Turkey in Europe? Rivers of ink have been spilled on this "vexata questio". The chancelleries of the EEC (European Economic Community) do not yet know what to do. Certainly the embarrassment is enormous, since the Turkish Republic is already part of NATO.
So? There are terrible knots on the table to be resolved, such as the respect of human and political rights by the Ankara Government towards ethnic minorities. And then the Armenian genocide (1915) is still denied! These are subjects of extreme importance. However we wish to talk about another historical topic that certainly may interest us Shqipëtarë and Arbëreshë. Here are some flash biographies relating to the members of an illustrious House that dominated the Ottoman Empire (which lasted from 1299 to 1922) for more than thirty-five years!
● Mehmed Köprülü [Mehmèt Qypriljòti, in Albanian] / He was born in Köprü, in Anatolia (1583 year), from a family with a very clear Albanian ethnicity. Under the orders of the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafà took part in numerous war campaigns and became Governor of Damascus, working with justice and liberality. Following the Government crisis that tormented the Ottoman Empire and after the Venetian victories in Paros (1651) and Chio (1656), Mehmet was elected Grand Vizier in September 1656. His powers placed him on an equal footing with Sultan Muhammad IV (1641-1692). He reestablished order and reorganized the army, subjugated some provinces that had rebelled, crushed religious fanaticism that fomented new revolts. He rearranged the finances of the state, personally led the war in Transylvania and Anatolia, annihilating the rebels. 31 died on October 1661 in Adrianople, after five years of Regency.
● Zadeh Fadil Ahmed Köprülü [Fazìl Zadhèu Ahmet Qipriljòti] / Son of Mehmèt, was born in 1635 in Vezirkopru. He received an excellent education, becoming an expert in Law. In the 1658 he assumed the position of Vicar of Erzerum, and the following year of Damascus. He supported victorious battles against the Druses. On the death of his father, he succeeded him as Grand Vizier (1661). He knew how to govern intelligently, overcoming his father in diplomacy. He definitively restored the order in the provinces of the Empire, while at the same time guaranteeing stable borders. Fair and severe, he was able to expand the Ottoman territories with remarkable territorial conquests; in the 1663 he obtained Neuhause, in Hungary, in the 1664 with the peace of St. Gotthard he had further territories, in the 1669 he conquered Candia, in the 1672 Kamenev snatching it from the Poles who in the 1676 forced the peace of Zurawna, favorable to the Turks. Protected and favored studies and the arts: he founded a famous library in Constantinople, part of which still exists today. 3 November 1676 died at Corlu. He is buried next to his father in Constantinople.
● Zadeh Mustafa Köprülü [Zadhè Mustafà Qipriljòti] / Brother of Fazìl Zadhèu Ahmet, was born in 1637. He was named Grand Vizier in the 1689. He died fighting against the imperial troops of Leopold I of Habsburg (1640-1705) in the 1691 in Szlànkemen. He is buried in the turben of the family at Costantinpoli.
● Numan Mehmed Köprülü [Numàn Mehmèt Qypriljòti] / Son of Zadhè Mustafàu. He went through all the high military ranks also covering (from 1710 to 1711) the position of Grand Vizier. He died in the 1719.
● Fadìl Abdullah Köprülü [Fazìl Abedhalàu Qypriljòti] / Brother of Numàn Mehmèt. He also noted for great military merits, even managing to superbly "patriotize" his native letters. Death seized him in the 1735 with the twelfth year of his mandate as imperial vizier.
● Mehmed Fuat Köprülü [Mehmèt Fuàt Qypriljòti, 1890-1966] / Descendant from a cadet branch of Numàn Mehmèt. Professor at the University of Istanbul (1913-1943), he devoted himself to the study of ancient Ottoman history, Turkish literature and Byzantine and Middle Eastern affairs, introducing modern methods of historiographical research in Turkey. Member of the 1936, in the 1946 he was one of the founders of the Democratic Party, holding the post of Foreign Minister in the 1950-1956 period. Among the books he published in the field of historiography: "The origins of the Ottoman Empire" (1935) and "History of Islamic civilization" (1940).