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Anti-Albanian sentiment or Albanophobia is discrimination or prejudice towards Albanians as an ethnic group, described in countries with large Albanian population as immigrants, especially Greece and Italy though in Greece the sentiment has existed mainly in the post-communist Albania era where many criminals escaped to Greece.[1][2][3]

A similar term used with the same denotation is anti-albanianism[4] used in many sources similarly with albanophobia, although its similarities and/or differences are not defined.

Its opposite is Albanophilia.


Origins and formsEdit

The term "Albanophobia" was coined by Anna Triandafyllidou on a report analysis called Racism and Cultural Diversity in the Mass Media published in 2002.[1] Although, the first recorded usage of the term comes from 1982 in The South Slav journal, Volume 8 by Albanian author Arshi Pipa.[5] The report by Triandafyllidou represented Albanian migrants in Greece[6] and was followed by other researchers like Karyotis in Greece and Mai in Italy. The hyphenated form "Albano-phobia" is used on some references (including Triandafyllidou), apparently with the same meaning.

Albanian stereotypes that formed amid the creation of an independent Albanian state, and stereotypes that formed as a result of massive immigrations from Albania and Kosovo during the 1980s and '90s, although they may differ from each other, are still both considered Albanophobic and anti-Albanian by many authors such as Triandafyllidou, Banac, Karyotis.[citation needed]

Albanophobia signifies a wider range of concepts that could be roughly grouped in two main categories:[citation needed]

  • Albanophobia as xenophobic - referring to stereotypes in countries with a considerable number of Albanian immigrants like Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and United States.
  • Albanophobia as nationalistic - referring to stereotypes in countries with active disputes with Albanian ethnicity in the region, most commonly ex-Yugoslav countries (Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro). The second is more likely to be associated with the term anti-albanianism.[not in citation given]


The stereotype by some in Greece of Albanians as criminal and degenerate in Greece has been subject of a 2001 study by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHFHR) and by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).[7][8] It is considered that prejudices and mistreatment of Albanians to be still present in Greece.[7] According to a 2002 statement of the IHFUR, the Albanians are the most likely ethnic group in Greece to be killed by Greek law enforcement officials.[7] In addition, the EUMC singles out ethnic Albanians as principal targets of racism. Furthermore, the EUMC found that undocumented Albanian migrants "experience serious discrimination in employment, particularly with respect to the payment of wages and social security contributions".[7][8] Albanians are often pejoratively named and or called by Greeks as "Turks", represented in the expression "Turkalvanoi".[9][10] Albanians in Greece are also classified in terms as "savage", while the Greeks view themselves as "civilised".[11]

Prejudicial representations of Albanians and Albanian criminality (see Albanian mafia) by the Greek media is largely responsible for the social construction of negative stereotypes, in contrast to the commonly held belief that Greek society is neither xenophobic nor racist.[12]

In March 2010, during an official military parade in Athens, Greek soldiers chanted "They are Skopians, they are Albanians, we will make new clothes out of their skins". The Civil Protection Ministry of Greece reacted to this by suspending the coast guard officer who was in charge of the parade unit, and pledged to take tough action against the unit's members.[13]


Albanophobia in Italy is primarily related to the Albanian immigrants mainly young adults who are stereotypically seen as criminals, drug dealers and rapists.[14][15] Italian media provide a lot of space and attention to crimes committed by ethnic Albanians, even those just presumed.[16]


By 1942, the city of Bar became a home of many Serbians and other refugees who were forced to flee from Kosovo and to escape the violence done by Albanian units. Many of these joined the Partisan forces and participated in their activities at Bar.[17]

The victims were Albanian recruits from Kosovo, who had been pressed by the Yugoslav Partisans into service. These men were then assembled in Prizren and marched on foot in three columns to Bar where they were supposed to receive short training and then sent off to the front.[17] The march took the rugged mountain ranges of Kosovo and Montenegro to reach its destination. Upon arrival locals reported that these men, who had marched a considerable distance, were "exhausted" and "distressed". The column of men which stretched a few kilometres were then gathered on the Barkso Polje. At one point, in Polje, one of the Albanians from the column attacked and killed one of the Yugoslav officers, Boža Dabanovića.[17] Very soon after that somebody from the column threw a smuggled bomb at the commander of the brigade.[17] This created a panic among the Partisans. The guards watching over the recruits then fired into the crowd killing many and prompting the survivors to flee into the surrounding mountains.[17] In another case, several hundred Albanians were herded into a tunnel, near Bar, which was subsequently sealed off so that all of those trapped within the tunnel were asphyxiated.[18]

Yugoslav sources put the number of victims at 400[17] while Albanian sources put the figure at 2,000 killed in Bar alone.[19] According to Croatian historian Ljubica Štefan, the Partisans killed 1,600 Albanians in Bar on 1 April after an incident at a fountain.[20] There are also accounts claiming that the victims included young boys.[21] Other sources cited that the killing started en route for no apparent reason and this was supported by the testimony of Zoi Themeli in his 1949 trial.[22] Themeli was a collaborator who worked as an important official of the Sigurimi, the Albanian secret police.[23] After the massacre, the site was immediately covered in concrete by the Yugoslav communist regime and built an airport on top of the mass grave.[21]

Republic of MacedoniaEdit

Ethnic tensions have simmered in the Republic of Macedonia since the end of an armed conflict in 2001, where the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army attacked the security forces of Macedonia with the goal of securing greater rights and autonomy for the ethnic Albanian minority.

The Macedonian Academy for Science and Art was accused of Albanophobia in 2009 after it published its first encyclopedia in which was claimed that the Albanian endonym, Shqiptar, means "highlander" and is primarily used by other Balkan peoples to describe Albanians, if used in South Slavic languages the endonym is considered derogatory by the Albanian community. The encyclopaedia also claimed that the Albanians settled the region in the 16th century.[24][25][26] Distribution of the encyclopedia was ceased after a series of public protests.

On 12 April 2012, five ethnic Macedonian civilians were shot dead allegedly by ethnic Albanian in an attack known as the Železarsko lake killings. On 16 April 2012, in the wake of the attack, an anti-Albanian protest was held in Skopje by ethnic Macedonians in which the participants were recorded chanting "a good Shqiptar is a dead Shqiptar" and "gas chambers for Shqiptars".[27]

On 1 March 2013 in Skopje, a mob of ethnic Macedonians protested against the decision to appoint Talat Xhaferi, an ethnic Albanian politician, as Minister of Defence[28] The protest turned violent when the mob started hurling stones and also attacking Albanian bystanders and police officers alike. The police reports 3 injured civilians, five injured police officers and much damage to private property. Although the city hospital reported treating five heavily injured Albanian men, two of which are on Intensive-care unit. During this protest part of the mob burned the Albanian flag.

On the 108th anniversary of the Congress of Manastir the museum of the Albanian alphabet in Bitola was vandalized, the windows and doors were broken. A poster with the words "Death to Albanians" and with the drawing of a lion cutting the heads of the Albanian double-headed eagle was placed on the front doors of the museum.[29] One week after this incident, on the day of the Albanian Declaration of Independence graffiti with the same messages, as those of the previous week, were placed on the directorate of Pelister National Park.[30]


The origins of anti-Albanian propaganda in Serbia started by the end of 19th century and the reason for this was the claims made by Serbian state on territories that were about to be controlled by Albanians after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.[31] By the late nineteenth century, Albanians were being characterized by Serbian government officials as a "wild tribe" with "cruel instincts".[32] Others from Serbia's intelligentsia such as the geographer Jovan Cvijić referred to Albanians as being "the most barbarous tribes of Europe".[32] Whereas politician Vladan Đorđević described Albanians as "modern Troglodytes" and "prehumans, who slept in the trees" with still having "tails" in the nineteenth century.[33] On the eve of the First Balkan War 1912, Serbian media had implemented a strong anti-Albanian campaign.[34]

In 1937, the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, and more specifically the noted Serb scholar and political figure Vaso Čubrilović (1897-1990) wrote a memorandum entitled "The Expulsion of the Albanians" which dealt with the methods that should be used to expel Albanians including: creating a "psychosis" by bribing clergymen to encourage the Albanians to leave the country, enforcing the law to the letter, secretly razing Albanian inhabited villages, ruthless application of all police regulations, ruthless collection of taxes and the payment of all private and public debts, the requisitioning of all public and municipal pasture land, the cancellation of concessions, the withdrawal of permits to exercise an occupation, dismissal from government, the demolition of Albanian cemeteries and many other methods.[35]

During the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, on some occasions activities undertaken by Serbian officials in Kosovo have been marked as albanophobic.[36]

The Serbian media during Milošević's era was known to espouse Serb nationalism while promoting xenophobia toward the other ethnicities in Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians were commonly characterized in the media as anti-Yugoslav counter-revolutionaries, rapists, and a threat to the Serb nation.[37] During the Kosovo War, Serbian forces continually discriminating Kosovo Albanians:

Throughout Kosovo, the forces of the FRY and Serbia have harassed, humiliated, and degraded Kosovo Albanian civilians through physical and verbal abuse. Policemen, soldiers, and military officers have persistently subjected Kosovo Albanians to insults, racial slurs, degrading acts, beatings, and other forms of physical mistreatment based on their racial, religious, and political identification.[38]

— War Crimes Indictment against Milosevic and others

A survey in Serbia showed that 40% of the Serbian population would not like Albanians to live in Serbia while 70% would not enter into a marriage with an Albanian individual the same exists in Albania towards Serbs.[39] In recent times, prominent politician Vuk Jeremić in his comments on Twitter about the rights and wrongs of the Kosovo dispute compared Albanians to the "evil Orcs" of the movie The Hobbit.[40]

Derogatory termsEdit

  • Shiptar – is a derogatory term for Albanians that is formed from their endonym shqiptar which is used by Balkan Slavic ethnicites such as the Serbs and Macedonians and it carries pejorative meanings which classify a person as being somewhat backward or aggressive[41]
  • Turk and Turco-Albanian – derogatory terms which non-Albanians use to describe ethnic Albanians who converted to Islam during Ottoman rule.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b By Russell King, Nicola Mai, Out of Albania: from crisis migration to social inclusion in Italy, pp 114
  2. ^ Georgios Karyotis, Irregular Migration in Greece, pp. 9
  3. ^ By Russell King, Nicola Mai, Out of Albania: from crisis migration to social inclusion in Italy, pp 21
  4. ^ By Michael Mandelbaum, The new European diasporas: national minorities and conflict in Eastern Europe, 234
  5. ^ The South Slav journal, Volume 8 page 21, Arshi Pipa (1982).
  6. ^ By Anna Triandafyllidou, Racism and Cultural Diversity In the Mass Media, Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute, pp. 149
  7. ^ a b c d United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld - Greece: Treatment of ethnic Albanians". Refworld. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  8. ^ a b (EUMC Nov. 2001, 25, 38 n. 85)
  9. ^ Millas, Iraklis (2006). "Tourkokratia: History and the image of Turks in Greek literature." South European Society & Politics. 11. (1): 50. "The 'timeless' existence of the Other (and the interrelation of the Self with this Other) is secured by the name used to define him or her. Greeks often name as 'Turks' various states and groups—such as the Seljuks, the Ottomans, even the Albanians (Turkalvanoi)".
  10. ^ Megalommatis, M. Cosmas (1994). Turkish-Greek Relations and the Balkans: A Historian's Evaluation of Today's Problems. Cyprus Foundation. p. 28. "Muslim Albanians have been called "Turkalvanoi" in Greek, and this is pejorative."
  11. ^ Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010). On the border: Transborder mobility, ethnic groups and boundaries along the Albanian-Greek frontier. LIT Verlag. p. 65. "The few exchanges also bear the imprint of the above structural asymmetry and reflect the level of development of the two countries. While mainly agricultural and dairy products (drugs and weapons are a separate chapter) flow in from Albania, mostly uncontrollably, from Greece to Albania we have, in addition to money, a flow of a great gamut of material goods and products, from simple items of everyday use and consumption, to electrical equipment and cars. One may say that, whereas Albanian products represent "nature", Greek ones represent "civilization", a dichotomy that characterises the differences of the two groups from the point of view of the Greeks: Albanians are classified as "savage", while Greeks as "civilized", a fact that expresses, of course, the general racist attitude of the Greeks."
  12. ^ Diversity and equality for Europe Annual Report 2000. European Monitoring Centre of Racism and Xenophobia, p. 38
  13. ^ "Greek soldiers chant anti-Turkish-Albanian slogans at military parade - Balkans - Worldbulletin News". World Bulletin. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  14. ^ King, Russell; Mai, Nicola (2009). "Italophilia meets Albanophobia: Paradoxes of asymmetric assimilation and identity processes among Albanian immigrants in Italy". Ethnic and Racial Studies (Submitted manuscript). 32: 117–138. doi:10.1080/01419870802245034.
  15. ^ "Breaking the Albanian stereotype". Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  16. ^ King, Russell; Mai, Nicola (2008). Out of Albania. ISBN 9781845455446. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Željko Milović-DRUGI SVJETSKI RAT". Montenengrina Digitalna Biblioteka.
  18. ^ Miranda Vickers. The Albanians: A Modern History. I.B.Tauris.
  19. ^ "Massive Grave of Albanian Victims of Tivari Massacre uncovered". Albanian Telegraphic Agency. 19 September 1996. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  20. ^ Ljubica Štefan (1999). Mitovi i zatajena povijest. K. Krešimir. ISBN 978-953-6264-85-8.
  21. ^ a b Bytyci, Enver (2015). Coercive Diplomacy of NATO in Kosovo. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 9781443872720.
  22. ^ Fevziu, Blendi (1 February 2016). Enver Hoxha: The Iron Fist of Albania. London: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9780857729088.
  23. ^ Pearson, Owen (2004). Albania in the Twentieth Century, A History: Volume III: Albania as Dictatorship and Democracy, 1945-99. London: I.B.Tauris. p. 343. ISBN 1845111052.
  24. ^ "B92 - News - Macedonian encyclopedia pulled from shelves". B92. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  25. ^ Rashidi, Nazim. "Dënohet Enciklopedia maqedonase". BBC. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  26. ^ "Macedonian Encyclopedia Sparks Balkan Ethnic Row". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  27. ^ Përleshje mes policisë dhe protestuesve në Shkup. YouTube. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Приведени неколкумина учесници во инцидентот пред Влада". Puls 24. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  30. ^ "KËRCËNIM NË FESTËN E FLAMURIT 'VDEKJE SHQIPTARËVE'". TV-21. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  31. ^ By Ivo Banac, The national question in Yugoslavia - origins, history, politics, page 293
  32. ^ a b Stefanović, Djordje (2005). "Seeing the Albanians through Serbian eyes: The Inventors of the Tradition of Intolerance and their Critics, 1804-1939." European History Quarterly. 35. (3): 472. "Officials of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign affairs described Albanians as a 'wild tribe' with 'cruel instincts'.... A number of Serbian intellectuals and journalists added to the angry hate propaganda that seemed to culminate during the preparations for the Balkan Wars. Cvijić argued that 'there is a general consensus that the Albanians are the most barbarous tribes of Europe'. Another intellectual described the Albanians as 'European Indians' and 'lazy savages'."
  33. ^ Gay, Peter (1993). The Cultivation of Hatred: The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud (The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud). WW Norton & Company. p. 82. "In 1913, Dr. Vladan Djordjević, a Serbian politician and expert in public health, characterized Albanians as bloodthirsty, stunted, animal—like, so invincibly ignorant that they could not tell sugar from snow. These "modern Troglodytes" reminded him of "prehumans, who slept in the trees, to which they were fastened by their tails." True, through the millennia, the human rail had withered away, but "among the Albanians there seem to have been humans with tails as late as the nineteenth century.""
  34. ^ Dimitrije Tucović, Srbija i Arbanija (in Izabrani spisi, book II, pp. 56) Prosveta, Beograd, 1950.
  35. ^ Ćubrilović, Vaso, The Expulsion of the Albanians: Memorandum 1937
  36. ^ By Nebojša Popov, Drinka Gojković, The road to war in Serbia: trauma and catharsis, pp. 222
  37. ^ International Centre Against Censorship. "Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina". International Centre Against Censorship, Article 19. Avon, United Kingdom: Bath Press, May 1994. P55
  38. ^ American Public Media. "Justice for Kosovo". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Raste etnička distanca među građanima Srbije". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  40. ^ Barlovac, Bojana (19 December 2012). "Jeremic Likens Kosovars to 'Hobbit's' Evil Orcs". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  41. ^ Guzina, Dejan (2003). "Kosovo or Kosova – Could it be both? The Case of Interlocking Serbian and Albanian Nationalisms". In Florian Bieber and Židas Daskalovski (eds.). Understanding the war in Kosovo. Psychology Press. p.30.

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