Page 477 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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ity albanian—islamic and small number Catholic con- fession, there is a frequent descent of the albanian cattle breeding population of various clans (Malissori, Mirdite, Fanda) from the mountainous areas of northern and cen- tral albania, who individually or collectively began to set- tle in masses into the plains of Metohija; they continued, in particular after converting to islam, within the theo- cratic structure of the Ottoman empire, to exert tremen- dous pressure on the native, mostly Serbian farming pop- ulation. Thus the Muslim albanians regularly abducted women and usurped farming estates of Christian Serbs; the continuous persecution against the Christian Serbs from Old Serbia significantly reduced the Serbs as previ- ously majority population in the area: “The Ottoman au- thorities have tolerated many cases of violation of public order, in some of them they were participants or accom- plices in the extortions and executions of especially Ser- bian leaders in the villages. Ransom called ’tally’ and ab- ductions of women were a special kind of persecution of non-Muslim subjects [...]” (Stojančević, 1994).
european Maps
ethno-demographic situation of the early Ottoman rule in Kosovo and Metohija, which was successfully re- constructed by Pešikan, Macura and others, were contin- uously changing by permanent colonization of Muslim albanians, and the long term, but has never been reversed in favour of the albanians until the 20th century. This is confirmed by travelogue of Miloš S. Milojević entitled Travels of part of Real (Old) Serbia, which was published in three volumes in 1871, 1872 and 1877. Milojević, although not always fully accurate, was the first Serbian travel writ- er who visited Old Serbia and collected and published data on population and settlements in these areas. Based on original data of Milojević’s travels, M. Vemić produced a map entitled Ethnic Map of a Part of Old Serbia 1:300,000. it shows that the Christian Serbs in Kosovo and Meto- hija, with visible symbols of albanian colonization, were still the majority population, while the Muslim albanians remained to be the minority ethnic group.
ethnic picture of the mutual relations between the Serbs and albanians shortly before the Serbian-Turkish

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