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Essad Pasha

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Essad Pasha (born Essad Toptani, 1863-1920) was a leader of the opposition forces that overthrew Prince William of Wied in Albania and served as Prime Minister of that country for one month, shortly after William left.

Born in Tirana, Albania, he was a supporter of the Young Turks[?], serving as deputy for Albania in the Ottoman parliament. During the 1913 Balkan War[?], he was commander of the Ottoman forces at Shkodr, until he was forced to surrender to Montenegro in 1913.

As head of the powerful Toptani family, Essad Pasha was originally appointed to the cabinet created by William of Wied in February, 1914, but by May of that year he had been dismissed and arrested for treason. He managed to reach Italy, but returned to Albania following the ouster of William in September. With an army of supporters, he occupied the city of Tirana[?] in the center of the country and was declared prime minister on October 5.

Though his rule was shortlived, Pasha succeeded in controlling much of central Albania until 1916, when he left for Serbia to help them in their war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the war, he travelled to France, hoping to represent Albania at the Paris Peace Conference[?] but, like William of Wied, he was virtually ignored by the delegates.

For the next two years, Essad Pasha remained in Paris as an exile, attempting to organize a coup and ensure his return to Albania. He was assassinated on June 13, 1920.



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