08 December 2009

The Sanjak of Novi Pazar





The Sanjak of Novi Pazar (Turkish: Yeni Pazar sancağı; Albanian: Sanxhaku i Pazarit të Ri; English also Sanjak of Novibazar) was an Ottoman sanjak (second-level administrative unit) that existed until the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 in the territory of present day Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.It was part of the Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo and included most of the present day Sanjak region (named after the Sanjak of Novi Pazar), as well as northern parts of Kosovo (area around Kosovska Mitrovica).Sanjak is a special administrative territory. In military terms the name "Sanjak" means "Flag". During Ottoman rule Sanjak name implied military territory.It stretches from the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina to Kosovo on an area of 8,403 square kilometers. Six municipalities of Sanjak are in Serbia (Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Tutin, Prijepolje, Nova Varoš, and Priboj), and five in Montenegro (Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, Berane, Rožaje, and Plav). Sometimes the Montenegrin municipality of Andrijevica is also regarded to be part of .The first known inhabitants of the region now known as Sandžak were Illyrians. In the 1st century, the region was conquered by the Romans, while in the 6th and 7th centuries, it was occupied by the Slavic tribes.The 1878 Congress of Berlin allowed Austro-Hungarian military garrisons to be positioned in Sanjak where they remained until 1909. In October 1912, Sanjak was captured by Serbian and Montenegrin troops in the First Balkan War, and its territory was divided between the Kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro. Many Bosniak and Albanian inhabitants of Sandžak emigrated to Turkey as muhajirs, as a direct result of oppression by the new Serbo-Montenegrin authorities. The emigration wave lasted from 1912 to 1970.During World War I, Sandžak was under occupation of Austria-Hungary from 1914 to 1918. In 1918, Serbia and Montenegro united before creating the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes which became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. Between 1929 and 1941, Sandžak was part of a newly created province, the Zeta Banovina, with headquarters in Cetinje.Most of Sandžak was under Italian occupation in World War II, mostly under the Governorate of Montenegro (The city of Novi Pazar was included into Serbia, while Plav and Rožaje were included into Italian ruled Albania), and under German occupation from 1943. At the end of the war, Sandžak was divided between Serbia and Montenegro, according to the initial division agreement between the two states from 1913.More then twenty percent of Bosniaks stem from the Catholic Albanian clans .By the end of the 19th century, all these Albanians converted to Islam, and were assimilated into the dominant wave of Bosniak refugees from Montenegro proper. Nevertheless, they retained many of their Albanian traditions, especially in the eastern parts of Sandžak, and some older Bosniaks of Albanian ancestry even speak fluent Albanian to this day.





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