The expulsion of Albanians and appropriation of their property and settlement by Serbs

Colonization of southern areas
The Decree on populating the southern areas, that we already wrote about before, enters into force today. Ministry of Agrarian Reform was granted a loanof 20 million dinars for execution of the Decree. In this way, the long stalled issue was finally taken off the agenda. But, despite everything, the interest of those who wanted to populate these areas seem to have decreased, judging on very small number of applications for settlement. Also, the number of already settled persons is not so big; it is only about 4.400 persons. So far most of colonists were settled in fertile plains of Metohija, then in Kosovo, and finally in Kumanovo and Tetovo area. An attempt to populate wine growing areas around Tikves and Bregalnica (river) valley failed due to malaria, which is there very frequent and very strong. Also, areas populated with purely Arnaut element (ethnic Albanians) could not be populated. The so far settlers to southern areas already founded their agricultural cooperatives, which were foreseen in previous regulations as well. As an aid to those cooperatives the Ministry for Agrarian Reform sent recently 100.000 dinars. The aid will continue to be allocated to cooperatives in allotments of 100.000 dinars, but only under the condition if given loans are used for these purposes, foreseen in the Decree. Otherwise, aid will be stopped. The same applies for new settlers, who besides agricultural and Vardar cooperatives, have to establish agrarian communities as well, which will guarantee the payoff of spent loans to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform.
Newspaper “Politika”, Beograd, 20 novembra 1920
The story of an old lady
The story of an old lady named Melika Akbad who had 103 years during the i. “… I came in Turkey when i was 7 years old. We came by a ship in where my little sister was born. When we arrived in the farm which was given to us by the Turkish state we where very frightened that they thought we were “Shkije” (Slavs-Christians). We suffered a lot because we had nothing to eat. Our mother prepared for us meals only with onions without any salt and oil or plant and this was how she feed us, her three daughters. In the beginning the state gave us only a small plate of corn or plants flour. Some of the woman’s were left alone with no husbands being that they were dead or the state gave them different jobs. After a period of time we were forced to change the habitat and therefore we lived in a mosque for three years…”
The Problem of the Displacement of Albanians from Yugoslavia

The experience of the eviction and emigration of Albanians  from Serbia before 1920 was seen as an example for later policy in Yugoslavia.  Dimitrije Bogdanovic argues that Turks and Muslim Albanians’ departure from Serbia in the nineteenth century and during the Balkan wars was spontaneous. They left because they were not confident about living under Christian rule and because they feared revenge. Between 1910 and 1920 the reduction in population was rather due to emigration of the Albanians and not losses in the wars. The numbers involved were relatively small, about 40,000 by 1921. The Turkish authorities were complicit in helping to facilitate the departure of the Albanian population.

Dimitrije Bogdanovic, Knjiga o Kosovu, 1986 

Alexander Pavlovic, Colonization of Kosovo 1918-1941

In the pe­riod bet­we­en the two World wars abo­ut 12.000 fa­mi­li­es of Serbs and Mon­te­ne­grins had been co­lo­ni­sed in Ko­so­vo and Me­to­hi­ja. Re­a­li­sa­tion of co­lo­ni­sa­tion was un­der di­rec­tion of se­ve­ral agra­rian of­fi­ces with se­ats in so­me of the most im­por­tant cen­ters in Ko­so­vo and Me­to­hia, and each of tho­se of­fi­ces go­ver­ned re­a­li­sa­tion of co­lo­ni­sa­tion in two or mo­re ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­vely de­vi­ded are­as wit­hin ter­ri­tory of Ko­so­vo and Me­to­hia in the pe­riod stu­died. Using ava­i­la­ble ar­chi­ve do­cu­ments to­get­her with stu­di­es of so­me do­me­stic aut­hors who had con­tact with co­lo­ni­sa­tion whi­le do­ing the­ir re­se­ar­ches, the aut­hor of this pa­per in­tends to ma­ke – re­gar­ding men­ti­o­ned ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve are- as di­vi­sion – a re­vi­ew of num­ber of co­lo­nists, num­ber of the­ir fa­mi­li­es and of pla­ces co­lo­nists co­lo­ni­sed in, all due to put so­me light on spa­tial di­stri­bu­tion of co­lo­nists, to put so­me light on which ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve are­as, which re­gi­ons in Ko­so­vo and Me­to­hia ge­ne­rally, we­re in­vol­ved in the pro­cess of co­lo­ni­sa­tion.
The aut­hor fo­und out that co­lo­ni­sa­tion to­ok pla­ce in 594 pla­ces (num­ber of pla­ces with co­lo­nists, ran­ging from tho­se with only one fa­mily to tho­se co- lo­nist fa­mi­li­es who­se num­ber ro­se to a few hun­dred), and that among tho­se pla­ces we­re so­me which had exi­sted be­fo­re co­lo­ni­sa­tion, as well as pla­ces (in a les­ser num­ber) which we­re bu­ilt as real co­lo­ni­es as a re­sult of co­lo­ni­sa­tion.

Al­so, the aut­hor fo­und out that num­ber of co­lo­nists and num­ber of pla­ces whe- re co­lo­nists li­ved we­re the hig­hest in the ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­ve are­as of Dja­ko­vi­ca, Is­tok, Pec, Gnji­la­ne, Gra­ca­ni­ca, in Me­to­hia val­ley and Ko­so­vo pla­ne, that is in tho­se re­gi­ons of Ko­so­vo and Me­to­hia with wi­der pos­si­bi­li­ti­es for agri­cul­tu­re, re­la­ti­vely good traf­fic con­nec­ti­ons, etc.

People leaving Kosovo as a result of colonization policy.