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Sanjak of Scutari
Sanjak of Scutari / Sanjak of Shkodra kodra Sanca Sanxhaku i Shkodrës
With short interruptions, the territory of northern Albania, including what would become the Sanjak of Scutari, belonged to the Serbian medieval states for many centuries. The first Ottoman censuses (1431, 1467 and 1485) show a substantial presence of Slavic toponyms.
Since he was appointed on the position of sanjakbey of the Scutari in 1496, Feriz Beg had intention to annex Zeta to Ottoman Empire. ?ura? Crnojevi? who controlled neighboring Principality of Zeta maintained frequent correspondence with other Christian feudal states with intention to establish an anti-Ottoman coalition. When his brother, Stefan, betrayed him to Ottomans in 1496, ?ura? proposed to accept the suzerainty of Ottoman Empire if Feruz Beg accept to recognize him as governor in Zeta. Feriz Beg refused this proposal and invited ?ura? to either come to Scutari to clarify his anti-Ottoman activities or to flee Zeta. When Firuz Beg attacked Zeta with strong forces in 1496 ?ura? decided to flee to Venice. In 1497 Firuz Beg captured Grbalj and put Zeta under his effective military control, although it was still part of the Zeta governed by Stefan II Crnojevi?. In 1499 Feriz Beg formally annexed Zeta to the territory of his Sanjak of Scutari, and Zeta lost its status as an independent state. In 1514, this territory was separated from the Sanjak of Scutari and established as a separate sanjak, under the rule of Skenderbeg Crnojevi?. When he died in 1528, the Sanjak of Montenegro was reincorporated into the Sanjak of Scutari as a unique administrative unit (vilayet) with certain degree of autonomy.
Late 16th and early 17th century
The census of 1582--1583 registered the "vilayet of the Black Mountain" (vilayet-i Kara Da?) as separate administrative unit within Sanjak of Scutari. The vilayet consisted of the following nahiyah and villages: Grbavci with 13 villages, ?upa 11, Malon?i?i 7, Plje?ivci 14, Cetinje 16, Rijeka 31, Crmnica 11, Pa?trovi?i 36 and Grbalj 9 villages; a total of 148 villages.
Marino Bizzi, the Archbishop of Bar (Antivari), in his 1610 report stated that name of the sanjakbey of Sanjak of Scutari was Ali Pasha.
The majority religious population in kodra sanjak were Catholics.
The Albanian Malisors (highlanders) lived in three geographical regions within kodra sanjak. Malesia e Madhe (great highlands) with its religiously mixed Catholic-Muslim five large (Hoti, Kelmendi, Shkreli, Kastrati and Gruda) and seven small tribes; Malesia e Vogel (small highlands) with seven Catholic tribes such as the Shala, Shoshi, Toplana, Nikaj; and Mirdita, which was also a large powerful tribe that could mobilise 5,000 irregular troops. The government estimated the military strength of Malisors in kodra sanjak as numbering over 30,000 tribesmen and Ottoman officials were of the view that the highlanders could defeat Montenegro on their own with limited state assistance. Ottoman control over the highland areas of kodra sanjak was limited. In the 1880s, from an Albanian point of view the sanjak of kodra belonged to the region of Gegënia.
Based on the people names registered in the census, it may be concluded that population of Sanjak of Scutari was mainly composed of Serbs and Albanians (Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim). There was also certain number of Vlachs, Turks and other people present, mainly in towns.
There was a total of 709 villages in the Sanjak of Scutari.
Additionally, a smaller part of Ottoman census from 1582--1583 dealt with Montenegro (Vilâyet-i Karaca-da?) as separate administrative unit within Sanjak of Scutari. This part consisted of following nahiyah and villages: Grbavci with 13 villages, ?upa with 11 villages, Malon?i?i with 7 villages, Plje?ivci with 14 villages, Cetinje with 16 villages, Rijeka with 31 villages, Cernica (Crmnica) with 11 villages, Pa?trovi?i with 36 villages, Grbalj with 9 villages. There was a total of 148 villages belonging to the Montenegrin subdivision.
The 1582--1583 census shows 857 villages and several towns including Shkodër (kodra), Pe? (?pek), Podgorica (Depedö?en), Bar (Bar) and Ulcinj (Ülgün).
According to Russian consulate Ivan Yastrebov's estimations, there were 80.000 Catholic males, 20.000 Orthodox males, and 9.500 Muslim males. The majority of the population spoke the Albanian language. He asserted that the Orthodox, and a number of Catholics and Muslims spoke the Serbian language.
^Luka, David. "Regjistri turk i vitit 1485*" (in Albanian). Retrieved 2011. Për katër shekuj me radhë (XI-XIV) me pak ndërprerje krahinat e Shqipërisë Veriore (përafërsisht ato që në të ardhmen do të bëjnë pjesë në sanxhakun e Shkodrës), qëndruan nën sundimin e feudalëve serbë të shtetit të Dioklesë dhe të Rashës.
^"Bashkia Shkoder" (in Albanian). Shkoder official web site. 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2011. Me dyndjet sllave pushtohet dhe bëhet kryeqendër e shtetit të Zetës në shek. Xl. Më pas vjen pushtimi i shkurtër Bullgar. Në shekullin XIV bëhet qendër e rëndësishme autonome me institucione të zhvilluara dhe në vitin 1360 bëhet kryeqendër e Principatës së familjes Balshaj.
^"Bashkia Shkoder" (in Albanian). Shkoder official web site. 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2011. Më 1396 kalon nën sundimin e Republikës së Venedikut e cila rikonstrukton kalanë dhe qytetin e quan Scutari. ... në vitin 1479 Sulltan Mehmeti II rrethon përsëri Shkodrën me mbi 100'000 ushtarë...
^Luka, David. "Regjistri turk i vitit 1485*" (in Albanian). www.kulturserver-hamburg.de. Retrieved 2011. Ky sanxhak në vitin 1485 ndahej në katër kaza: të Shkodrës, të Podgoricës, të Pejës dhe të Bihorit.