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Ahmet Bey Zogu is an Albanian politician and the current Prime Minister and Director of Secret Police of Albania.

Ahmet Bey Zogu
Zogu

Born October 8, 1895 in Castle Burgajet, Albania
Status Alive
Allegiance Flag-ALB Albania


History

Early Life

Ahmet Zogu was born Ahmet Zogolli as the third son of Xhemal Pasha Zogu (born in Castle Burgajet on 1860 and died in Mati on 1911) and Sadijé Toptani (born in Tirana on August 28 1876 and died in Tirana on November 25 1934). His father (also known as Jamal Pasha Zogolli) was the Hereditary Governor of Mati, at the time part of the Ottoman Empire. His mother was a member of the powerful Toptani family that claimed to be descended from the line of Albania's greatest national hero, the 15th century general Skanderbeg, through the general's sister. In 1922, Ahmet formally changed his name from the Turkish "Zogolli" to Zogu, which in the Albanian language means "bird".

Zogu was educated at the Galatasaray College in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Upon his father's death in 1911, he became Hereditary Governor of Mati and chief of the Gheg clan at the age of sixteen years old. He was appointed over his elder brother Xhelal Bey, who had been deemed mentally unfit.

During the Weltkrieg

As a young man during the Weltkrieg, Zogu volunteered on the side of Austria-Hungary, one of the many European powers which sought to seize Albania from Ottoman control. Because of his activism, he made the Austrians suspicious and he was detained at Vienna from 1917 to 1919 before returning to Albania in 1919. During his time in Vienna, he grew to enjoy a Western European lifestyle, and was rumoured to be very popular among the Viennese women.

After the War

Upon his return, Zogu became involved in the political life of the Albanian government. He became leader of a major reformist party, and his political supporters included many southern feudal landowners (called Beys, Turkish for "village chieftain", the social group to which he belonged) and noble families in the north, along with merchants, industrialists, and intellectuals.

When the Peace with Honour in 1921 officially determined the return of Prince Wilhelm I as Reigning Prince and the status of Albania as a formal vassal of the Ottoman Empire, revolts broke out all along the country. Prince Wilhelm was able to regain control only thanks to the Ottoman support but he was forced by the caliph to appoint the very ambitious Ahmet bey Zogu as his Prime Minister, in order to appease the population.

Zogu's government followed the European model, though large parts of Albania still maintain a social structure unchanged from the days of the direct Ottoman rule and most villages are serf plantations run by the Beys. Some rumours claim that the highly authoritarian Zogu, preferring the Germans to the Ottomans, could be a candidate for the throne of Albania...Of course, any person who has supported these fool claims has disappeared.

See also

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