29 April 2024

Support from TİKA to “Two Prominent Figures from Korçë in the Ottoman Empire: Iljaz Bej Mirahori and Koçi Bey” Symposium

The “Two Prominent Figures from Korçë in the Ottoman Empire: Iljaz Bej Mirahori and Koçi Bey Symposium,” organized in cooperation with Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the Alsar Foundation and the Fan S. Noli University of Korçë, was held on April 18, 2024 in Korçë, Albania.

The Rector of Fan S. Noli University of Korçë, Prof. Dr. Dhimitri Bello; TİKA’s Coordinator in Tirana, Mustafa Ata; the President of the Alsar Foundation, Mehdi Gurra; the Education Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye in Tirana, Metin Bulut, representatives of Turkish institutions and organizations, representatives of Albanian institutions, academicians, diplomats, representatives of NGOs and many other guests attended the opening ceremony of the symposium.

During two sessions organized within the scope of the symposium, 11 academicians, researchers and country experts invited from Türkiye, North Macedonia and Albania presented their papers.

Iljaz Bej Mirahori, an Albanian descent commander and statesman who served the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Bayezid II, earned the title “İmrahor” for his role in the Siege of Constantinople in 1453. Becoming the sanjak-bey of Korçë after the Conquest of Constantinople, Iljaz Bej transformed Korçë into a cultural center and garrison city, and constructed the Iljaz Bej Mirahori Mosque, which was the first mosque of the city and was later restored by TİKA.

Koçi Bey, whose real name was Mustafa and nickname was thought to be “Koçi,” was taken as a devshirme from Korçë in Albania at a young age, and was accepted to the Enderûn and studied there. Known for the risales (a series of reports) he wrote during the reign of Sultan  Murad IV and his brother Sultan Ibrahim, Koçi Bey is a writer, thinker and statesman who influenced Ottoman politics and administration in the 17th century.

The symposium aims to enhance the strong historical, cultural and social ties between Albania and Türkiye, which date back to the 14th century, enlighten the deep-rooted history between the two countries and raise awareness among the young generation.

The articles presented in Turkish, Albanian and English during the symposium will later be published as a book.

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