail Qemali has been buried twice. The first time in February 1919 in Kanina, the place of birth and his ancestors, and the second time on November 28 in Vlora, 1932.

-The second burial was made by special order of King Ahmet Zogu, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Independence. Zogu and the party of that time paid the greatest homage to the body of Ismail Qemali, placing his bones in the grave that is still in Vlora today.

-The ceremony for the reburial of the remains of Ismail Qemali has been described as one of the largest ceremonies organized by Ahmet Zogu during all his time in power. He has done the greatest honors to him who was called the father of the nation.

-Ismail Qemali is one of those political and state personalities who wrote his memoirs. But his memoirs have never been published in full.

-The most active descendants of Ismail Qemali today are Darling Vlora, Nedim Vlora and Ariana Vlora. While most of the other descendants have died, the rest have been in emigration for many years.

- Qamil bej Vlora (1895-1950) was the last son and child of Ismail Qemali. Qamil was the only son of Ismail Qemali who did not leave Albania. .

- Ismail Vlora and Xhevdet Vlora were the two grandchildren of Ismail Qemali who refused to cooperate with the communist regime and were thus forced to work in different villages.

- Ismail Qemali was married twice and in both cases to a Greek citizen. For the first time with a widow from Konica, with whom he had no children, after he died during childbirth together with the girl. While she married for the second time in 1886, to Kleoniqi Surmeli, the daughter of a Greek nobleman.

- From the second marriage Ismail Qemali had 9 children, three daughters and six sons. The girls were called Myvedet, Alije, Ylvie. The boys were Mahmud Bey, Tahir Bey, Et'hem Bey, Xhevdet Bey, Qazim Bey and Qamil Bey.

- Ismail Qemali's speech on the afternoon of November 28, 1912, Vlora, lasted about five minutes. The speech contained 450 words and was interrupted several times by the calls of people who had gathered in the town square. The longest interruption of Ismail Qemali's speech is at the moment when he pulls out the flag and waves it in the air and says "Long live Free Albania!".

- Ismail Qemali's speech at the Declaration of Independence was read in Albanian. It mentions the Declaration of Independence, the war of Skanderbeg, the sufferings of the Albanians and finally, a prayer to God to protect the Albanians and Free Albania.

-The first decision of Ismail Qemali after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and taking office as Prime Minister, is to send the news to all regions of the country and send telegrams to major countries for recognition of independence.

- The copy of the document of the Declaration of Independence, published in 2007, is thought to belong to Lef Nosi, who in the first Albanian government was Minister of Post-Telegraph. The Albanian text of the Declaration of Independence consists of only four lines and they are the ones where it says: "Albania to be separate, free and independent". Then follow two lines in Old Turkish.

- ​​From the text and proclamation of Independence, many names have been removed from the communist regime by the signatories of independence. But in the proclamation some passages have also been removed.

-The cabinet of the government of Vlora consisted of 10 members. Prime Minister - Ismail Qemali, Deputy Prime Minister - Nikoll Kaçorri, Minister of Foreign Affairs - Myfit Libohova, Minister of War - Mehmet Pasha Dërralla, Minister of Justice - Petro Poga, Minister of Education - Luigj Gurakuqi, Minister of Finance - Abdi Toptani, Minister of Agriculture - Pandeli Cale, Post Telegraph - Lef Nosi.

- The Declaration of Independence of Albania was not recognized on November 28, 1912 by Europe. Albania's independence from European countries was recognized only in 1913, also in this year Ismail Qemali was recognized as Prime Minister of Albania.

- Ismail Qemali declared Independence for all Albanian territories. This act included Kosovo, a part of Macedonia, Chameria and the part that later seceded from Montenegro.

/Klara Ruci/