The Independent Albania was a parliamentary state established in Vlorë (then Ottoman Empire, today Republic of Albania) on 28 November 1912. Following the speech made by the President, Ismail Qemajl Bey, in which he spoke of the great perils facing Albania today, the delegates have all decided unanimously that Albania, as of today, should be on her own, free and independent. The revolt was successful and until August 1912 rebels managed to gain control over whole Kosovo vilayet (including Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Priština and even Skopje), a part of the Scutari Vilayet (including Elbasan, Përmet and Leskovik), Konitsa in Janina Vilayet and Debar in Monastir Vilayet.
The delegation of Albania submitted a memorandum to the London Conference of 1913 requesting the international recognition of independent Albania. At the beginning of the conference it was decided that the region of Albania would be under the Ottoman suzerainty but with an autonomous government. The requests of Albania for its international recognition based on the ethnic rights of Albanians were rejected and the treaty signed on 30 May 1913 partitioned a major part of the independent Albania between Serbia, Greece and Montenegro, leaving the territory of Albania reduced to central Albania which was put under the protection of the Great Powers. The ambassadors of six Great Powers met again on 29 July 1913 and decided to constitute a new state, Albania, as a constitutional monarchy. Finally, with the Treaty of Bucharest being signed in August 1913 a new independent state was established — the Principality of Albania, leaving about 30%-40% of the ethnic Albanian population outside the borders of the new principality because they lived on the territory of Albania partitioned between its neighboring countries.
The name of the state used in the text of declaration of independence of Albania is Shqipëria (English: Albania). It is also referred to as the “independent Albania” (Albanian: Shqipëria e Mosvarme), the “Albanian State” (Albanian: Shteti Shqiptar) or the “independent state of Albania” (Albanian: Shteti i pavarur shqiptar).
The independent Albania established on 28 November 1912 is the first Albanian state in modern history. It was a parliamentary state, not a monarchy. Some sources refer to it as the Republic of Albania or the Albanian Republic. Albania became independent state through four constitutional decisions of the Assembly of Vlorë made on 28 November 1912
Albania, as of today, should be on her own, free and independent under a provisional government that a council of elders (senate) be elected to assist and supervise the government a commission is to be sent to Europe to defend Albanian interests among the Great Powers
The territory Albania declared as independent was much larger than the territory of contemporary Albania and than the territory over which the Provisional Government exercised its power. It comprised the territories of Kosovo Vilayet, Monastir Vilayet, Shkoder Vilayet and Janina Vilayet. The Treaty of London, signed on 30 May 1913, reduced the territory of Albanian state to its central regions after partitioning a significant part of territory claimed by Albania between the Balkan allies (a major part of the northern and western area was given to the Serbia and Montenegro while the southern region of Chameria became part of Greece). Kosovo was given to Serbia at the London treaty, at the insistence of Russia.
Because during the First Balkan War the kingdoms of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro aspired to incorporate the entire region into their states (completely denying the Albania’s independence), most of the captured territory was occupied by their armies. Independent Albania did however exercise control over one pocket of land which included Vlore, Berat, Fier and Lushnje.
Albanian rebels capturing Skopje in August 1912
Until September 1912 the Ottoman government intentionally kept Albanians divided within four ethnically heterogeneous vilayets to prevent Albanian national unification. The reforms introduced by Young Turks provoked the Albanian revolt which lasted in period January—August 1912. In January 1912, Hasan Prishtina, Albanian deputy in Ottoman parliament, publicly warned members of the parliament that the policy of Young Turks government is leading to a revolution in Albania. The revolt was successful and until August 1912 rebels managed to gain control over whole Kosovo vilayet (including Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Priština and even Skopje), a part of the Scutari Vilayet (including Elbasan, Përmet and Leskovik), Konitsa in Janina Vilayet and Debar in Monastir Vilayet. The Ottoman government ended the Albanian revolt on 4 September 1912 by accepting all demands related to establishing the unified autonomous system of administration and justice for Albanians within one vilayet — the Albanian vilayet.
• Prime Minister (and de facto head of the state): Ismail Qemali
• Deputy Prime Minister: Dom Nikollë Kaçorri
• Minister of Foreign Affairs (provisionally): Ismail Qemali
• Minister of Internal Affairs: Myfit Bej Libohova (in July 1913 Essad Pasha Toptani)
• Minister of War: General Mehmet Pashë Derralla (from Tetovo in Macedonia)
• Minister of Finance: Abdi Toptani
• Minister of Justice: Petro Poga
• Minister of Education: Luigj Gurakuqi
• Minister of Public Services: Mit’hat Frashëri (from Ioannina in Greece)
• Minister of Agriculture: Pandeli Cale
• Minister of Posts and Telegraphs: Lef Nosi
Declaration of Independence
Further information: Albanian Declaration of Independence and Assembly of Vlorë
At the beginning of the session Ismail Qemali emphasized that the only way to prevent division of the territory of Albania between the Balkan allies is to establish it as independent state, separated from Ottoman Empire. Qemali’s proposal was unanimously accepted and it was decided to sign the declaration of independence of Albania in the name of the constituted Assembly of Vlorë (Albanian: Kuvendi i Vlorës) which members were representatives of all the regions of Albania.By the declaration of Albanian independence the Assembly of Vlorë rejected the autonomy granted by the Ottoman Empire to the Albanian vilayet, projected a couple of months earlier.The consensus was made for the complete independence.
In Vlora, on the 15th/28th of November 1328/1912.
Following the speech made by the President, Ismail Qemajl Bey, in which he spoke of the great perils facing Albania today, the delegates have all decided unanimously that Albania, as of today, should be on her own, free and independent.
— Albanian declaration of independence
The sitting was then suspended and members of newly constituted National Assembly went to the house of Ismail Qemali who raised the flag of Skanderbeg on the balcony of his house, in front of the gathered people.