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perjantai 3. helmikuuta 2017

Kosovo, Cool Facts #165

<= 164. Albania                                                                                                     166. Montenegro =>

1. Partially Recognized Independence of Kosovo

- Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on 8 October 2008 
- Kosovo hadn't been independent ever before, it has been part of different states throughout history 
- As of 1 December 2016, 110 UN states recognize the independence of Kosovo 
- All neighbors except Serbia recognize the independence
- The Serb minority opposing the declaration of independence has formed the Community Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija in response 

green = recognition of independence, blue = non-diplomatic official representation in Kosovo

2. Battle of Kosovo Polje 1389

The Battle of Kosovo Polje was a decisive moment in the country's history. Before the battle, the present-day Kosovo was part of the Serbian Empire. The Ottoman army managed to defeat the Serbian forces during the battle. Both parties suffered greatly during the battle losing a lot of men. After this battle in the following years, one Serbian principality after another became Ottoman vassals. The Ottoman rule in Kosovo continued until the Balkan Wars, when it became a province of Serbia in 1913. 

Battle of Kosovo
Battle plan

3. Muslim Majority Country 

- Almost 96% of the population are Muslims 
- Only a bit under 4% are Christians 

Historical explanation 
During the Ottoman-Habsburg wars in the late 1600s the Christian Serbs and Turkish Muslims fought against each other in the area of Kosovo. After the war a lot of Serbs moved out of Kosovo to the north to areas, which were controlled by Austria. These areas were Catholic. However Albanian settlement in Kosovo increased, because the Albanians converted into Islam and were loyal to the Ottoman Empire. 

Ottoman Empire in 1683

4. Kosovo War 1998-1999 

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) 

BackgroundKosovo was an autonomic province of Serbia and the majority of the people were Albanian Muslims. There was tension between the Albanians and Serbs and the Yugoslavian government discriminated the Albanians. In the 1980s the Serb minority in Kosovo started complaining about ethnic oppression, which led the Serbian president Slobodan Milošević to start a nationalistic campaign defending the Serbs. Kosovo's autonomy was ended and Serbs got back into the important positions. 

Resistance by KLAThese aforementioned acts led the KLA to start the armed fight against the independence of Kosovo. The KLA targeted the Serb police and authorities. Serbia responded to these attacks violently by looting and burning whole villages and killing civilians as they were looking for the KLA guerrillas. 

Nato intervention in 1999  Nato intervened in the conflict in 1999 by bombing the Serbian forces. Nato forces didn't have the approval of UN Security Council to execute these operations, which has been criticized a lot afterwards. The Serbs accelerated the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo as the Nato air bombardments started. After three months of Nato attacks, Serbia was ready for a peace treaty and the conflict ended. 

Up to one million Albanians were driven out of their homes during the conflict. Most of them returned causing about 280,000 Serbs to leave their homes because they were scared of revenge attacks. So after the peace treaty a UN administration was established in Kosovo and a significant amount of peacekeepers were deployed. The KLA was disbanded, although it moved its operations to Macedonia. Finally in 2008 Kosovo became independent.

Kosovo War 1998-1999

- Albanian and Serbian are the official languages of Kosovo 
- 95% of the population speak Albanian as their native language - Albanian language is an Indo-European language and apparently the last remnant of the historical Illyrian language
- There are various dialects in Albanian, that are spoken in different parts of southern Europe 

Albanian dialects


3000 Years ago the Illyrian tribes arrived to West Balkan
160s Rome conquered the area
59BC The area was incorporated into the Roman province of Illyricum
87 The area of current Kosovo became part of Moesia Superior
300s The barbarian raids started and continued for the following centuries
500-600s Slavic migrations
850s The region was absorbed into the Bulgarian Empire
1018 The region became part of the newly established Theme of Bulgaria
1180 Serbia took the region under control
1346 The peak of the Serbian power was reached, when the Serbian Empire was formed
1371 Kosovo became the hereditary land of House of Brankovic
1300-1400s The easternmost areas of Kosovo were part of the Principality of Dukagjini
1389 Battle of Kosovo, Ottoman forces defeated the Serbians, which caused the collapse of the Serbian power in the region
1455-1912 Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire
1459 Ottomans conquered the new Serbian capital of Smederevo, leaving Belgrade and Vojvodina under Hungarian rule until the 1500s
1600s During the war between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg's Austria, Christian Serbs rebelled against the Turkish Muslims and after the war a lot of Serbs moved out of Kosovo to the north of Balkan, which were Catholic areas ruled by Austria and so Albanian population in Kosovo grew as they converted into Islam and were loyal to the Ottoman Empire
1876-1878 Serbian-Ottoman War
1878 Kosovo's capital Pristina was attached as a part of Serbia in the Berlin Congress
1878 The League of Prizren was formed, this was a political organization attempting to unify all the Albanians of the Ottoman Empire in a common struggle for autonomy and greater rights
1881 The League of Prizren was disestablished, but enabled the awakening of national identity among Albanians
1912 Albania declared independence during the Balkan War
1913 The Ottoman Empire lost in the First Balkan War and Kosovo became a Serbian province
1915-1916 During World War I, Kosovo was occupied by Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary 
1918 The Allied pushed the Central Powers out of Kosovo
1918 After the World War, the Kingdom of Serbia was transformed into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
1929 The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was transformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
1941 Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, most of Kosovo was assigned to Italian-controlled Albania, with the rest being controlled by Germany and Bulgaria
1945 After the world war Kosovo became an autonomous province in Yugoslavia
1974 In the constitution of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was granted major autonomy, allowing it to have its own administration, assembly and judiciary
1981 Protests by Albanians over the status of Kosovo were crushed and the rights that had been recently granted to Albanians were repealed 
1989 Slobodan Milosevic delivered the Gazimestan speech during the celebration of 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo 
1990 The majority of the Kosovo Assembly passed a resolution declaring the Republic of Kosova withing the Yugoslav Federation
1991 The Kosovo Assembly was dissolved by Serbia
1992 The Republic of Kosova was declared independent, which was disbanded in 2000 after the Kosovo War
1998-1999 Kosovo War, which was intervened by Nato forces as they bombed Yugoslavia aiming to force Milosevic to withdraw his forces from Kosovo
1999 UN administration period started and ended in 2008
2008 Kosovo declared independence, which has been recognized by 110 countries (December 2016)

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