Özer Özbozdağlı

Keywords: Kosovo, Albanians, The Law Of Lek Dukakin, Blood Feuds, Musalaha-i Dem Commissions

Abstract

Cyprus, Blood feud cases were a common social reality among Albanians which was a traditional society in the northern regions of Kosovo district. Blood cases were being nourished from Lek Dukakin Law which was the synthesis of traditions and customs. In the 19th century, blood feud cases became a contesting phenomenon with the modernization and centralization concept of Ottomans. To settle the blood feud issue, Ottomans developed a flexible policy articulated with traditions and law. In this context, Musalaha-i Dem commissions were established to handle blood feud cases that disturb the peace in frontiers where Albanians reside. Commissions were re-established after the Second Constitution in July 1908 since they handled the cases in a good manner. To provide the security of frontiers in Macedonia hinterland, Unionists put a comprehensive integration policy into practice. For the success of that policy, it was necessary to resolve the blood feud issue which threatens the public order in Albanian regions. Unionists tried to overcome the matter re-establishing the Musalaha-i Dem commissions again. Criminal Law and courts were put into practice after the abolition of commissions. Yet, as a result of the increase in Albanian regions which the traditional structure had been efficient, Musalaha-i Dem commissions were reestablished just after the Albanian riots in 1910, 1911 and 1912. Ottoman Empire's efforts to get handle of blood feud cases among Kosovo Albanians after the declaration of Constitutional Monarchy and the activities of Musalaha-i Dem commissions is studied in this paper in the light of archive documents.