Glossary -- Albania
- A political union of Geg clans under a single head, the
bajraktar (q.v.). Term literally means
"standard" or "banner".
- The hereditary leader of a bajrak (q.v.).
Term literally means "standard bearer".
- An order of dervishes of the Shia branch of the Muslim faith
founded, according to tradition, by Hajji Bektash Wali of
Khorasan, in present-day Iran, in the thirteenth century and
given definitive form by Balim, a sultan of the Ottoman Empire in
the sixteenth century. Bektashis continue to exist in the
Balkans, primarily in Albania, where their chief monastery is at
- ruler of a province under the Ottoman Empire.
- Title of honor adopted by the Ottoman sultans in the
sixteenth century, after Sultan Selim I conquered Syria and
Palestine, made Egypt a satellite of the Ottoman Empire, and was
recognized as guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
Term literally means "successor"; in this context, the successor
of the Prophet Muhammad.
- Comecon (Council for Mutual Economic
- A multilateral
economic alliance headquartered in Moscow. Albania was
effectively expelled from Comecon in 1962 after the rift in
relations between Moscow and TiranŽ. Members in 1989 were
Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic
(East Germany), Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, the Soviet
Union, and Vietnam. Comecon was created in 1949, ostensibly to
promote economic development of member states through cooperation
and specialization, but actually to enforce Soviet economic
domination of Eastern Europe and to provide a counterweight to
the Marshall Plan. Also referred to as CEMA or CMEA.
- Cominform (Communist Information
- An international organization of communist parties, founded
and controlled by the Soviet Union in 1947 and dissolved in 1956.
The Cominform published propaganda touting international
communist solidarity but was primarily a tool of Soviet foreign
policy. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia was expelled in June
- Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
- Furthers European security through diplomacy, based on
respect for human rights, and a wide variety of policies and
commitments of its more than fifty Atlantic, European, and Asian
member countries. Founded in August 1975, in Helsinki, when
thirty-five nations signed the Final Act, a politically binding
declaratory understanding of the democratic principles governing
relations among nations, which is better known as the Helsinki
- Originally a Greek city, Byzantium, it was made the capital
of the Byzantine Empire by Constantine the Great and was soon
renamed Constantinople in his honor. The city was captured by the
Turks in 1453 and became the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The
Turks called the city Istanbul, but most of the non-Muslim world
knew it as Constantinople until about 1930.
- cult of personality
- A term coined by Nikita Khrushchev at the Twentieth Congress
of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956 to describe
the rule of Joseph Stalin, during which the Soviet people were
compelled to deify the dictator. Other communist leaders,
particularly Albania's Enver Hoxha, followed Stalin's example and
established a cult of personality around themselves.
- democratic centralism
- A Leninist doctrine requiring discussion of issues until a
decision is reached by the party. After a decision is made,
discussion concerns only planning and execution. This method of
decision making directed lower bodies unconditionally to
implement the decisions of higher bodies.
- European Community (EC)
- The EC comprises three communities: the European Coal and
Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC,
also known as the Common Market), and the European Atomic Energy
Community (Euratom). Each community is a legally distinct body,
but since 1967 they have shared common governing institutions.
The EC forms more than a framework for free trade and economic
cooperation: the signatories to the treaties governing the
communities have agreed in principle to integrate their economies
and ultimately to form a political union. Belgium, France, Italy,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany
(then West Germany) are charter members of the EC. Britain,
Denmark, and Ireland joined on January 1, 1973; Greece became a
member on january 1, 1981; and Portugal and Spain entered on
January 1, 1986. In late 1991, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland
applied for membership.
- European Currency Unit (ECU)
- Instituted in 1979, the ECU is the unit of account of the EC
(q.v.). The value of the ECU is determined by the value
of a basket that includes the currencies of all EC member states.
In establishing the value of the basket, each member's currency
receives a share that reflects the relative strength and
importance of the member's economy. In 1987 one ECU was
equivalent to about one United States dollar.
- European Economic Community (EEC)
- See EC.
- GDP (gross domestic product)
- A measure of the total value of goods and services produced
by the domestic economy during a given period, usually one year.
Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the
economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and
depreciation (consumption of capital). Only domestic production
is included, not income arising from investments and possessions
owned abroad, hence the use of the word domestic to
distinguish GDP from gross national product (GNP--q.v.).
Real GDP is the value of GDP when inflation has been taken into
- Public discussion of issues; accessibility of information so
that the public can become familiar with it and discuss it. The
policy in the Soviet Union in the mid- to late 1980's of using
the media to make information available on some controversial
issues, in order to provoke public discussion, challenge
government and party bureaucrats, and mobilize greater support
for the policy of perestroika (q.v.).
- GNP (gross national product)
- GDP (q.v.) plus the net income or loss stemming from
transactions with foreign countries. GNP is the broadest
measurement of the output of goods and services by an economy. It
can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes
and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only
transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at a factor cost,
removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
- Helsinki Accords
- Signed in August by all the countries of Europe (except
Albania) plus Canada and the United States at the conclusion of
the first meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe, the Helsinki Accords endorsed general principles of
international behavior and measures to enhance security and
addressed selected economic, environmental, and humanitarian
issues. In essence, the Helsinki Accords confirmed existing,
post-World War II national boundaries and obligated signatories
to respect basic principles of human rights. Helsinki Watch
groups were formed in 1976 to monitor compliance. The term
Helsinki Accords is the short form for the Final Act of the
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and is also
known as the Final Act.
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in
1945, the IMF has regulatory surveillance, and financial
functions that apply to its more than 150 member countries and is
responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and
payments. Its main function is to provide loans to its members
(including industrialized and developing countries) when they
experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans
frequently have conditions that require substantial internal
economic adjustments by recipients, most of which are developing
countries. Albania joined the IMF in October 1991.
- Soldiers, usually of non-Turkish origin, who belonged to an
elite infantry corps of the Ottoman army. Formed a self-
regulating guild, administered by a council of elected unit
commanders. From the Turkish yeniÁeri; literally, new
- A province of the Serbian Republic of Yugoslavia that shares
a border with Albania and has a population that is about 90
percent Albanian. Serbian nationalists fiercely resist Albanian
control of Kosovo, citing Kosovo's history as the center of a
medieval Serbian Kingdom that ended in a defeat by the Ottoman
Turks at the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389. Residents of Kosovo
are known as Kosovars.
- lek (L)
- Albanian national currency unit consisting of 100 qintars. In
early 1991, the official exchange rate was L6.75 to US$1; in
September 1991, it was L25 = US$1; and in January 1992, the
exchange rate was L50 = US$1.
- machine tractor stations
- State organizations that owned the major equipment needed by
farmers and obtained the agricultural products from collectivized
farms. First developed in the Soviet Union and adopted by Albania
during the regime of Enver Hoxha.
- The ideology of communism, developed by Karl Marx and refined
and adapted to social and economic conditions in Russia by Lenin,
which guided the communist parties of many countries including
Albania and the Soviet Union. Marx talked of the establishment of
the dictatorship of the proletariat after the overthrow of the
bourgeoisie as a transitional socialist phase before the
achievement of communism. Lenin added the idea of a communist
party as the vanguard or leading force in promoting the
proletarian revolution and building communism. Stalin and
subsequent East European leaders, including Enver Hoxha,
contributed their own interpretations of the ideology.
- most-favored-nation status
- Under the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GATT), when one country accords another most-favored-
nation status it agrees to extend to that country the same trade
concessions, e.g., lower tariffs or reduced nontariff barriers,
which it grants to any other recipients having most-favored-
nation status. As of January 1992, Albania had not been a member
of GATT and had not received most-favored-nation status from the
- net material product
- The official measure of the value of goods and services
produced in Albania, and in other countries having a planned
economy, during a given period, usually a year. It approximates
the term gross national product (GNP--q.v.) used by
economists in the United States and in other countries having a
market economy. The measure, developed in the Soviet Union, was
based on constant prices, which do not fully account for
inflation, and excluded depreciation.
- Ottoman Empire
- Formed in thirteenth and fourteenth centuries when Osman I, a
Muslim prince, and his successors, known in the West as Ottomans,
took over the Byzantine territories of western Anatolia and
southeastern Europe and conquered the eastern Anatolian Turkmen
principalities. The Ottoman Empire disintegrated at the end of
World War I; the center was reorganized as the Republic of
Turkey, and the outlying provinces became separate states.
- Title of honor held by members of the Muslim ruling class in
the Ottoman Empire.
- Mikhail S. Gorbachev's campaign in the Soviet Union in the
mid- to late 1980s to revitalize the economy, party, and society
by adjusting economic, political, and social mechanisms.
Announced at the Twenty-Seventh Party Congress in August 1986.
- Shia (from Shiat Ali, the Party of
- A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam.
The Shia supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive
right to the caliphate and leadership of the Muslim community,
and on this issue they divided from the Sunni (q.v.) in
the first great schism within Islam. In 1944, when the communists
assumed power in Albania, about 25 percent of the country's
Muslims belonged to an offshoot of the Shia branch known as
- The authoritarian practices, including mass terror, and
bureaucratic applications of the principles of
Marxism-Leninism (q.v.) in the Soviet Union under Joseph
Stalin and in East European communist countries.
- Sublime Porte (or Porte)
- The palace entrance that provided access to the chief
minister of the Ottoman Empire, who represented the government
and the sultan (q.v.). Term came to mean the Ottoman
- The supreme ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Officially called
the padishah (Persian for high king or emperor), the
sultan was at the apex of the empire's political, military,
judicial, social, and religious hierarchy.
- Sunni (from Sunna, meaning "custom,"
having connotations of orthodoxy in theory and practice)
- A member of the larger of the two great divisions within
Islam. The Sunnis supported the traditional (consensual) method
of election to the caliphate and accepted the Umayyad line. On
this issue, they divided from the Shia (q.v.) in the
first great schism within Islam. In 1944, when the communists
assumed power in Albania, about 75 percent of the country's
Muslims were Sunnis.
- A follower of the political, economic, and social policies
associated with Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav prime minister from
1943 and later president until his death in 1980, whose
nationalistic policies and practices were independent of and
often in opposition to those of the Soviet Union.
- Treaty of San Stefano
- A treaty signed by Russia and the Ottoman Empire on March 3,
1878, concluding the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. If
implemented, would have greatly reduced Ottoman holdings in
Europe and created a large, independent Bulgarian state under
Russian protection. Assigned Albanian-populated lands to Serbia,
Montenegro, and Bulgaria. Substantially revised at Congress of
Berlin (q.v.), after strong opposition from Great
Britain and Austria-Hungary.
- Uniate Church
- Any Eastern Christian church that recognizes the supremacy
of the pope but preserves the Eastern Rite. Members of the
Albanian Uniate Church are concentrated in Sicily and southern
Italy, and are descendants of Orthodox Albanians who fled the
Ottoman invasions, particularly after the death of Skanderbeg in
- Warsaw Treaty Organization
- Formal name for Warsaw Pact. Political-military alliance
founded by the Soviet Union in 1955 as a counterweight to the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Albania, an original member,
stopped participating in Warsaw Pact activities in 1962 and
withdrew in 1968. Members in 1991 included Bulgaria,
Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the
Soviet Union. Before it was formally dissolved in April 1991, the
Warsaw Pact served as the Soviet Union's primary mechanism for
keeping political and military control over Eastern Europe.
- World Bank
- Name used to designate a group of four affiliated
international institutions that provide advice on long-term
finance and policy issues to developing countries: the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the
International Development Association (IDA), the International
Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment
Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the
primary purpose of providing loans to developing countries for
productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund
administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to
furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much
easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC,
founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through
loans and assistance designed specifically to encourage the
growth of productive private enterprises in less developed
countries. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD
hold the same positions in the IFC. The MIGA, which began
operating in June 1988, insures private foreign investment in
developing countries against such non-commercial risks as
expropriation, curl strife, and inconvertibility. The four
institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that
subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group,
member states must first belong to the IMF (q.v.).
- Young Turks
- A Turkish revolutionary nationalist reform party, officially
known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), whose leaders
led a rebellion against the Ottoman sultan and effectively ruled
the Ottoman Empire from 1908 until shortly before World War I.
- Established in 1918 as the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and
Slovenes. The kingdom included the territory of present-day
Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia,
and Slovenia. Between 1929 and 1945, the country was called the
kingdom of Yugoslavia (land of the South Slavs). In 1945
Yugoslavia became a federation of six republics under the
leadership of Josip Broz Tito. In 1991 Yugoslavia broke apart
because of long-standing internal disputes among its republics
and weak central government. The secession of Croatia and
Slovenia in mid-1991 led to a bloody war between Serbia and
Croatia. In the fall of 1991, Bosnia and Hercegovina and
Macedonia also seceded from the federation, leaving Serbia (with
its provinces, Kosovo and Vojvodina) and Montenegro as the
constituent parts of the federation. Under the leadership of
President Slobodan Milosevic, however, Serbia retained
substantial territorial claims in Bosnia and Hercegovina and
Croatia at the beginning of 1992.