Page 675 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 675

Consul Sima Avramović to Dr. Mihailo Vujić, President of the Ministerial Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs
Confidential, No 195 Priština, july 8th/21th, 1901
(...) With my encrypted cable, on the 3rd this month, i re- ported that Yildiz (Sultan’s palace) sent a note to the gath- ered albanians imploring them to leave and not to strike Ko- lašin, and he would order the army to go there and have an- other raid. it was only necessary that i leave Mitrovica to ex- ecute it. Now that i have received your report, and in order not to wait for Mr. Mashkov to come to Mitrovica, i am back in Priština upon Mr. Nastasijević’s previously agreed hint.
On the same morning, on july 3rd, when i was leading for Priština, at the behest of the authorities and upon the pro- posal of Priština’s Mutesarif and Hamdi-Pasha, who had been in Priština a few days before, the infamous isa Boletini was sent, albanian fis (tribal) chieftain Shalla in the quest of weap- ons. He got 30 soldiers from regular troops and a Binbashi, to whom he added his 30 albanians and a squad of zaptiahs (policemen) with their Yuzbasi (commander) Redžep-aga. So, the authorities entrusted such a sensitive operation to an albanian chieftain, who has until recently been an outlaw and bandit, as he recently killed the emperor’s captain and gendarm who attacked his tower couple of years ago. and to this outlaw, who has never been punished for murders of so many Turks, the authorities are now conferring both the emperor’s regular army and the gendarms with their offi- cers, under full control and power, to beat Serbs up and to decommission their weapons. When it is against Serbs, even such albanians come in handy to Turks!
and while the Vali of Kosovo was telling Mr. Mashkov that isa was sent with his army to protect the Christian pop- ulation, Priština’s Mutesarif told Mr. Mashkov in Mitrovica that isa was sent only to show the way to the army!
as you know from the reports of my predecessors and mine too, isa was known as a friend and protector of the Ser- bian population in the district of Mitrovica. However, he only protected Serbs while he needed them, and he needed them as long as he was a kaçak (outlaw) and in the authorities’ bad books. He aspired to win the benevolence of Serbia and Rus- sia through Christians, in order to get their protection, which is exactly what happened. Now that he is on good terms with Turkish authorities and that everything is forgiven to him, he wants to pass himself off as a good Turk too, mostly be- cause his foes (and he has got so many of those!) suspected him of being Serbian and thus a traitor of the empire! The same thing that isa had desired to achieve through Serbs and Serbian King in Constantinople, to become a Zaptiahs’ Yuz- basi (captain), he now realised he can have thanks to the em- peror’s men themselves. That rank was promised to him by Hamdi-Pasha himself, when he was in Mitrovica, only to motivate them to turn against Serbs. Hence he has become thus arrogant toward Serbs. in order to confirm and attest to his loyalty to the emperor as well as his hatred toward the Serbs, he insisted on going to Kolašin swearing on his own life that he would find plenty of rifles and thus humiliate
Archmandrite Miron, Patriarchate of Peć, 1909, Historical archives, Belgrade
Shemsi-pasha who was in quest for weapons but found noth- ing as well as police commander (bimbasha) who could only find a couple of rifles. it was easy for him to claim this as he was previously well acquainted with the information who of the Serbs had received the weapons on our border. He con- tinued his correspondence with aleksa Bogosavljević-Kel- ški and the Serbs, especially with villagers from the Mitro- vica district, who did not conceal from him that they had been supplied with rifles from Serbia which he had, as their friend, approved.
isa could not have found better opportunity to ingrati- ate himself with Turks and thus he did his best to use the situation to his advantage to the fullest. as the saying goes: “Turks are men of fickle faith”. However, in spite of this he was resolute being encouraged by promises of Hamdi-pa- sha, the mutesarif ismail-bey and Mufti of Priština, who wanted to prove to the whole world, on behalf of the Turk- sih side, that Serbia was furnishing Christian population on the border with arms for the purspose of uprising and in this way they intended to justify all the attacks and reprisals on the border executed by the Turkish authorities as well as the terror and atrocities inflicted by albanians upon the Otto- man Serbs.
isa, accompanied by soldiers and zaptiahs (police officers) additionally assigned to him, started to conduct an investi- gation and search first in Serbian villages. He would apply the following procedure: as soon as he arrived in a village, he would ask a serf whether they had guns. if the latter would not admit, isa’s soldiers would knock him down on the ground and while two soldiers were holding him, other two would brutally beat him up with a stake until he totally lost con- sciousness. if he would still not admit, then they would tie him thus battered for a tree pointing guns at him and threat- ening to kill him. apart for heads of villages, isa would bru- tally beat up those for whom he knew that they had guns. While he was comitting these brutalitities, the soldiers and policemen (zaptiahs) were present letting isa do whatever he wanted as they had been put under his command.
Sources and Testimonies

   673   674   675   676   677