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Baca Kurti
Born ca. 1807
Died 1881
Place of birth Milješ, Gruda, Sanjak of Scutari, Ottoman Empire (now Montenegro)
Place of death Gruda
Allegiance
  •  Ottoman Empire
  • Northern Albanian (Malissor) tribes (1878–81)
Years of service 1878–81
Rank bajraktar
Battles/wars Battle of Ržanica

Baca Kurti[a] (c. 1807–1881) was an Albanian freedom fighter who participated in the Battle of Ržanica against the Principality of Montenegro.

Life

Baca was born around 1807 in the village of Milješ (Milesh) in the Gruda tribal region[1] near the town of Tuzi, to an Albanian highlander (Malësor) family.

He was one of 15 Ottoman delegates from northern Albania sent during the talks of the Congress of Berlin (13 June–13 July 1878).[2] Apart from three guards from Mirditë, of the Catholic delegates included chiefs Çun Mula from Hoti, Baca Kurti from Gruda, Maraş Daşi from Shkreli, Cil Vuksani from Kastrati, Mark Lula from Shala, Mark Kola from Shosha and Con Geda from Shllaku.[2]

He joined the Albanian nationalist League of Prizren after the decision of the Congress of Berlin to hand over the Albanian-inhabited regions of Hoti, Gruda, Plav, Gusinje, Kastrati, etc. to the Principality of Montenegro.[1] When Prince Nicholas I of Montenegro entered the territory which had been ceded to him by the Congress of Berlin, Baca Kurti and other chiefs of Malësia organized a resistance against Montenegro.[1] The northern Albanian highlanders defeated the Montenegrins in the Battle of Ržanica.[1] He was distinguished as one of the best commanders of Çun Mula during the battle.

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Vëllazën, anmiku po na mësyen! Kush don me dekë sot për vend të vet dhe për nder të armëve të veta, të vinë pas meje!
("Brothers, the enemy is coming after us! whoever wants to die today for their own country and for the honor of their armor, shall follow me")

—Baca Kurti, during the Battle of Ržanica

He mobilized not only the members of his clan, but also the members of other towns of Malësia, to fight against the Montenegrin army and to have the Montenegrins leave Albanian territory: all males from 7 to 70 years old, united, forced the Montenegrin forces to retire. Today he is known to Albanians worldwide as many songs and poems were created in his honor.[1]

Annotations

  1. ^ His full name was Baca Kurt Gjeka or Gjokaj.[1] In Serbian, his name is spelled Baca-Kurti (Баца-Курти),[2] and Baca Kurta (Баца Курта).[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Gjonaj, Gjekë. "Baca Kurti - krenaria e Malësisë". Buzuku. http://buzuku.info/Arkivi/Buzuku14/Baca_Kurti.htm. [better source needed]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Istorijski zapisi. 31. Istorijski institut SR Crne Gore c. 1978. p. 54. http://books.google.com/books?id=GCNpAAAAMAAJ. "Од укупно 15 делегата из северне Албаније, од католика, поред тројице заптија из Мирдитије, треба поменути барјактаре: Чул-Мула из Хота, Баца-Курти из Груда, Мараш-Даши из Шкреља, Ђил (тако!) Вуксани из Кастрата, Марк-Љуља из Шаље, Марк-Коља из Шоше и Ђон-Геда, војводу из Шљаку.43 Седмог јула вратили су се у Скадар депутата Скадра и бр- ђана из Призрена. Телал је објавио општи састанак на управо ..." 
  3. Crnogorske anegdote: Antologija. Grafički zavod,. 1967. p. 162. http://books.google.com/books?id=rPU9AAAAIAAJ. "БАЦО КУРТА Во]воду Баца Курта, из Милеша, из Груде, у неко] препирци удари по образу ]едан Подгори- чанин. Шамар ]е код Арбанаса неопростива увре- да. Због удара шамаром међу њима ]е било много л>удских жртава." 

Further reading

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