Ottoman Empire in Kosovo and Albanian history books
How the history of the Ottoman Empire in Kosovo and Albania is written has important implications for Kosovo and Albania's relations with Turkey.
By Muhamet Brajshori for Southeast European Times in Pristina
Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu's concept of "strategic depth" faces problems in Kosovo and Albanian history books. [Reuters]
In the history books of Kosovo and Albania, full of nationalist building discourse, the Ottoman Empire, and in some cases Turkey, are considered an oppressor due to nearly five centuries of Ottoman rule. However, historians argue that this nationalist-based perception could have a long-term impact on relations with a resurgent Turkey in the region.
Olsi Jazexhi, who is doing his PhD on Albanian nationalism, tells SETimes the history books on the Ottoman Empire and Turkey reflect a prejudice that is influenced by so-called Albanian European nationalism, which had different stages of development, beginning during the Ottoman presence until Communist rule.
"All those stages show Europe as a destination of the Albanians, and Turkey as the opposite of it, and since 9/11 show Islam as part of this evil," says Jazexhi.
Describing the Ottoman period, a history book written for primary schools in Kosovo describes the influence of Islam on Kosovo. "Factors which had impact on the spread of Islam were: pressure on the people through land taxes, which should be paid only by Christians, abducting boys and taking them to Istanbul where they faced Islamisation and education in Islamic way, reprisals of the state organs on the population, etc."
In this context, one issue discussed among experts and historians is whether the Ottoman Empire was an occupying country in Albania and Kosovo.............................
more see: http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2011/07/25/feature-02