|Dedë Gjon Luli Dedvukaj /
Ded Gjo Luli
Photo of Ded Gjo Luli
Trabojin, Scutari Vilayet, Ottoman Empire (in modern-day Podgorica, Montenegro)
|Died||September 24, 1915
Orosh (in modern Mirditë District, Albania)
|Known for||Commander of the Highlanders insurgent during the 1911 revolt|
Dedë Gjon Luli Dedvukaj, known as Ded Gjo Luli (1840–1915), A nationalist figure and guerrilla fighter, he was one of the leading commanders of the Albanian Revolt of 1911, and is regarded as a national hero.
He took part in the League of Prizren, and when in August 1878, the Congress of Berlin ordered a border resolution between the Ottomans and Montenegrins, and the Albanians successful resistance to the treaty forced the Great Powers to return Gusinje and Plav to the Ottoman Empire and grant Montenegro the mostly Albanian-populated coastal town of Ulcinj. Ded Gjo Luli took part in the resistance of Gusinje and Plav in 1879-1880.
Dedë joined the Albanian Revolt of 1911, and became a chief commander of the rebel army. King Nikola Petrović of the Montenegro supported the rebellion, and with Dedë Gjon Luli being the leader of the uprising in the Shkodër highlands, was compelled by King Nikola of Montenegro to summon the mountain people to arms. Podgorica had become the headquarters of the Albanian revolutionaries.
King Nikola had provided a refuge for the insurgents, and General Vukotić himself passed out weapons to them. This was done in spite of Montenegro being officially neutral. King Nikola, wanting to use the rebels for his own ends, forced them to return across the frontier and to attack the Turkish forces. Dedë Gjon Luli and some 8,000 highlanders took up arms against the Ottoman divisions. Shefket Turgut Pasha was sent with a large force against the insurgents, but was defeated in several encounters with the highlanders, most notably in the Battle of Deçiq, where the highlanders defeated the Ottoman division. At the conclusion of the battle, the Albanian flag was symbolically raised on the Bratile mountain for the first time in 442 years of Ottoman occupation (since the fall of Shkodër, in 1479).
Despite aiding the rebels, Nikola's strategy was to stimulate unrest in northern Albania and north-western Kosovo to the point where he could intervene and annex more territory for Montenegro. After the League of Prizren, Dedë Gjon Luli resisted Montenegrin incursions into Hoti and Grudë. Dedë Gjon Luli was killed by Montenegrin forces near Orosh in Mirdita.
In Tirana, Albania's capital city, there is a street named in his honor called "Rruga Ded Gjo Luli". In the village of Bardhaj in Hot, the rubble of his house, that was left in ruins after the war, was converted into a museum which represents his life as a hero to the Albanian people.
But his basic strategy, clearly, was the same as before: to stimulate unrest in northern Albania and north-western Kosovo, to the point where he could intervene and annex more territory for Montenegro.