Shefqet Vërlaci

Shefqet bej Vërlaci[1] (Albanian pronunciation: [ʃɛfcɛt vəɾlat͡si]; 15 December 1877, Elbasan, Manastir Vilayet, Ottoman Empire – 21 July 1946, Zürich, Switzerland) was an Albanian politician and wealthy landowner.[2]

Shefqet Vërlaci
Shefqet Vërlaci (portret).jpg
12th Prime Minister of Albania
In office
30 March 1924 – 27 May 1924
Preceded byAhmet Zogu
Succeeded byIliaz Bej Vrioni
In office
12 April 1939 – 4 December 1941
Preceded byKoço Kotta
Succeeded byMustafa Merlika-Kruja
Personal details
Born(1877-12-15)15 December 1877
Elbasan, Albania (then Manastir Vilayet, Ottoman Empire)
Died21 July 1946(1946-07-21) (aged 68)
Zürich, Switzerland
Political partyProgressive Party
Albanian Fascist Party
ProfessionPrime Minister
Signature

BiographyEdit

In 1922, Vërlaci was the biggest landowner of Albania. He was the leader of the Progressive Party, the biggest conservative party in Albania, which firmly opposed any agrarian reform reducing the landowners' property. The Progressive Party included some North Albanian clan chiefs and prominent Muslim landowners as its members.[3]

He was elected a deputy for the first time in the elections of April 5, 1921.[4] In late 1922, Ahmed Zogu became engaged to Vërlaci's daughter, winning his support and the position of Prime Minister.[5]

In early 1924, Zogu was forced to cede his position of Prime Minister to Vërlaci,[citation needed] because of a financial scandal and an attempt of assassination in which Zogu was injured. The date of Vërlaci taking the position of prime minister is 3 March 1924. Vërlaci held this position until 27 May of the same year and then fled to Italy.[6][7] During Fan Noli's regime that followed, a special tribunal created by the government condemned Vërlaci to death in absentia along with the confiscation of all his property.

After being crowned King of Albania in 1928, Zog broke his engagement with Vërlaci's daughter and instead marry Countess Géraldine, of the noble Apponyi family. This resulted in a very conflicting relationship between Zog and Vërlaci in the following years.[8][9]

On 12 April 1939, after the Italian invasion of Albania, Vërlaci became the prime minister of the government of Albania formed under the Italian occupation.[10] From 12 April through 16 April (until Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III accepted the Albanian crown), Vërlaci was the acting head of state. Vërlaci was also named by King Victor Emmanuel III senator of the kingdom of Italy.[11][12]

On 28 November 1939, there was an anti-Italian, anti-Fascist and anti-government street demonstration in Tirana, supported by a strike of industrial and transport workers.

Vërlaci remained at the head of the government until 4 December (other sources cite 10 November or 3 December), 1941.

He died in 1946 in Zürich, Switzerland, and is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Verlaci's name also is found under the forms Vërlaci, Verlaçi, Verlaxhi, and Velaxhi. His first name also is written in various forms, including Shevket, as on his gravestone.
  2. ^ Elsie, Robert (2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8108-6188-6.
  3. ^ Pavlowitch, Stevan K. (September 25, 2014). A History of the Balkans 1804-1945. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-90017-7.
  4. ^ "Njihuni me njeriun më të pasur në Shqipëri që u bë kryeministër, por vdiq si 'armik i popullit' në Zvicër". Shekulli (in Albanian). September 25, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  5. ^ Besier, Gerhard; Stokłosa, Katarzyna (January 3, 2014). European Dictatorships: A Comparative History of the Twentieth Century. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-5521-1.
  6. ^ Besier, Gerhard; Stokłosa, Katarzyna (January 3, 2014). European Dictatorships: A Comparative History of the Twentieth Century. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-5521-1.
  7. ^ "Qeveria e Shefqet Vërlacit (3 mars – 27 maj 1924) - ShtetiWeb". shtetiweb.org. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  8. ^ Ilirjani, Altin; Elbasani, Arolda; Peshkopia, Ridvan (March 1, 2006). Albanian Journal of Politics: 2005. Globic Press. ISBN 978-0-9776662-2-5.
  9. ^ "Dokumenti, si e prishi Zogu fejesën me Behije Vërlacin". www.panorama.com.al (in Albanian). Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  10. ^ Fischer, Bernd Jürgen; Fischer, Fischer, Bernd Jürgen (1999). Albania at War, 1939-1945. Purdue University Press. ISBN 978-1-55753-141-4.
  11. ^ Lulushi, Albert (June 3, 2014). Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA's First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-1-62872-394-6.
  12. ^ Pavlović, Vojislav G. (January 1, 2014). Italy's Balkan Strategies (19th-20th Century). Balkanološki institut SANU. ISBN 978-86-7179-082-6.
  13. ^ "Vërlaci Family memorial". Find a grave.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ahmet Zogu
Prime Minister of Albania
5 March 1924 – 2 June 1924
Succeeded by
Iliaz Vrioni
Preceded by
Koço Kota
Prime Minister of Albania
12 April 1939 – 4 December 1941
Succeeded by
Mustafa Merlika-Kruja