Janina Vilayet

The Vilayet of Janina, Yanya or Ioannina (Ottoman Turkish: ولايت يانیه‎, romanized: Vilâyet-i Yanya)[3] was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire, established in 1867.[4] In the late 19th century, it reportedly had an area of 18,320 square kilometres (7,070 sq mi).[5] It was created by merging the Pashalik of Yanina and the Pashalik of Berat with the sanjaks of Janina, Berat, Ergiri, Preveze, Tırhala and Kesriye. Kesriye was later demoted to kaza and bounded to Monastir Vilayet and Tırhala was given to Greece in 1881.

ولايت يانیه
Vilâyet-i Yānyâ
Vilayet of Ottoman Empire
Flag of Janina Vilayet
Ioannina Vilayet, Ottoman Empire (1900).png
The Janina Vilayet in 1900
CapitalYanya (Ioannina)
• 1897[1]
• 1911[2]
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ioannina Eyalet
Kingdom of Greece
Principality of Albania
Today part of Albania
A map showing the administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire in 1317 Hijri, 1899 Gregorian, Including the Vilayet of Janina and its Sanjaks.


Greek National Movement in EpirusEdit

Educational institutions in Vilayet (1908): red for Greek, purple for Romanian, blue for Italian
Ottoman map of the south part of the Vilayet (1896)

Although part of the local population contributed greatly to the Greek War of Independence (1821–1830) the region of Epirus did not become part of the Greek state that time. In 1878, a rebellion broke out with the revolutionaries, mostly Epirotes, taking control of Sarandë and Delvinë. However, it was suppressed by the Ottoman troops, who burned 20 villages of the region.[6]

In the following year, the Greek population of Ioannina region authorized a committee in order to present to the European governments their wish for union with Greece.[7]

In 1906 the organization Epirote Society was founded by members of the Epirote diaspora, Panagiotis Danglis and Spyros Spyromilios, that aimed at the annexation of the region to Greece[8] by supplying local Greeks with firearms.[9]

Albanian National AwakeningEdit

Janina Vilayet was one of the main centers of the cultural and political life of Albanians who lived in Janina Vilayet and Monastir Vilayet.[10] One of the most important reasons was the influence by Greek education and culture south-Albanian writers received in the famous Greek school of Ioannina, the Zosimaia.[10] Abdyl Frashëri, the first political ideologue of the Albanian National Awakening[11] was one of the six deputies from Janina Vilayet in the first Ottoman Parliament in 1876–1877.[12] Abdyl Frashëri, from Frashër, modern Albania, together with Mehmet Ali Vrioni from Berat (also in modern Albania), and some members of Ioannina's Albanian community, founded the Albanian Committee of Janina in May 1877.[10] Frashëri fought against decisions of the Treaty of San Stefano.[10] However, the League of Prizren, was primarily Muslim Albanian, while the local Orthodox Christians felt more sympathy to the Greek cause.[13][14]

End of Ottoman ruleEdit

During the Albanian Revolt of 1912 Janina Vilayet was proposed as one of four vilayets consisting Albanian Vilayet. The Ottoman government ended the Albanian revolts by accepting almost all demands of Albanian rebels on September 4, 1912, which included the formation of the vilayet later in 1912.[15]

Following the First Balkan War of 1912–1913 and the Treaty of London the southern part of the vilayet, including Ioannina, was incorporated into Greece.[16] Greece had also seized northern Epirus during the Balkan Wars, but the Treaty of Bucharest, which concluded the Second Balkan War, assigned Northern Epirus to Albania.[17]


There have been a number of estimates about the ethnicity and the religious affiliation of the local population. The Ottoman Empire classified and counted its citizens according to religion and not ethnicity, which led to inefficient censuses and lack of classification of populations according to their ethnic groups.[18][19][20][21][22] The vilayet was predominantly inhabited by Albanians and Greeks, while the major religions were Islam and Christian Orthodoxy.[23][24][25] The vilayet was heavily Greek, especially the part that would be later incorporated to Greece.[26][27]

According to Aram Andonyan and Zavren Biberyan in 1908 of a total population of 648,000, 315,000 inhabitants were Albanians, most of which were Muslims and Orthodox, and some who were adherents of Roman Catholicism.[28] Aromanians and Greeks were about 180,000 and 110,000 respectively.[28] Smaller communities included Bulgarians, Turks, Romanis and Jews.[28]

According to Michail Sakellariou of a total population of 550,000 the Greeks were the most numerous at 300,000, Albanians second at 210,000, and there were also 25,000 Aromanians and 3,000 Jews. The sanjaks of Janina, Preveza and Gjirokastër were predominantly Greek, the sanjak of Igoumenitsa (then Gümeniçe, Reşadiye between 1909 and 1913 due to honour of Mehmet V, Ottoman Sultan) had a slight majority of Greeks, and that of Berat north was predominantly Albanian.[29][30] According to Sakellariou, the official Ottoman statistics in the Vilayet of Janina had the tendency to favor the Albanian element at the expense of the Greek one.[30]

According to Sir Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb in 1895 there were c. 224,000 Muslims. The Orthodox population included c. 118,000 Greeks and c. 129,500 Albanians, and the Jewish population amounted to 3,500 people.[31] According to Zafer Golen two-thirds of the population were Albanian Muslims,[32] while according to Dimitrios Chasiotis c. 419,403 of the total population were Greeks, along with 239,000 Turks and Albanians, and 6,000 Jews.[33] Lontos estimated that 3/4 of the population was Christian.[33]

Ottoman Official statistic of 1893 & 1911
Group 1893[34] 1911[2]
Orthodox (Greeks[36]) 286,304 311,032
Muslims (Turks[36]) 225,415 244,638
Jews 3,677 3,990
Catholics 83 -
Other 997 1,175
Total 516,476 560,835
Non-official estimates of Yanya Vilayet[28][29][33]
Ethnicity Number
Greeks 110,000-419,403
Albanians 210,000-315,000
Aromanians 25,000-180,000
Turks 10,000-20,000
Bulgarians 20,000
Romani 7,000
Jews 3,000-6,000
Total 475,000-648,000

Administrative divisionsEdit

Sanjaks of the Vilayet:[37]

  1. Sanjak of Ioannina (Yanya, Aydonat, Filat, Maçova, Leskovik, Koniçe)
  2. Sanjak of Ergiri (Ergiri, Delvine, Sarandoz, Premedi, Fraşer, Tepedelen, Kurvelesh, Himara)
  3. Sanjak of Preveze (Preveze, Loros, Margliç)
  4. Sanjak of Berat (Berat, Avlonya, Loşine, Fir)

See alsoEdit


  • Clogg, R. (2002). A Concise History of Greece. London: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00479-9.


  1. ^ Mutlu, Servet. "Late Ottoman population and its ethnic distribution" (PDF). pp. 29–31. Corrected population for Mortality Level=8.
  2. ^ a b Teaching Modern Southeast European History Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine. Alternative Educational Materials, p. 26
  3. ^ Salname-yi Vilâyet-i Yanya ("Yearbook of the Vilayet of Janina"), Vilâyet matbaası, Yanya [Greece], 1288 [1871]. in the website of Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  4. ^ Rumelia at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. ^ Europe by Éliseé Reclus, page 152
  6. ^ M. V. Sakellariou. Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2, p. 292.
  7. ^ Sakellariou M. V.. Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotikē Athēnōn, 1997, ISBN 978-960-213-371-2, p. 293
  8. ^ Sakellariou, M. V. (1997). Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon. p. 310. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2.
  9. ^ Sakellariou, M. V. (1997). Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon. p. 360. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2.
  10. ^ a b c d Trencsényi, Balázs; Kopeček, Michal (2006). Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945): texts and commentaries. Late Enlightenment - Emergence of the Modern National Idea. 1. Central European University Press. p. 348. ISBN 963-7326-52-9.
  11. ^ Kopeček, Michal; Ersoy, Ahmed; Gorni, Maciej; Kechriotis, Vangelis; Manchev, Boyan; Balazs; Turda, Marius (2006), Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945), 1, Budapest, Hungary: Central European University Press, p. 348, ISBN 963-7326-52-9, retrieved January 18, 2011, the first political ideologue of the Albanian Revival..
  12. ^ Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopeček (2006). Discourses of collective identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1770–1945). ISBN 9789637326523. Retrieved 19 September 2010. In the first Ottoman parliament of 1876–1877 he was one of six deputies appointed for Iannina villayet
  13. ^ Skendi, Stavro (1967). The Albanian national awakening, 1878–1912. Princeton University Press. p. 108.
  14. ^ Γιάννης Χατζής. Η Αλβανική Εθνική Κίνηση και η Προοπτική μιας Ελληνοαλβανικής Προσσέγγισης. p. 67
  15. ^ Shaw, Stanford J.; Ezel Kural Shaw (2002) [1977]. "Clearing the Decks: Ending the Tripolitanian War and the Albanian Revolt". History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. 2. United Kingdom: The Press Syndicate of University of Cambridge. p. 293. ISBN 0-521-29166-6. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  16. ^ Clogg 2002, p. 105: "In February 1913 the Greek Army seized Ioannina, the capital of Epirus. The Turks recognized the gains of the Balkan allies by the Treaty of London, in May 1913."
  17. ^ Clogg 2002, p. 105: "The Second Balkan War had short duration and the Bulgarians... to an independent Albania."
  18. ^ classified Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774–2000 William M. Hale
  19. ^ Transactions of the Royal Historical Society Royal Historical Society
  20. ^ Sarajevo:A Bosnian Kaleidoscope, Fran Markowitz
  21. ^ Region, Regional Identity and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe, Klaus Roth
  22. ^ The Arab world, Turkey, and the Balkans (1878–1914): a handbook of historical statistics Justin McCarthy
  23. ^ Justin McCarthy. Death and exile: the ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922. Darwin Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-87850-094-9, p. 162
  24. ^ Stephanie Schwanders-Sievers,Bernd Jürgen Fischer. Albanian identities: myth and history. Indiana University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-253-34189-1, p. 57.
  25. ^ The revolution of 1908 in Turkey, Aykut Kansu
  26. ^ Justin McCarthy. and exile: the ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922. Darwin Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-87850-094-9, p. 162
  27. ^ Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers,Bernd Jürgen Fischer.myth and history. Indiana University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-253-34189-1, p. 57.
  28. ^ a b c d Erickson, Edward J. (2003). Defeat in detail: the Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912–1913. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-275-97888-4. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  29. ^ a b Sakellariou, M. V. (1997). Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon. p. 480. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2.
  30. ^ a b Sakellariou, M. V. (1997). Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotike Athenon. p. 356. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2.
  31. ^ Gibb, Hamilton (1954). Encyclopedia of Islam. Brill. p. 652. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  32. ^ MEHMET AKĠF ERSOY’UN GENÇLĠĞĠNDE BALKANLAR’DA OSMANLI Archived 2013-01-24 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ a b c M. V. Sakellariou. Epirus, 4000 years of Greek history and civilization. Ekdotikē Athēnōn, 1997, ISBN 9789602133712, p. 356
  34. ^ Kemal H. Karpat. Ottoman Population Records and the Census of 1881/82-1893 Int. J. Middle East Stud. 9 (1978), 237-274, p. 37
  35. ^ Nußberger Angelika; Wolfgang Stoppel (2001), Minderheitenschutz im östlichen Europa (Albanien) (PDF) (in German), p. 8: "war im ubrigen noch keinerlei Nationalbewustsein anzutreffen, den nicht nationale, sodern religiose Kriterien bestimmten die Zugehorigkeit zu einer sozialen Gruppe, wobei alle Orthodoxe Christen unisono als Griechen galten, wahrend "Turk" fur Muslimen stand..." [...all Orthodox Christians were considered as "Greeks", while in the same fashion Muslims as "Turks": Universität KölnCS1 maint: location (link)
  36. ^ a b Under the Ottoman classification system, all Orthodox Christians were classified as "Greeks", and all Muslims were classified as "Turks" - regardless of ethnic affiliation.[35]
  37. ^ Yanya Vilayeti | Tarih ve Medeniyet

External linksEdit