Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus (1914)
In accordance with the wishes of the local Greek population, the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus, centered in Gjirokastër on account of the latter's large Greek population, was declared in February 14, 1914 by the pro-Greek party, which was in power in southern Albania at that time. Georgios Christakis-Zografos, a distinguished Greek politician from Lunxhëri, took the initiative and became the head of the Republic. In May, autonomy was confirmed with the Protocol of Corfu, signed by Albanian and Northern Epiroterepresentatives and approved by the Great Powers. The signing of the Protocol ensured that the region would have its own administration, recognized the rights of the local Greeks and provided self government under nominal Albanian sovereignty.
However, the agreement was never fully implemented, because when World War I broke out in July, Albania collapsed. Although short-lived, the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus left behind a substantial historical record, such as its own postage stamps.
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