Memori.al/ publishes the unknown story of Sulejman Delvina, one of the suckers of the famous Delvinjote family, who after being educated in Ioannina, Istanbul, where he was also taught as a lecturer at the Gallata Saraj High School, he served in high positions and functions. in the administration of the Ottoman Empire and then returned to his homeland, engaging in the Congress of Lushnja, where he was entrusted with the task of Prime Minister, Deputy Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice. Unknown documents issued by the Central State Archive in Tirana for the former Albanian Prime Minister who headed the first government cabinet to emerge from the Lushnja Congress, from his political career and his role as a prominent statesman and patriot, in establishing and consolidating of the Albanian state, until his resignation from the head of the cabinet!
Follows from the previous number
Sulejman Delvina’s attitude towards the ‘Vlora War’
In the summer of 1920, the government of Tirana, in talks with the Italian side, had as its main condition the acceptance by them of the administrative union of the Prefecture of Vlora with the rest of the country. Sulejman Delvina, from his position as Prime Minister, did not want the Vlora war to have the character of a war between the Albanian and Italian states. This came after the government headed by him, at that time, continued diplomatic talks, gaining international prestige and defending the territorial integrity of the country from predatory neighbors. In this context, the government of Sulejman Delvina had baseless accusations at the 40th meeting of the National Council, which took place on May 23, 1920.
In the minutes of that meeting, among other things, it is stated that: “Mr. Qazim Koculi, asks what measures the government has taken for the issue of Vlora …? His Excellency, the Prime Minister shows that our government has always demanded the surrender of Vlora. Mr. Koculi shows his sorrow that the government has done nothing to save Vlora. His Excellency, the Prime Minister says that the government gives the word of honor that it will never be spared to make a slaughter for the salvation of Vlora “. According to the book “History of the Albanian People” (vol. III, Academy of Sciences of Albania, Tirana 2007), the government of Sulejman Delvina promised the Vlora Committee material assistance, etc., but unofficially. Regarding this, among other things it says: “This position found the understanding of the Committee ‘National Defense’ … Spiro Koleka was appointed Minister without portfolio, who would maintain links between the Vlora Committee and the government of Tirana.” Likewise, Sejfi Vllamasi, senator of that time, in his book “Political confrontations in Albania (1897-1912)” for Sulejman Delvina writes: “Sulejman Delvina, during the war of Vlora has maintained a firm stance against the Italians. He was for the unconditional evacuation of Albanian land by the Italians and when the Vlora War Committee began to waver due to the war, he encouraged it to continue, until complete victory was achieved.
Sulejman Delvina’s letter to Bajram Curri
In addition to the commitment, albeit indirect, to help the Vlora War, the government led by Sulejman Delvina, made a great effort on the issue of Kosovo. But as can be seen from a letter from Sulejman Delvina, which is in the archival fund of Bajram Curri (and which is thought to have been sent to him), according to him, the problem of Kosovo should be looked at carefully and not always to solve that problem. weapons and armed uprisings had to be used. He suggested to his friend, Bajram beg Curri, that in order to solve the problem of Kosovo, diplomatic methods should be used, as the Albanian state was weak and, in an attempt, to solve all the problems by force of arms, it could be put in danger. the entire Albanian state that was within the borders of 1913.
Regarding the above, in the letter sent to Bajram Curri, Sulejman Delvina wrote: “I have advised you, gentlemen and friends, your honest friends to give up the heroic Kosovo, which is the largest and most beautiful part of our country. I prove with facts that I love all of Albania equally, and I do not prefer one province more than the other, to tell the truth, for now I do not see any possibility for the salvation of Kosovo. Any action and initiative that will be taken today for the salvation of Kosovo, will endanger the Albania of 1913. I promise you that when the time comes, we will support him. Even the deplorable events of Dibra, even for a short time Elbasan would fall, taking into account these conditions and conflicts with the Serbs cannot be resolved by force of arms. I am a man who is not afraid of death, because before I came to Albania, I decided to die and then I came. Yes, provided our death saves honor. If you lose your homeland, what does death matter …?! I am presenting to you everything I think and your lordship put your hand on your heart, on your pure heart and be consecrated. Write me the decision you will make so that I can act as well. With cordial honors, Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina “. (AQSH F. 818, File 8/2, p. 24).
Sulejman Delvina’s letter to the Americans
During his rule, Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina maintained very good relations with the US government, seeing in them the confident defenders of peace and the kindness they had shown to Albania. Related to this is a letter from Sulejman Delvina, sent to the American Staff for Cooperation in the field of Education, Culture and Agriculture, which reads, among other things: “Tirana, October 15, 1920, His Grace, Bishop Blake, His Grace, Dr. E.F. Lee and Mr. Franc. Cordial greetings. We, the authors of the Albanian Regency and Government, are touched by the noble feelings and benevolent interest that you have expressed on behalf of the United States. The suggestions you have made regarding the development of our people are approved. The first need for us is a high school. We want your civilization to be brought here. It would be of great value for the training of nation leaders, female youth …., our second need is the training of students for national schools. We request that a branch of your school be for the training of students. Our third need is to send us an education expert trained not only in technique, but with organizational, management skills to act as an advisor to the Ministry of Education. We are a farming people, but Albania produces a quarter of what it should produce. If you undertake the creation of a model farm, scientific instruction on modern agriculture as developed in the USA. Members of my government are ready to cooperate in finding land for farms, buildings, we are your servants. Regents Sulejman Delvina, Aqif Elbasani, Prime Minister, Dr. M. Turtulli, Mehmet Konica, Abdi, Toptani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Monsignor Luigj Bumçi, Ahmet Zogu, Minister of Interior, Sotir Peci, Minister of Education. (AQSH Fund Collection, Fund 886, File 2334, pp. 1-8). During his rule, Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina paid special attention to the formation of the state administration, setting as the main task for civil servants, the acquisition of the Albanian language. In this regard, an archival document states, among other things: The Presidency of the Ministerial Council (Excellencies of the High Council). The Council of Ministers decided with its conversation no. 888, 10-11-1920, on the proposal of the Ministry of Justice no. 317/3 / 10-20 decided to remove Mustafa Boric, assistant judge of reconciliation of Shkodra from his ignorance of the official language “. Tirana, 17.11.1920. Deputy Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina.
Conflict with Metropolitan Jakovos for Fan Noli
In July 1920, Sulejman Delvina had to face Metropolitan Jakovos Ngjingjilas, Exarch of the Patriarchate and old enemy of Albania. Metropolitan Jakovos wrote a letter to Sulejman Delvina in July 1920, requesting that Fan Noli not be allowed to come to Albania. Calling Noli, among other insults, a lying bishop who had violated every law of God. At this time the Vlora War had begun, part of the lands of Northeastern Albania had been occupied by the Yugoslavs and the Greek bishop pressured Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina not to accept Fan Noli, having the unreserved support of the Patriarchate, which did not want to never allowed the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania to be established in Albania. According to Apostolos Glavinas, author of the book “The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania” (Thessaloniki 1989), it is stated that: “Jacob was enthroned in Istanbul on February 15, 1911 as Metropolitan of Durres and had served as Metropolitan of this city until 1917, year of the first deportation from Albania (by the Austrians, our note). This Metropolitan returned again at the end of 1919, because he was a personal friend of Venizelos. J. Sire states about this: “Esat Pasha Toptani had a main colleague in his intrigues, the Greek bishop, Jakov and his secretary, Djuraskovic, who became the prefect of Durrës during the Serbian occupation. This metropolitan was settled in Korça on December 1, 1919, but this time as exarch. In Korça, he created the association “Union of the Orthodox of Korça”. Metropolitan Jakovos was against the autocephaly of the Albanian Orthodox Church, he was only for its autonomy, the Patriarchate of Istanbul wanted administrative control over our church. At that time, the Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina, removed the possibility of a friction with Metropolitan Jakovo and after that he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Delvina, which states:
Nr. Prot. 1711. His Excellency Sulejman bej Delvina, the President, the Albanian government in Tirana, Shkëlqesa, Tuj took care of the peace of the country, especially in these critical days, you took care of the honor and prestige of the religion in which he is with me a large part of the Albanian Nation and more as the rightful chairman of the Orthodox of the Diocese of Durrës, I behave with the duty to remove the full remark of your Excellency and the government on a matter of great importance, and I am sure that your Excellency will appreciate it properly. News from America reports that the well-known Priest Fan Noli is preparing to come to Albania in a short time, which is a thing to be terrified of, you violate every law of God and of people and you ridicule and make fun of God, the people and religion of which he has unfortunately met a member, has for some time begun to appear as a Bishop, to preach and not only this, but also to authorize (do) as such priests and deacons. Clerics with such a conscience and without fear of God, very few tell the story of our Church. Among these comes the vent in the twentieth century and the aforementioned Bishop of Lies Fan Noli. I am sending you a copy of a letter addressed to the Russian Bishop by three Albanian Orthodox priests: Father Naum Ceres, Father Dhamian Angjeli and Father Nicholas Christopher. This clearly shows, as in the mirror, the life and behavior of the aforementioned Fan Noli. I am also sending you a printed copy of the Russian Bishop’s circular, which is addressed to the clerical and secular Albanians of America. Now, how right is the Russian Bishop Alexander to bring the title of bishop of the Albanian Orthodox of America. This is a canonical issue, which belongs to the competent religious authorities. The thing, which interests your letter and excellence is that, from the mentioned circular it is proved that Father Fan Noli, authorized according to the rules of the Episcopal Church and thus is an unconscious liar. I think it will be, I agree with you completely and your Excellency, that this man does not bring honor to the Albanian nation, in which he claims to have a part. Be that as it may, a prayer is made to Your Excellency to take the necessary measures and to prevent in any way the arrival in Albania of the mentioned false Bishop Fan Noli, because not only will this not bring any good, but it will be done on the contrary cause of many evils. Please be kind enough to accept my highest feelings. Korça 9/22 July 1920. Metropolitan of Durrës Jakovos (firm) (AQSH p. 249 v. 1920. d.I 30, p. 1).
The company “Vatra” mediates with Prime Minister Delvina for Fan Noli
Unlike the Metropolitan of Durrës, Jakovo, the leadership of the Boston Fire Company, asked Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina to allow Fan Noli to come to Albania. The letter reads: “His Excellency Sulejman Delvina. The presidency of the “Vatra” Society requests the granting of permission to Fan Noli to enter Albania and his appointment as a delegate to the League of Nations in Switzerland. The arrival of Father Noli with the steamer Puglia is announced “. (AQSH F. 149, D. 20, 1920). After receiving the letter, Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina ordered the Prefecture of Durrës to inform Fan Noli that for internal political reasons of the Orthodox element, the Albanian government is forced not to allow him to get off the steamer in Albania, to he will return to Bari and there he will receive a letter. Whereas in a letter with concept no. 180 7/1 addressed to the Prefecture of Durrës by Sulejman Delvina, we see the respectful language he uses as Prime Minister for Fan Noli. Sulejman Delvina demanded that his order be communicated to Noli gently (Fund 149, file I-29, 1920). Regarding this, in a letter, the Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina announced: “The presidency of the Boston Federation, despite the reasonable detention of Father Noli, gave permission to come to Albania, was appointed delegate to the League of Nations. Prime Minister S. Delvina “. Concept no. 2301 (AQSH Fund 249, File I-29, year 1920). After that, in November 1921, the Greek Metropolitan Jakov Ngjingjilas, who was a staunch opponent of Autocephaly, was expelled from Korça.
The resignation of Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina
At the end of 1920, the movement for the convening of the Constituent Assembly began to spread in the provinces of Korça and Gjirokastra. Relying on this move, the government of Sulejman Delvina decided to hold elections for the Assembly on November 14 of that year. But this decision was opposed by some members of the Supreme Council and by many deputies of the National Council, who were joined by some former members of the Durrës government, as well as other pro-Italian figures. In these circumstances, the government of Sulejman Delvina, on the same day was forced to resign (“History of the Albanian People”, vol. III, Tirana 2007). In this regard, in the text of his resignation, Prime Minister Sulejman Bey Delvina wrote: “As soon as I saw it, I resigned in the name of my Cabinet, until a‘ new ’cabinet is formed, I will act as deputy; The new cabinet will be formed by honest people, who have the trust of the full people of the nation. I am a supporter of this Cabinet with all my strength, in these delicate times. Please take care of the quiet rest of the place; I expect this from patriotism “. Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina.
In response to this letter, the High Council of State wrote: “The High Council of the Albanian State, I accept the resignation of the cabinet that was formed under the chairmanship of Shkel. His Excellency Mr. Sulejman Delvina, by DECREE. Tread. His Excellency Mr. Sulejman Delvina-Tirana. Your Excellency! We received the letter of Mr. S. on 14.11.1920 with which you inform us that the Cabinet that was formed under the Chairman of Sh. Yours resigned: we very much appreciate the services of Sh. Yours for bringing the Homeland to truly critical times and thank you for all of this. But, since you do not have a majority in Parliament on which to base yourself, we are also obliged to accept your resignation. But, after the customs, we beg you, Your Excellency, together with the other Ministers, to continue working, as a deputy, until those who will be appointed start working. Expect our greatest honors. “High Council of the Albanian State”. Elbasani, Bumçi, D. M. Turtulli, Abdi Toptani. (National Defense Newspaper, November 18, 1920). It is to be noted that in this decree, the work of Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina in the service of the homeland in really critical times is highly appreciated. It is also worth mentioning the role of Prime Minister Sulejman Delvina and his government in consolidating the new Albanian state. It is noted in the work “Albania and King Zog, Independence, Republic and Monarchy 1908-1939” by Owen Pearson, London 2004, volume I, where on page 155 it is stated: “The achievements of the government of S. Delvina have nothing to do with counting. It made tremendous efforts to establish friendly relations with neighboring states, especially with Italy. He managed to raise a national loan of two million gold francs, organized a small army and gendarmerie, and managed to establish an efficient and moderate civil service. It set up 528 primary schools and was studying the possibility of setting up a national education system of a more advanced level. He managed to successfully avoid foreign threats and intrigues, defeated internal uprisings and united the Albanian people. “And finally, it restored the national borders violated by the Conference of Ambassadors of 1913.”/ Memorie.al