Sanjak of Prizren

Sanjak of Prizren
Prizren Sancağı
Sanxhaku i Prizrenit
Призренски санџак
Sanjak of the Ottoman Empire


Coat of arms

Capital Prizren
  Established 1455
  Treaty of London (1913) May 30, 1913 1913
Today part of  Montenegro,  Serbia,  Kosovo[a]

The Sanjak of Prizren (Turkish: Prizren Sancağı, Albanian: Sanxhaku i Prizrenit, Serbian: Призренски санџак) was one of the sanjaks in the Ottoman Empire with Prizren as its administrative centre. It was founded immediately after Ottoman Empire captured Prizren from Serbian Despotate in 1455.[1] The rest of the territory of Serbian Despotate was conquered after the fall of Smederevo in 1459, and divided into following sanjaks: Sanjak of Vučitrn, Sanjak of Kruševac and Sanjak of Smederevo. At the beginning of the First Balkan War in 1912, the territory of Sanjak of Prizren was occupied by the armies of Kingdom of Serbia and Kingdom of Montenegro. Based on Treaty of London signed on May 30, 1913, the territory of Sanjak of Prizren was divided between Serbia and Montenegro.

Administrative divisions

According to the 1571 Ottoman register, the Sanjak of Prizren consisted of five nahiyahs:[2] Prizren, Hoča, Žežna, Trgovište and Bihor.

The majority of the territory that once belonged to the Sanjak of Prizren now belongs to Kosovo (Prizren and Hoča), Serbia (Žežna, 20 km south-east of Novi Pazar) and smaller parts, Montenegro (Bihor, and Trgovište, near Rožaje).

Scutari, Prizren and Kosovo vilayets

In 1867, the Sanjak of Prizren merged with the Sanjak of Dibra and Sanjak of Scutari and became the Scutari Vilayet. In 1871 the Sanjak of Prizren became part of the newly established Prizren Vilayet.[3][4] The Prizren Vilayet and its sanjaks, together with the Sanjak of Prizren, became part of the Kosovo Vilayet, which was established in 1877. Prizren was decided to be the seat of Kosovo vilayet.[5]

The Sanjak of Niš and Sanjak of Pirot together with Vranje (which was kaza of the Sanjak of Priština) were separated from Kosovo vilayet and joined to the Principality of Serbia after Berlin Congress in 1878. The Sanjak of Dibra was attached to the Monastir Vilayet. After those changes Kosovo Vilayet consisted of three sanjaks: the Sanjak of Prizren, Sanjak of Skopje and Sanjak of Novi Pazar.[6] Despite the decisions of Berlin Congress to award control over the Sanjak of Novi Pazar to Austria-Hungary, it remained under de facto administration of the Ottoman Empire.[7]

Young Turk Revolution

After the Young Turk Revolution, occurred in 1908, the Ottoman Empire organized the first parliamentary elections in the Sanjak of Prizren.


Until the end of October 1912, during the First Balkan War, the Sanjak of Prizren was occupied by the Kingdom of Serbia and that of Montenegro.[8] On the basis of the Treaty of London signed during the London Conference in 1913, its territory was divided between Serbia and Montenegro.

Notes and references


a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. Zbornik za narodni život i običaje, Volume 40 (in Serbo-Croatian). Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti. 1962. p. 407. Retrieved 5 May 2011. Neposredno posle zauzimanja (1455. godine) Prizren je postao sedište prizrenskog sandžaka
  2. Katić, Tatjana (2010), Tibor Živković, ed., Опширни попис призренског санџака из 1571. године (Detailed register of the prizren sancak from 1571.) (in Serbian), Belgrade: Istorijski Institut, p. 8, ISBN 978-86-7743-081-8, OCLC 712374230
  3. Grandits, Hannes; Nathalie Clayer; Robert Pichler (2010). Conflicting Loyalties in the Balkans The Great Powers, the Ottoman Empire and Nation-building. Gardners Books. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-84885-477-2. Retrieved 5 May 2011. In 1868 the vilayet of Prizren was created with the sancaks of Prizren, Dibra, Skopje and Niš; it only existed till 1877
  4. Akşin Somel, Selçuk (2001). The modernization of public education in the Ottoman Empire, 1839-1908. Netherlands: Brill. p. 234. ISBN 90-04-11903-5. Retrieved 2 August 2011. the vilayet of Prizren was founded in 1871
  5. Apostoloski, Mihailo (1978). Makedonija vo istočnata kriza 1875-1881. Skopje: Makedonska akademija na naukite i umetnostite. p. 187. Retrieved 13 May 2011. Thus the seat of the Kosovo vilayet naturally moved to Prizren.
  6. Apostoloski, Mihailo (1978). Makedonija vo istočnata kriza 1875-1881. Skopje: Makedonska akademija na naukite i umetnostite. p. 187. Retrieved 13 May 2011. The Kosovo vilayet was then divided into three sanjaks: the Prizren, Skopje and Novi Pazar.
  7. Morisson, Kenneth (2008). "Political and religious conflict in Sanjak". Defence Academy of United Kingdom. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  8. Yücel Yigit (2010), "Prizren Sancağı'nın Idarî Yapısı (1864–1912)", History Studies (in Turkish), 2/1, Zaten Balkan Savaşları sonunda 31 Ekim 1912’de deşehir Sırp kontrolüne geçmiş ve Prizren’deki Osmanlı idaresi de sona ermiştir


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