ORPHANS NO MORE!: THE YOUNG TURKS’ HOMOGENIZING POLICIES, THE ALBANIAN REACTION, AND THE BALKAN COMMITTEE IN LONDON, 1910–1912
This paper explores the reaction of Albanian nationalists towards the homogenizing and centralizing policy of the Young Turks in the Ottoman Empire. After the Young Turks came to power, the focus for the Albanian nationalists was on raising awareness of and securing international support for their national rights. In addition, their focus was on the difficult humanitarian situation in the vilayet of Shkodra. Albanian nationalists’ efforts converged with the Balkan Committee, which was established in London in 1903 following the events in the Balkans after the Ilinden Uprising of 1903. This study investigates the reasons why the Balkan Committee in London became interested in the 1911 Albanian uprising in the vilayet of Shkodra. By following an analytical approach and using numerous sources, the paper concludes that the Balkan Committee succeeded in making British public opinion receptive to the Albanians’ difficult humanitarian situation. However, it did not succeed in uniting the political actors in the Balkans and thus failed to organize a general Balkan uprising, which was clearly an undertaking beyond its capabilities and outside the British government’s interests.