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Sali Butka
Born 1852
Butkë, Ottoman Empire, now in Kolonjë District, southern Albania
Died 1938 (aged 85–86) (Aged 86)
Nationality Albanian
Occupation Freedom fighter
Known for Guerilla against invaders in World War I; delegate of the Congress of Lushnjë; responsible for the 1916 destruction of Moscopole

Sali Butka (1852–1938) was an Albanian nationalist figure, kachak, poet, and one of the delegates of the city of Korçë to the Albanian National Congress of Lushnjë.[1][2]

Butka was born in village Butkë of Kolonjë District. He became the commander of various Albanian irregular bands and initiated armed guerilla operations in 1906 in regions of modern southern Albania, which were under Ottoman control that time.[3] His guerilla activities continued the next years and especially in the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and World War I (1914–1918). During the Balkan Campaign of World War I, several bands of Albanian Tosks and Ghegs supported with their activity the armed operations of the Central Powers in the region.[4] Butka's band invaded in 1916 the town of Moscopole, once a prosperous metropolis in 18th century, and lead to its destruction.[2]

In 1920 he became one of the delegates of the city of Korçë to the Congress of Lushnjë.[2]

Sali Butka during his guerilla campaigns composed revolutionary poems that combined of naturalistic texts with nationalistic themes in a form of folk poetry.[5]

Controversial personality

Butka's personality has created an ideological dilemma between homogeneity and heterogeneity myths in the pluralistic society of post-Communist Albania: while on specific Albanian textbooks he is considered a national hero, according to cycles of Aromanians he is considered a notorious criminal because he is held as the primary responsible of the destruction of Moscopole in 1916.[2]


  1. Grothusen Klaus Detlev. Südosteuropa-Handbuch: Albanien. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993. ISBN 978-3-525-36207-5, p. 666.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Nikolaeva Todorova Marii︠a︡. Balkan identities: nation and memory. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2004. ISBN 978-1-85065-715-6, pp. 108-109.
  3. Skendi Stavro. The Albanian national awakening, 1878-1912. Princeton University Press, 1967, p. 210.
  4. Great Britain. War Office. General Staff. Handbook of the Austro-Hungarian Army in war, June, 1918. Battery Press, 1994. ISBN 978-1-870423-79-3, p. 50.
  5. Biddle Ian D., Knights Vanessa. Music, national identity and the politics of location: between the global and the local. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007. ISBN 978-0-7546-4055-4. p. 137.

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