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The inhabitants of Kosovo (expulsion of the Serbs)
Branislav Nušić
The 14th century brought Turks to the Balkans, while the victory of the Battle of Marica brought them to Kosovo.
Their rule disrupted the relations among the popula-
tiontheyfoundtheretoquiteanextent.Thestateofinter- nal affairs, which occurs under the rule of an uncultured nation, cause an inevitable diminishing of the subjugated nation, especially that section of the latter nation—the Ser- bian nation, in this case, which, after once having led a rich life in a state of its own, could not easily learn to accept the unnatural law, that, as a culturally superior nation, larger in number and conscious of its nationality, would have to bow to the cruel religious fanaticism of its conqueror wishing to assimilate it into its own with the use of force.
The migrations of the Serbs began immediately after the conquest, traces of which are visible even today on the squares near many a mining palanka—small town of our own day—on which the business of trading was conducted not only by merchants from Dubrovnik but by Serbs as well. However, a mass emigration, which left behind a mark on the physiognomy of settlements within the valley of Ko- sovo, occurred under arsenije iii Crnojević and under ar- senije iV jovanović, which not only included the area near the patriarchate but also a large part of Kosovo. it is then that the Serbs left their beautiful villages and fertile soil, their houses and lands, while the arnauts—[Muslim] al- banians came down from their barren and wasted moun- tains, and settled down in the deserted Serbian villages.
Since then, small-scale migrations were an everyday thing, while after the Serbo-Turkish War, especially in the years 1881,1882 and 1883, they became relatively intense, lasting even to this day. The emigrants were not only the homeless, they were not only the poor who sought their daily bread, but, in most cases, they were folk with house- holds of their own, trying to save their endangered prop- erty.
after the Serbo-Turkish War, a large scale emigration took place. it had two causes. The albanians living in Ko- sovo, because of the war, took up vengeance on the Serbs, who were common folk to them, their reaya. Going to and returning from the war, the Ottomans burned their homes, stole their cattle and dishonored their women, so, in order to same themselves, the Serbs fled to Serbia, over the bor-
der which was now closer, thus enabling better escape. On the other hand, though, the albanians driven outside the newly formed borders of Serbia, started settling down in Kosovo in great number, Kosovo being the closest to the landstheyhadleftinSerbia.These“newsettlers,”knownas the muhajeri, flooded Kosovo, pushing back the Serbs by force to make room for themselves. it is true that the Sul- tan had given them lands upon which to build, and upon which they did build, their new villages, but these lands, for being wastelands in fact, had been deserted even before
Branislav Nušić, Kosovo,
a Description of the Land and People, Novi Sad, 1902

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