Page 419 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 419

Name and Territory
First it must be said that the name KOSOVO itself, which was imposed by the Communist anti-historical and anti- Serbian regime after 1968 instead of the previous, full name of KOSOVO and MeTOHija, is not adequate for the ter- ritory it is understood to represent.2
Geographically and historically, the name Kosovo signi- fies, first and foremost, Kosovo POLJE (Kosovo Field or the Field of Blackbirds), a plateau (elevation 520–570 meters above sea level) in the basin of the Sitnica and Lab Rivers, which stretches from Zvečan in the north to Kačanik in the south. east of the northern part of Kosovo is Kosovica or so-called Malo Kosovo (near Podujevo), and east of the southern part of Kosovo is Kosovsko Pomoravlje, which was once called Morava.3 West of Kosovo, from the mountains of Čičavica, Goleš and Crnoljev, lies the territory called Drenica (Upper and Lower Drenica, with respect to the Drenica River) and further to the west, as far as the high mountains that bor- der with present-day albania, are the plains of Metohija (elevation 350 meters above sea-level), which primarily en- compasses the Beli Drim River basin. The northern part of Metohija around Peć as far as istok was called Hvosno in the Middle ages, and during the later period of Ottoman occupation (17th century) the region around Peć, Djakovica and part of northern albania was called Dukadjin; how- ever, by the 18th century, the name Metohija had been re- stored.4 The southern part of Metohija is called Podrima (east), Ribnica and Has (west) and Prizrenska Podgora (south), and the entire region from Prizren to Scutari was known in the Middle ages as Pilot.5
Because of its accessibility from various sides, especial- ly from Pomoravlje, Povardarje, Šumadija and the adriatic, the territory of Kosovo and Metohija has been rightly called the most important inland crossroads on the Balkan Pen- insula. From here rivers flow into three seas: the aegean, the adriatic and the Black Sea. Continental roads between the Christian east and West passed through here, whether going from the north to the south or from the sea to the east. as far as fertile soil and suitability for livestock and agriculture, the growing of grain crops, fruit, vegetables
3 This is the district of Morava based in Gnjilane, which was also called Morava.
4 a written record from 1737 says: “and in that year Mahmut-pa- sha devastated the Vasojević clan, enslaving and driving them into Metohija, the summer of 7246=1737.”—Stari Srpski Zapisi i Natpisi, knj 2 (Old Serbian records and inscriptions, vol. 2), 27-25.
5 Тhe Pilot region is also mentioned by the Byzantine writer Con- stantine Porphyrogenitus in the 10th century in his description of the settlements of the Slavic tribes.
Ascension of Christ, dome, Church of Saint Demetrius, the Patriarchate of Peć, 1322–1324
MeMORaNDUM onKosovoandMetohija
and vineyards is concerned, Kosovo and Metohija are among the most fertile regions in the Balkans. it should be par- ticularly emphasized that Kosovo is very rich in mineral resources (silver, gold, copper, nickel and coal), exploited here as early as the Middle ages, and in our time the Western NaTO countries have shown great interest in nickel pro- duction in the Trepča mines in Kosovo.
The present-day Kosovo and Metohija, created by the Communists in 1945 as an Autonomous Region and later renamed an Autonomous Province, covers a surface area of 10,850 square kilometers. it became clear to everyone some time ago that the Communist and albanian intentional repression and erasure of the name Metohija from the name of this Serbian Province served the purpose of pushing out, erasing from memory and ultimately denying the Serbian Church character of this region, and the homogenization of the entire Province and facilitation of its transformation into a republic and later secession from Serbia. This would gradually reduce Serbia to its pre-Kumanovo borders, namely, to the Belgrade pashalic during the Ottoman oc- cupation, thus, a Serbia without Kosovo and Metohija, even though Kosovo and Metohija are and remain the oldest and central districts of the Serbian people, its state and Church, and that is why they were and still are called Stara Srbija (Old Serbia).6
The Problem of Kosovo
The problem of Kosovo cannot be understood without a knowledge of the history of Kosovo and Metohija, although we know that for some people in the West, e.g. some amer- icans, as well as the upstarts and left-wingers among our own ranks such as the former Communists and some pres- ent-day neo-Communists and so-called liberal “europe-
6 Stara Srbija (Old Serbia) is a region that includes the district of Ras (the “Novi Pazar Sanjak” during Ottoman times), i.e. the land from the southern Bosnian border to Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo Polje with Priština, Metohija with the cities of Peć, Djakovica and Prizren, as well as areas south of Šar-planina (Mt. Šara) as far as Tetovo and Veles. it is characteristic, however, for maps printed today in albania and distributed world-wide as propaganda that the name “Kosova” is used even more broadly: for parts of Serbia east of Kosovo (what the albanians call “eastern Kosovo”), parts of Montenegro and Macedonia where albanians are living today, thus suggesting pretensions to these regions as well, with the goal of creating a “Greater Albania” even though neither Kosovo and Metohija nor any of the aforementioned areas have ever been albanian or an integral part of albania or in- habited by an albanian majority population. We note also that the names Shqiptar and Shypnia are the authentic, autochthonous names for albanians and albania in their mother tongue, i.e., what they call themselves. The Communists, first and foremost, the albanians among their ranks, insisted that Serbs not call Shqiptars in Kosovo and Metohija by this name because it is supposedly “pejorative;” in- stead, they were to call them Albanians, thus suggesting that the territory they inhabited is also a part of albania. But is it pejorative to call Greeks Hellenes in their mother tongue or to call the people of israel Jews? By the same token, it cannot be pejorative to call an al- banian Shqiptar in the mother tongue of the albanians.
  Only during the last period of Ottoman occupation was the name “Kosovo vilayet” given—“vilayet” replacing earlier Ottoman admin- istrative units named after cities—but this vilayet at that time in- cluded far more territory than present-day Kosovo and Metohija, i.e. also the Novi Pazar Sanjak with Gornje Polimlje, northern Macedo- nia as far as Veles, and eastern Macedonia with the entire Bregalnica River basin.

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