Suva Reka (Serbian Cyrillic: Сува Река) or Suhareka (also known as Suharekë and Therandë in Albanian) is a town and municipality located in the Prizren district of central-southern Kosovo.[a] According to the 2011 census, the town has 10,422 inhabitants, while the municipality has 59,722 inhabitants.

Suva Reka
  • Suharekë or Therandë (Albanian)
    Сува Река or Suva Reka (Serbian)
Suva Reka
Suva Reka
Flag of Suva Reka
Official seal of Suva Reka
Location of the municipality of Suva Reka within Kosovo
Location of the municipality of Suva Reka within Kosovo
Coordinates: 42°22′48″N 20°49′19″E / 42.38000°N 20.82194°E / 42.38000; 20.82194Coordinates: 42°22′48″N 20°49′19″E / 42.38000°N 20.82194°E / 42.38000; 20.82194
 • MayorBali Muharremaj (AAK)
 • Municipal361 km2 (139 sq mi)
389 m (1,276 ft)
 • Urban
 • Municipal
 • Municipal density170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code+383 29
Car plates04

Suva Reka is located 18 km (11 mi) from the city of Prizren, and 57 km (35 mi) from Kosovo's capital, Pristina.


Suva Reka means "dry river" in Serbian. The Albanian spellings are Suharekë[1] or Suhareka (derived from the Slavic form), while an alternative[2] name was recently created by the Albanological Institute,[3] Therandë,[4] adopted from an unlocated ancient site (possibly in Suhareka or Lubizhda in the Mirusha valley[5]).[6]


Historical backgroundEdit

The municipality includes several medieval Serbian sites and old settlements, such as the villages of Banja, Suva Reka, Dulje, Mušutište, Popovljane, Rečane, Suva Reka, and churches of Virgin Hodegetria, St. George, Holy Trinity, St. Nicholas, among others. The settlement of Suva Reka itself was first mentioned in 1465.

Yugoslav periodEdit

From 1929 to 1941, Suva Reka was a village part of the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Between 1918 and 1941 the demographic structure of the municipality of Suva Reka has been affected by settlements and colonization such as the Serbian colonization and population settlement, for the most part from the Toplica District.[7]

On the night of 9–10 June 1984, ethnic Albanians desecrated 29 tombstones of the Church of the Holy Saviour.[8][9]

Kosovo War and aftermathEdit

During the Kosovo War (1998–99), the Yugoslav army operated in the region and it was reported that it had killed and wounded many Albanian civilians. According to the Suva Reka office of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms, 430 people were killed in the municipality and 67 people were missing as of late August 1999.

The Suva Reka massacre conducted on 26 March 1999 committed by Serbian police officers resulted in 48 victims, fourteen of which were under 15 years old. 46 members of the victims were part of the Berisha family who were targeted because they had rented one of their homes to the OSCE observers in Suva Reka, who provided a sense of security to the local Albanians but withdrew from the area when NATO bombing began.[citation needed] After the slight withdrawal of the OSCE, incidences[spelling?] of abuse increased around late March, specifically with the beating and the harassment of ethnic Albanians residents by the Serbian police. Consequently, tensions soon increased after at least seven ethnic Albanians were killed by police or disappeared in unclear circumstances.

According to the OSCE, killings of smaller numbers of people also took place in the following villages: Bukos (Bukosh), Budakovo (Budakove), Vranic (Vraniq), Geljance (Gelanc), Sopina (Sopine), Mus-utiste (Mushtishte), and Lesane (Leshane).

After the war, Serbian heritage was destroyed all over Kosovo. The churches (including cemeteries) of Virgin Hodegetria, St. George, Holy Trinity, St. Nicholas and others were completely destroyed in 1999 after the arrival of KFOR and the end of the war.[10]

NATO set up a military base in the municipality, Camp Casablanca.



Municipal historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: Division of Kosovo

According to the 2011 census done by the Government of Kosovo, the municipality of Suva Reka had 59,722 inhabitants of which 98.9% were Kosovo Albanians.[11] According to OSCE, the whereabouts of the displaced Serb and Roma communities is unknown.[11]

Twin towns – Sister citiesEdit

Suva Reka is twinned with:

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 101 out of 193 (52.3%) UN member states (with another 13 recognising it at some point but then withdrawing their recognition), while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own territory.
  1. ^ "Suhareke". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  2. ^ Robert Elsie (15 November 2010). Historical Dictionary of Kosovo. Scarecrow Press. pp. 298–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7483-1.
  3. ^ Saskia Drude (2008). Hundert Wochen Kosovo: Alltag in einem unfertigen Land. Karin Fischer Verlag. pp. 99–. ISBN 978-3-89514-836-1.
  4. ^ Elsie,R. (2010-11-15). Historical Dictionary of Kosovo. p. 268. ISBN 9780810874831.
  5. ^ Arheološko blago Kosova i Metohije: Text. Srpska Akademija nauka i umetnosti. 1998. p. 286.
  6. ^ Andreas Wittkowsky (2011). Grand Hotel Kosovo: Schlaglichter einer europäischen Staatsbildung (in German). LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 69–. ISBN 978-3-643-11425-9.
  7. ^ "Kolonizimi serb i Kosovës" (in Albanian). 9 Jan 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-01-09..
  8. ^ Православље (429). 1 February 1985 Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Antonije Isaković (1990). "Kosovsko-metohijski zbornik". SANU: 84. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ Влада Републике Србије за Косово и Метохију. "Уништена и оштећена културна добра на Косову и Метохији у периоду од 1999. до 2004. године" (PDF). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ a b[bare URL]
  12. ^ "Komuna Suhareke - Suhareka & Fellbach". Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  13. ^ "Lilburn Becomes a 'Sister City' With Kosovo Town". 16 July 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2018.

External linksEdit