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 TiranŽ.
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
- 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 Bureau)
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
- 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 Accords
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
- European Economic Community (EEC)
- 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
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 (IMF)
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,
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 United States.
- 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
Title of honor held by members of the Muslim ruling class
in the Ottoman Empire.
- perestroika (restructuring)
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 Ali)
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 Bektashi (q.v.).
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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