Today, marks the 109th anniversary of Albania’s independence, after 5 centuries of Ottoman rule.
Known also as the Flag Day, the 28th of November is celebrated among more than 4,5 million Albanians living in the Balkans, and at least 2,5 million living in the large Albanian diaspora abroad.
On 28 November 1912, leaders from all Albanian inhabited lands in the Balkans gathered in the southern city of Vlora to declare their independence and creation of the Albanian nation state.
But a few months later, more than 30 per cent of the ethnic Albanian population was left out of the newly founded state, as large parts of Albanian territory were annexed by Serbia, Greece and Montenegro. This was the decision of London Peace Conference where the Big Powers drew the Balkan borders following the end of the First Balkan War.
In 2008, Kosova became independent, a decade after it broke free from Serbia, following international military intervention to prevent Serbian ethnic cleansing of Albanians.
Today, there are two Albanian states in the Balkans, Kosova and Albania, and two other multiethnic states with large Albanian population, North Macedonia and Montenegro.