Bursa and its 800 thousand Albanians

By: Valon Xoxa    June 2, 2014

Bursa might just well be the city with the highest population of Albanians in the world. Bursa is an industrial city located in the north-west of Turkey, with a total population of 2.4 million out of which the 800 thousand citizens of Albanian origin account for roughly one third of the population. Its mayor, Mr. Rexhep Alltepe is among many citizens who trace their origin back to Shkup (Skopje).

Mr. Rexhep Alltepe has been the mayor of Bursa for the past ten years and the city has seen a significant economic boom within the field of automobile industry during his term. Mr. Alltepe, as part of his recent plans on improving the city’s image and community’s well-being, has introduced the idea of including Albanian language at schools, as a secondary choice among other subjects.

Families from Shkup (Skopje) and Kosovo have immigrated to Bursa roughly hundred years ago but they protect their cultural heritage with passion. The Albanians in Bursa are known for having passed their culture onto their young ones by encouraging marriage inside the community.

Turkey is a host country to roughly 3 million Albanians. The vast majority of these immigrants are believed to be refugees from political and ethnic persecution by the Yugoslav state. The Turkish countryside is also famous for having whole ethnic villages of Albanians who protect and promote their culture and heritage with religious zeal.

The original article was posted at Albinfo.ch – Click here to read the original article.

Valon Xoxa

Valon Xoxa is a staff member of Kosovodiaspora.org. He holds a bachelor degree from Westminster College (MO) in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology. Currently resides in Prishtina, and is a freelance contributor and editor at KosovoDiaspora.org. With an interest in contemporary culture, he seeks to find and incorporate articles from the Kosovar Diaspora that would shed light upon the interesting characteristics of this important global community. He has published a research article through UNDP’s School on Human Development titled “Mobility and Public Participation: A Case Study of the Kosovar Diaspora”, where a rather interesting Andersonian perspective is taken at understanding the Internet as a national identity creation medium.

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