Memorie.al/ publishes the unknown memories of Qazim Mulleti, the famous former prefect of Tirana, which have been preserved for several decades in the family of his nephew in Tirana, (Tanush Mulleti) where he initially tells how he secretly learned the Albanian language in at the time of the Ottoman occupation, in the school of Filip Ashiku with the dictionary of Father Jak Cung of 1805 and with the works of Padre Gjergj Fishta, as “Lahuta e Malcis” that he read in 1909. Mullet’s rare testimonies regarding the event of raising the flag in Tirana on November 25, 1912 and then on the 28th in Vlora where he was a participant in the proclamation of the Independence of Albania and together with Cen Kukaleshi and Mahmut Fortuzi, were received. in an audience by Ismail bej Qemali, who appointed Qazim to the post of Deputy Commissioner of the Prefecture of Durrës …
Memoirs of Qazim Mullet
We learned the Albanian language (after 1900) secretly because the Young Turks did not keep their promise to open schools in the Albanian language, and I was informed that there was a school in Tirana that taught in the Albanian language, claiming that a foreign language was taught. Through Hasan Beshiri I entered this school, and this was the school of Filip Ashik (“Locant Cang”) where for three months in a row I learned the alphabet of the Albanian language doing Italian, French and German, with the dictionary of Father Jak Cung of 1805- and the works of Gjergj Fishta. Also, in 1907, in the gymnasium of Durrës, the teaching of the Albanian language was allowed.
Our club “Bashkimi” consisting of Shefik Kondi, Zyber Bakiu, Xhemal Kondi, Mahmut Fortuzi, Mustafa Mara, Zelka, later Qazim Nekiu, Ferit Dervishi, etc., faced the reactions of the fanatics. A strong war broke out between the Albanian nationalists and the Halduks (itihatxhit). Our group, however small in number, but morally strong in every place or meeting developed strong propagandists for the opening of the alphabet of the national language with Latin letters and we called them Latinos. With the neighbors, almost every night we gathered in our house after dinner, we were always for the spread of writing the Albanian language with the Latin alphabet and in every village and town we went we did this propaganda. My enthusiasm and love for the nation grew stronger in 1909 when I sang “Malcis Lahuta”. After the closure of the “Union” Club by the Young Turks, his place was almost taken by a chamber of Hysen Kukalesh. This historic ode for the nationalists of Tirana, had become our nursery, where almost every night we gathered and sang national newspapers or songs with these friends: Xhaferr Stërmasi, Mahmut Fortuzi, Beqir Luga, Et’hem Luga, Zyhdi Këlliçi, Sait Kavaja, Qazim Mulleti, Shefik, Xhemal and Rexhep Kondi, Mustafa Mara, Hafiz Ibragimi, Shim Ndroqi, Zelka, etc. It should be remembered that many times the fanaticism was so strong that the halldups beat people with whips.
In the room of Hysen Kukalesh, for the first time I saw the red National Flag with the black proud vulture in the middle, which was brought by Mahmut Fortuzi, on this occasion I was very touched by the enthusiasm and I kissed him with tears in my eyes. That night I did not sleep from the joy I felt. In 1910-11, when the operation of Dërgut Pasha against the Albanian nationalists took place, in Tirana more than 60 nationalists were imprisoned, from whom our comrades Hafiz Ibrahim Dalliu, Ali Efendi Kukaleshi, etc. were beaten in the streets of Tirana. I, the youngest of them, as soon as I saw that my house was surrounded by a patrol of soldiers, I managed to escape and leave. I escaped and went to the village, where I stayed 3-4 days. After the despotism of the Prophet Pasha, we were very upset and waited for the opportunity with you against them.
In the spring of 1912, the Kosovo Revolution crisis led by Hasan Bey Prishtina and the Uprising of Central Albania on the mountain of Sari Salltik in Kruja, led by Abdi Bey Toptan, Refik and Masar Toptan. I, although young in age, joined the insurgents, we took with us and a villager, Dem Farka, we went to the mountain of Kruja. When we arrived in the village of Bilanja (Masar Toptan’s farm) I learned that the insurgents had gone to Skure (Kurbin). With the help of Masar Toptan’s tears, Mr. Ndrei accompanied me with two people and I took the road to Skure where I arrived at the house of Gjin Pjetri (Preng Previz’s uncle). Here I met a little boy, Preng Previz, where he had come from Shkodra, where he went to school, and we sang Lahuta together. From there Gjon Pjetri accompanied me and I arrived in Orosh of Mirdita, in the house of Preng Pasha. There, together with Idriz Vlora, I learned that Shefik Kondi was accidentally injured, we went out together to Mal i Bardhë in Milot.
After staying for 5-6 days, I joined Refik Toptan’s gang, which was mentioned for patriotic activity. We loaded up and went to the shore of Mat to face an army coming from Shkodra against the insurgents. After a few days we came together with Refik Begun and met with Shefik Kondi, Maliq Meren (Myrta) a brave man from the village of Priska e Madhe Tirana. Maliqi together with Haxhi Ferren were taken by Jusuf Elezit to wait on the street of Durrës to kill the prosecutor of Tirana Sali Bej, who was a furious young Turk against the Albanians at the time when the army of Dërgut Pasha came to Tirana, he acted very badly against us but Unfortunately, this had passed before Maliqi and Haxhiu arrived. I talked to Maliqi (who was a close friend of my father) and we decided to enter Tirana in order to kill Musa Beqari, who was the chairman of the Halldups.
We stayed in Tirana for 5 days secretly but we could not do anything. Musa Beqari in those days did not go out in the square and did not sleep in his house for fear. Manej came out again and joined Masar Toptan’s gang in Bilaj. A month after the Agreement between the leaders of the Kosovo Uprising and the Government of Istanbul was reached and the Nationalist Uprising ended with winning 14 points of the Albanian cause as delegates of Central Albania, we participated and went to Skopje Abdi Toptan, Mustafa Kruja and me. We returned to Tirana, but I must mention that all the fanatics, halldups looked at us with disdain after we had fought against my father’s army.
A few days later, the Balkan War was declared and most of Albania was occupied by Serbia. On November 23, 1912, the Serbian army crossed the Mata coast and on the 24th entered Kruja and thus sounded the alarm in Tirana. At first it was thought to go to war and Refik Toptani took the initiative to lead the people in this war, he called me and I and he and some of my friends answered that we are ready. A commission from the city parish went and met the commander of a Turkish regiment that had arrived the day before from Elbasan. It was completely armed with modern tools. The commander at first replied that he was ready to fight with the people and went and captured the hills of Preza and Vora. The people went to war when they later learned that the Turkish army had not stopped at all in strategic places and had taken the road to Kavaja. It was then realized that the stand against the Serbian army was impossible as it was equipped with cannons, machine guns and modern tools.
After the fighting was over, then we, the nationalists of Tirana, gathered at the house of Refik Toptani to proclaim the Freedom of Albania, to raise the National Flag, but then a big meeting took place in Beledije where the halldups (itihatxhit) also took part, who by force of fear with tears between the pages accepted our proposals and so on November 26, in the afternoon the building of the Municipality and the Sub-Prefecture of Tirana was illuminated with the National Flag. Our joy was unparalleled. All of us, Albanian nationalists, started singing patriotic songs, but, unfortunately, the flag did not last long, because on the 27th the Serbian army entered and burned it. Cen Kukaleshi and Mahmut Fortuzi and I went to Vlora with our national flag. The next day we were received in the audience by the great elder Ismail Qemali, and there he proposed to me to receive a service and so with the order he gave me he laughed and was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Prefecture of Durrës. With this order I presented myself to the mayor Hamdi Toptani, who replied that I should wait a few days. The mayor did not want to cooperate with me, so I continued on my way.
During the Serbian occupation that lasted 6 months, the Albanian nationalists were persecuted by the Serbian authorities, a large number were imprisoned like Shefik Kondi and his brothers, Xhemali and Rexhepi escaped. On December 29, on a cold night around 12.30 pm, a detachment of 200 Serbian soldiers blocked and surrounded our house, where that night Zyber Këlliçi, Ali Mulleti, Rexhep Nizami, Luman Vora and two villagers of others I do not remember the names. The cause and result of the blockage of the house was: I had come that night from Durrës, where I had gone only with the intention of finding out any news about the fate of poor Albania. In Durrës I went to the Catholic Church, which was the cradle of nationalists where I met Don Frano Gjini (in 1946 he was shot by the communists) whom I had known in Orosh in the spring of 1912 where he was on the side of the insurgents. He received me with great joy and informed me that the self-government of Albania has been decided by the international community.
It should be noted that the Catholic Church of Durrës was under Serb surveillance. There I met two Italian-Albanians, one of whom they called Belucci, a journalist, and these confirmed the establishment of national independence. Bile, z. Belucci gave me a letter to Refik Toptan. In Durrës I also met Mahmut Bashiri who was a dragoman (translator) of the Austrian Consulate in Durrës and he gave me the good news that the independence of Albania was recognized by the internationals and I had to inform all my friends in Tirana that in a few days the Serbs would leave the Arbnore land . Italian journalist z. Belucci also gave me some Italian newspapers that wrote about the independence of Albania and especially the newspaper Papagalli Illustrate, which presented Albania as a young and beautiful girl who came out of the chains of slavery. I took all this, of course stopped by the Serbian authorities and with great joy, regardless of the danger that could find me, I took it with me and showed it to everyone who was in our house. After midnight, when they left to go to their homes, Rexhep Nizami, an Albanian voice says: go and inform Reshit Beun and Qazimi that they are surrounded and hide any letters and anything compromising that they have. These words were said by Ismail Grepsa, who for subsistence had remained under the service of the Serbian gendarmerie, but his heart was burning and he was helping us.
Then I tore up and destroyed all the letters and newspapers I had brought from Durrës. After a few minutes, the commander of the center, who was also the deputy prefect of Tirana, with 50 soldiers enters our house and says: who is Reshit Mulleti and his son Qazimi. My desolate father replies: I am and behind him I was too. The commander ordered the soldiers to take the bayonets, from which the line with a revolver in his hand threatened us, especially the father, saying these words: ‘Albanian Nemseli, do you know what I am doing to you. You are agents of Austria, etc., etc. ‘ The rest of the soldiers went inside the rooms checking their backs. When the check was over, my father and I were picked up and taken to the Prefecture, where the prefect himself interrogated us. The questions were mostly addressed to my father, where in my opinion the spy in Durrës was a Podgorican from Durrës, he had mistyped my name with that of his father and they addressed you to your father who was in Durrës, at the Austrian Consulate, at the Catholic Church and met with two italian. My father rightly denied being in Durrës and all the others, that it was actually me, not him. With the mediation of Mr. Nikoll Nishku and Man Lasku, etc., orthodox of Tirana, who were trusted by the commander of the Serbs, we were released from prison with the condition not to receive a guest at home and to appear every day in command. After some time, the Serbs fled and the rebellion began, the Movement of Haxhi Qamil, the events with Esat Pasha, etc.
Note: I was 20 years old at the time of raising the Flag. I had completed all the schools with excellent results as in Bitola, as in Zosimea and the Elite College of the Turkish Empire I had completed with high results and I was the first in school, many times I overcame the years, and therefore I was the best friend ri./Memorie.al