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The Džemijet ( Turkish Cemiyet , "Society / Association", Serbian - Cyrillic Џемијет , Albanian  Bashkimi or Xhemijet ; actually Turkish İslam Muhafaza-i Hukuk Cemiyeti , "Islamic Association for the Defense of Justice / Law") was a political party in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes . She represented Albanians , ethnic Turks and Slavic Muslims and was active in the south of what was then Serbia ( North Macedonia , Kosovo and Metohija as well as Sandžak ). Its orientation was very similar to the Yugoslav Muslim Organization , which also wanted to represent the Muslims of Yugoslavia, but consisted primarily of Bosniaks . Džemijet was founded in Bitola in August 1918 . At the official founding meeting in Skopje on December 18, 1919, the Albanian landowner Nexhip Bey Draga (1867–1921) was elected first chairman. After his death, his brother Ferhat (1880–1944), Mayor of Mitrovica , succeeded him at the head.

The name of the Džemijet was based on the "Society for the Defense of the Rights of Rumelia and Anatolia" ( Anadolu ve Rumeli Müdafaa-i Hukuk Cemiyeti ) of the Turkish state founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk , which later became the Republican People's Party (CHP).

The Džemijet campaigned for greater autonomy for Kosovo, against the oppression of the Muslim population in southern Serbia, for the return of the expropriated lands of former Ottoman landowners ( Beys ) , the admission of qualified Muslims to the civil service and Albanian-language teaching in schools. As a representative of the conservative Muslim dignitaries, she advocated the religious autonomy of Islam, the preservation of Sharia courts in civil matters and so-called “pious foundations” ( Vakufs ) .

The party took part in the parliamentary elections of 1920 and 1923. In the first election, she entered into an electoral alliance with the Serbian Radical People's Party (NRS) and received six seats in parliament. It initially supported the centralization policy of Prime Minister Nikola Pašić , who in return conceded compensation for the expropriated Muslim landowners in the south and rejected the settlement of Serbs in Kosovo and Macedonia, which was persecuted by the Democratic Party . Under the leadership of Ferhat Draga, the more radical wing of the party grew stronger, and supporters of cooperation with the NRS became a minority. Albanian nationalist groups that secretly supported Greater Albanian endeavors also became active within the Džemijet. After the 1923 election, in which she received 14 seats, Draga brought the Džemijet closer to the Croatian Peasant Party Stjepan Radićs , who sought an alliance of non-Serbian peoples for a federal order and against the Serb-dominated central state.

Since the Džemijet now openly positioned itself against centralism and Serbian domination in Yugoslavia, the Pašić government had Ferhat Draga arrested in January 1925. He was initially sentenced to 100 years of forced labor, which was later weakened to 20 years in prison. In view of the massive repression, support for the Džemijet in the parliamentary elections in 1925 fell sharply and they ceased their political activities in the same year.


  • Bogumil Hrabak: Džemijet. Organizacija muslimana Makedonije, Kosova, Metohije i Sandžaka 1919–1928. Belgrade 2003.

Individual evidence

  1. Detlef Brandes, Holm Sundhaussen, Stefan Troebst (eds.): Lexicon of expulsions. Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-205-78407-4 , entry “Albanians from Yugoslavia in the interwar period”, p. 29.
  2. ^ Carl Polónyi: Salvation and Destruction. National myths and war using the example of Yugoslavia 1980–2004. BWV Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin 2010, p. 84.
  3. ^ Ljubomir Zovko: Studije iz pravne povijesti Bosne i Hercegovine: 1878–1941 . Mostar University Law Faculty , 2007, ISBN 978-9958-9271-2-6 , p. 69 (Croatian).
  4. Christian Axboe Nielsen: Making Yugoslavs. Identity in King Aleksandar's Yugoslavia. University of Toronto Press, Toronto 2014, p. 37.
  5. Ivo Banac: The National Question in Yugoslavia. Origins, History, Politics. Cornell University Press, Ithaca NY 1984, p. 377.
  6. ^ Robert Elsie : A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History . IB Tauris, New York / London 2012, ISBN 978-1-78076-431-3 , entry "Draga, Nexhip Bey", p. 125 .
  7. ^ A b c Robert Elsie : A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History . IB Tauris, New York / London 2012, ISBN 978-1-78076-431-3 , entry "Draga, Ferhat Bey", p. 123 .
  8. ^ Robert Elsie : Historical Dictionary of Kosovo . 2nd Edition. Scarecrow Press, Lanham MD / Plymouth 2010, ISBN 978-0-8108-7231-8 , entry "Xhemijet", p. 291 .
  9. Banac: The National Question in Yugoslavia. 1984, pp. 377-378.
  10. ^ Hugh Poulton, Miranda Vickers: The Kosovo Albanians. Ethnic Confrontation with the Slav State. In: Muslim Identity and the Balkan State. C. Hurst & Co., London 1997, p. 146.
  11. a b Banac: The National Question in Yugoslavia. 1984, p. 378.