Sanjak of Üsküp

Administrative unit of the Ottoman Empire from 1463 to 1913

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Sanjak of Skopje
Üsküp Sancağı
Скопски санџак/Skopski sandžak
Sanxhaku i Shkupit

Üsküp Sancağı
Sanjak of the Ottoman Empire
Flag of Üsküp

Coat of arms of Üsküp
Coat of arms

Capital Skopje
• Established
• Treaty of London (1913)
May 30, 1913

Preceded by

Succeeded by
District of Branković
Kingdom of Serbia
Today part of North Macedonia

The Sanjak of Üsküp was one of the sanjaks in the Ottoman Empire, with Üsküb (modern-day Skopje) as its administrative centre.


Starting from the end of the 10th century Skopje experienced a period of wars and political troubles. It served as Bulgarian capital from 972 to 992, and Samuel of Bulgaria ruled it from 976[1] until 1004 when its governor Roman surrendered it to Byzantine Emperor Basil the Bulgar Slayer in 1004 in exchange for the titles of patrician and strategos.[2] It became a centre of a new Byzantine province called Bulgaria.[3] Skopje (Üsküb) had previously been the capital also of the short lived Serbian Empire between 1346 and 1371.

Üsküb became part of Ottoman Empire after it was captured from the District of Branković on January 6, 1392.[4][5] The first Ottoman governor of Skopje was Pasha Yiğit Bey, who conquered Skopje for the Ottoman Empire.[6] The next one was Isak-Beg who was sent to lead military actions in Serbia in spring of 1439, and was replaced by his son Isa-Beg Isaković in the position of sanjakbeg of the Sanjak of Skopje.[7]

The sanjak was initially formed as the so-called krajište (Skopsko Krajište; lit. borderland of Skopje) that was transformed into a full sanjak in the mid-16th century.[8]


The Sanjak of Üsküp had often been given to beylerbeys as arpalik.[9] Up to the 19th century, the sanjak was part of the Eyalet of Rumelia.

Uprisings against the Ottoman government occurred in the sanjak in 1572, 1584, 1585 and 1595.[10] During the Great Turkish War, Austrian general Silvio Piccolomini burnt down Skopje in 1689.

In 1868 the Sanjak of Skopje together with the Sanjak of Prizren, Sanjak of Dibra and Sanjak of Niš became part of the newly established Prizren Vilayet.[11] When Kosovo Vilayet was established in 1877, the Prizren Vilayet (without several nahiyas annexed by the Serbia) and its Sanjak of Skopje became part of Kosovo Vilayet, with Skopje as its seat.

According to the Ottoman General Census of 1881/82-1893, the kaza (sub-district) of Usküp had a total population of 70.170, consisting of 40.256 Muslims, 22.497 Bulgarians, 6.655 Greeks, 724 Jews and 38 Latins.[12]

During the First Balkan War in 1912 and the beginning of 1913, the Sandzak of Skopje was liberated by the Kingdom of Serbia. On the basis of the Treaty of London signed during the London Conference in 1913, its territory became a part of Serbia.


Ethnoconfessional Groups in the Sanjak of Üsküp as per the 1881-1882 Census[13]

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  Bulgarians (54.3%)
  Muslims (42.5%)
  Greeks and Serbs (2.7%)
  Jews (0.5%)

According to the 1881–1882 and the 1905–1906 census of the Ottoman Empire, the population of the Sanjak of Üsküp is distributed, as follows:[14]

Ethnoconfessional group
Census of 1881-1882 % Census of 1905-1906 %
Orthodox Bulgarians (Exarchists) 147,847 54.3 144,545 53.9
Muslims 115,858 42.5 113,603 42.3
Orthodox Greeks (Patriarchists) 7,248 2.7 8,606 3.2
Jews 1,234 0.5 1,198 0.4
Roman Catholics 46 0.0 605 0.2
Protestants 97 0.0 173 0.0
Armenians 1 0.0 1 0.0
Total 272,331 100.0 268,729 100.0

Ethnoconfessional Groups in the Sanjak of Üsküp as per the 1905-1906 Census[13]

  Bulgarians (53.9%)
  Muslims (42.3%)
  Greeks & Serbs (3.2%)
  Jews (0.4%)
  Miscellaneous (0.2%)

Furthermore, according to the Ottoman salname for 1903, the population is distributed, as follows:[15]

  • Bulgarians – 126,701
  • Muslims – 94,006
  • Greeks – 5,123
  • Serbs – 4,843
  • Others – N/A

List of governors[edit]

The earliest governors, of the so-called Skopje krajište:



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  1. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}“Medieval Kale”. Archaeological exavations Skopsko Kale. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  2. ^ (Skylitzes-Cedr. II, 455, 13)
  3. ^ Byzantine Military Organization on the Danube, 10th–12th Centuries, Alexandru Madgearu, BRILL, 2013, ISBN 9004252495
  4. ^ “Archeological exavations “Skopsko Kale”. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-07. The handwriting of the triod of the Khludov collection in the Moscow Historical Museum no. 162, completed on 6 January 1392, on the day of the Ottoman conquest of Skopje.
  5. ^ Сима Ћирковић; Раде Михальчић (1999). Лексикон српског средњег века. Knowledge. p. 645. ISBN 9788683233014. Retrieved 24 July 2013. Такав санџак-бег, као скопски (од 1392), имао је знатно шира овлашћења: надзирао је суседне трибутарне господаре и имао је право да сам организује и предводи мање освајачке по- ходе.
  6. ^ Houtsma, Martijn Theodoor (1993), Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. VIII, Netherlands: E.J. Brill and Luzac and Co., p. 876
  7. ^ Godišnjak (in Serbo-Croatian). Sarajevo, SFR Yugoslavia: Društvo Istoričara Bosne i Hercegovine: 46. 1953. To se najbolje vidi iz sadržine vijesti na osnovu koje znamo za njihovu prisutnost u Bosni 1438 godine, a još bolje iz činjenice da se u proljeće sljedeće godine ovdje pojavio novi skopski sandžakbeg Isa-beg, sin dotadašnjeg skopskog sandžaka Ishak bega koji je bio upućen na akcije u Srbiji {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Evliya Çelebi (1967). Hazim Šabanović (ed.). Putopis – Kulturno nasljeđe (in Serbo-Croatian). Svjetlost. p. 279. 29. Skopski sandžak nije osnovan odmah poslije zauzimanja Skoplja, nego je od 1392. pa sve do pada Srbije (1459.) i Bosne (1463.) Skoplje bilo sjedište krajišnika koji su upravljali cijelim turskim područjem od Skoplja do Vrhbosne. Osnivanjem smederevskog i drugih sandžaka u Srbiji i bosanskog sandžaka to je krajište znatno smanjeno i izgubilo značaj koji je dotle imalo. Sredinom XVI. v. ono je postalo središnja oblast zasebnog skopskog sandžaka.
  9. ^ Ljubiša Doklestić (1964). Kroz historiju Makedonije: izabrani izvori. Školska knj. p. 65. Retrieved 24 July 2013. …[Skoplje] je sjediste sandzak-bega posebnog [sandzaka] u ru- melijskom ejáletu, ali je taj sandzak mnogo puta davan mir-i miranima od dva tuga [kao arpaluk].
  10. ^ Trudy Ring; Robert M. Salkin; Sharon La Boda (1995). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe. Taylor & Francis. pp. 659–. ISBN 978-1-884964-02-2.
  11. ^ Grandits, Hannes; Nathalie Clayer; Robert Pichler (2010). Conflicting Loyalties in the Balkans The Great Powers, the Ottoman Empire and Nation-building. Gardners Books. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-84885-477-2. Retrieved 5 May 2011. In 1868 the vilayet of Prizren was created with the sancaks of Prizren, Dibra, Skopje and Niš; it only existed till 1877
  12. ^ Kemal Karpat (1985), Ottoman Population, 1830-1914, Demographic and Social Characteristics, The University of Wisconsin Press, p. 140-141
  13. ^ a b Karpat, K.H. (1985). Ottoman population, 1830-1914: demographic and social characteristics. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Pres. pp. 144–145, 166–167.
  14. ^ Karpat, K.H. (1985). Ottoman population, 1830-1914: demographic and social characteristics. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Pres. pp. 142–143, 166–167.
  15. ^ Ahbab, Yakup (2015). “Administrative and Socio-Economic Structure of the Skopje Sanjak (1876-1911) / Üsküp Sancağı’nın idari ve sosyo/ekonomik yapısı (1876-1911)” (PDF) (in Turkish). p. 77.


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