On January 24, history witnessed the demise of three iconic figures in Albanian history: Ismail Qemali, Isa Boletini, and Ali Pasha Tepelena. Delving into the latter's intriguing tale, the order for his demise was issued on March 18, 1818 – a dramatic turn of events that unfolded four years before the crafty "old fox" found himself imprisoned.

Over the span of 40 years, the seemingly insignificant former mayor of Tepelene amassed unimaginable power, creating a legacy that resonated across borders. Ali's wealth, a rarity in the Ottoman Empire, encompassed 700 land properties spread across Macedonia, Greece, and Albania. Beyond mere acreage, his financial portfolio exceeded 20 million gold piastres, an astronomical sum for the times.

Ali Pashe Tepelena smoking

His influence extended like an imperious wave, covering all of Greece, over two-thirds of Albania, and more than a third of Macedonia (reaching up to Vardar). Commanding an active army of 20 thousand meticulously trained soldiers and boasting 150 field cannons, Ali Pasha demonstrated military prowess that surpassed his contemporaries.

While shadows may loom over certain facets of his character, Ali's legacy is marked by commendable achievements. As the Sanjakbey of Terhalla, he dismantled the antiquated Turkish governance system, elevating both Christians and Muslims to key positions of power. Ali's commitment to equality laid the foundation for a harmonious coexistence between faiths in his Sanjak. His influence extended beyond territorial boundaries, establishing him as a figure whose words resonated far and wide, bringing order and peace to the lands under his control.

An invaluable educational resource delving into Ali's life, thoughts, achievements, and demise is Sabri Godo's extensively revised book, "Ali Pashe Tepelena." Spanning a 30-year period, this book stands as a cornerstone for our blog posts centered around Ali Hysa (Ali Pashe Tepelena), serving as a primary reference point.

Rudina Selami