Country Name: Republika e Shqipërisë / Republic of Albania
Human Name: Valon Marku
Age Appearance: 24
Nation Age: not completely certain, but he is approximately 1000 years, give or take. The first record of Albanian people dates back to the 11th century.
Birthday: 28th November (the date in which he declared independence)
Capital City: Tirana
Main Religions: Islam
Faceclaim: Shpat Kasapi
Brief Overall Description
Valon is an awkward sort of guy, who doesn't always strike others as approachable during his first impression. He lightens up considerably and is more comfortable sharing his thoughts with those he considers friends. Depending on who you are, this guy could seem unfriendly, perhaps intimidating, but to others, they will find him much more lively and actually more cheerful than he looks. Mind you, he did spend part of his history rather isolated from others, so he's gradually coming out of his shell again. Throughout history, he was seen as a bit of a pushover, and more compliant than some of his neighbours, which seemed to put him at odds with them, rather than in favour. When Valon was younger, he was much more wild and bad-tempered with his behaviour and is quite the chaotic personality, but this has mellowed out as he learned to take better control of his emotions.
Still, Valon has a way of going for the unconventional approach to life, which can sometimes come across as less organised and out of the box to other nations. He can be aloof and eccentric, with a thought pattern only his closest friends can read. Actually, he's rather envious of Greece's philosophical knowledge and will sometimes try to change his vocabulary to sound more formal, even when in reality, he's not always sure of what the words even mean, or what he's talking about in the first place. He did spend a lot of time without the strongest education, but nowadays he's been working hard to better his knowledge and improve himself as a nation overall.
Valon is a man with a strong build, and he's quite the handy man and enjoys DIY (do it yourself) work. In fact, with his build and his height, it is possible that others may have set high expectations for him. Albania does not boast a great talent for sport. What Albania does seem to have a talent for is spreading like wildfire. Within his own lands, there are approximately 3 million people, but outside of Albania are 7-10 million people living in other countries around Europe. Valon may come across pretty blunt and throw people off, but the truth is he is more well intentioned than he seems. And finally, there is one thing Valon has been working on - he has a habit of taking things and not always putting them back where they belong. Oops.
Foreign Relations (MAJOR WIP)
AUSTRIA - Austria had supported Albania in the past, though Albania had turned on him a few times. They’re not the most trusting of one another, considering their history, but they appear to be on fairly good terms nowadays. This is further emphasized by the agreements that were made between the two countries in 2008 to expand their relations. One could say however, that it was Austria who helped to influence Albania’s dislike of Serbia in the past. Austria has two embassies in Albania’s house – one in Tirana and one in Shkodër.
BULGARIA - Bulgaria had fought with the Byzantine Empire over who got ownership of Albania, but the former eventually backed down. Since then Bulgaria hadn’t made many attempts to get Albania back, though the Treaty of San Stefano said that Bulgaria could have lands belonging to Albania, which he protested against. The two appear to be on closer terms nowadays, having made free trade agreements to strengthen their ties with one another.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA -
CZECH REPUBLIC -
UNITED KINGDOM -
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -
(let me know if anything's inaccurate! I wrote this over a year, nearly two years ago, tying in history and how I headcanoned Albania the personification to be during those times).
Albania’s territory used to be inhabited by the Illyrian tribes whose territory generally covered the Western Balkans, which Albania was part of. The Albanians first appear in historical record during the time of the Byzantine Empire, which was formed after the Roman Empire was divided. By this time however, Albania was fully Christianised and little information is there on Albanian culture prior to Christianisation. Albania was very young back then and all he appears to recall regarding that are pagan elements (influenced particularly by the Greeks) and that his folklore was of Paleo-Balkanic origin. There are many arguments regarding the origin of the Albanians such as the disproved Caucasian theory and the Pelasgian theory. While it’s true that Albania does have close ties to Greece, he also feels his heritage holds closer ties to the Italians and the Roman Empire.
So Albania started out as territory that was fought over by the Byzantine Empire, but the area suffered raids from the Goths and the Huns, which weakened Roman and Byzantine cultural centres within the area. However, the Bulgarian Empire had a hold on Albania and fought over him with the Byzantine Empire and there were many uprisings from the Bulgarians to fight the Byzantine Empire, but they were defeated repetitively. Then with the Church split in 1054, the northern half of Albania reverted to the jurisdiction of Rome while the south kept its ties to Constantinople. This was the first significant religious fragmentation within the country, which put some stress on Albania at a very early age. But eventually Bulgaria backed off as they kept losing the fights over Albania.
After the weakening of both the Bulgarian and the Byzantine Empire, Serbia took over Albania and created three entities, which were Albania, the Principality of Arbër and the Kingdom of Albania. There was a lot of conflict and rivalry during the rule of the Serbian Empire, which began Albania’s dislike of Serbia. When the Serbian Empire fell, many Albanian Principalities were created and thus Albania’s struggle for unity continued. This certainly didn’t improve when the Ottoman rule tried to expand into the Albanian territories. At first Albania went with the flow and surrendered, thus allowing his people to maintain their positions and property.
In 1444, there was the League of Lezhë, which united the Albanian Principalities. This was organised by George Kastrioti Skanderbeg who wanted to unite the Principalities to help defend Albania from the Ottoman Empire for about two decades. Albania feels grateful to Skanderbeg, who was considered a national hero and a core figure of the Albanian National Awakening. It was because of Skanderbeg that Albania felt inspired to fight back against the rule of another Empire after having succumbed to Empire rule often before. Albania was already very stressed out and had a horrible temper, but he was able to channel that temper into fighting back against the Ottomans for another decade after Skanderbeg passed away. Skanderbeg remains important to the Albanians today and his family’s banner, which was red with a two-headed black eagle, became the Albanian flag later on.
Eventually the Ottoman Empire seized control over Albania, which caused a lot of Albanian refugees to flee to places such as Southern Italy, Sicily, Romania and Egypt. Various changes were made to Albania due to the Ottoman rule. One of the biggest changes was that Albania converted to Islam, which put Albania in favour with the Ottomans in terms of trade networks, bureaucracy and the army. About 42 Grand Viziers of the Ottoman Empire were of Albanian origin, in fact. Of all the countries to have been under Ottoman rule, Albania appeared to have one of the better relationships with the Ottoman Empire.
However, when the Ottoman Empire began to weaken, anarchy became more prominent in Albania’s territories and he became more rebellious towards Ottoman Empire rule. He’d follow along with the Ottomans when it suited him and then other times, he would defy instead.
Relations between Albania and the Ottoman Empire worsened as a new wave of revolts were weakening the empire. This was further emphasized by the Massacre of the Albanian beys, in which the Ottoman Empire tricked the Albanians into thinking they were going into a ceremony when in fact, it was an ambush. This was a huge blow to Albania, who felt hurt and deceived and went into further revolt. The Ottoman Empire was able to shut him down for the most part, though Albania was able to win some of the battles. One notable battle was the Battle of Gjuricë, in which the Ottoman Empire suffered a great number of losses and even Albanian women and children were reported to have fought in the battle. But the Ottoman Empire had a greater number of soldiers and armaments which allowed them to win. Still, the battle was mentioned in a song that is famous to the Albanians and sung even today.
During the late 1800s was the Russo-Turkish War, which dealt blows to the Ottoman Empire’s power in the Balkan peninsula. This had Albania paranoid that again he’d be split between other powers such as Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro. After the war was the Treaty of San Stefano, which assigned Albania’s lands into becoming territories of the afore-mentioned three countries. This brought about more anxiety for Albania and he worked towards setting up the League of Prizren, which set out to thwart this treaty. The Ottomans supported this League for the most part, but it still didn’t help towards Albania’s independence. In fact, one of Germany’s leaders said at the time that “an Albanian nation did not exist” and the Congress of Berlin forcing Albania to hand over territories. During this time, Albania was loyal to the Ottoman Empire for the most part and so they, through the League, were able to prevent certain territories from going to Greece and Montenegro that would’ve been handed over had there not been a resistance.
However, after the events surrounding the Congress of Berlin, the Ottoman Empire really was weakening and so Albania started to rebel yet again. In 1906, the Young Turks group emerged, opposing the Ottoman Empire. Albania supported them for a while and were able to get the ban lifted off Albanian-language schools, which brought about the Albanian literary revival. However, the League of Prizren was dissolved in the end. The next league, the League of Peja, which was supported by Italy and the Austria-Hungarian Empire, was made with the purpose of trying to create an Albanian vilayet. This League lasted for a shorter time however as its leader was assassinated by a Serbian agent.
There were further revolts by Albania, but it was the revolt in 1911 in which Albania finally proved how impossible it was for the Ottoman Empire to maintain unity within the empire. The revolts in 1912 from there were much more successful and the Ottoman Empire had to submit to Albania’s demands. Albania finally felt able to proclaim himself independent on November 28th 1912. However, it was the First Balkan Wars that made it easier for Albania to revolt and gain his independence. For the most part though, Albania did remain neutral during these wars though countries like Serbia tried to occupy Albania during this time. During this occupation, Serbia’s armies committed various crimes against the Albanian population but denied committing such crimes. Montenegro too was after Albania’s territories, thus the Siege of Scutari, which was a battle between Montenegro and Serbia against Albania and the Ottoman Empire. Greece also occupied Albania for a while. It was the Treaty of London ensued that Albania did get the independence he was after and Serbia, Montenegro and Greece were forced to withdraw.
However political chaos erupted within Albania due to the interruption of World War One. Surrounding nations began to occupy Albania again with Italy in particular taking over and occupying most of the land when the war had finished. Italy, Serbia and Greece all fought over taking control of Albania. At the Paris Peace Conference, France, Britain and Greece had agreed to divide Albania up between Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece. However, this deal was being made behind Albania’s back. It was the United States of America that stepped in and disagreed with this deal and helped Albania get admitted as a member in the League of Nations. For a while, Italy and Albania became allies against Greece, with Italy supplying Albania with more armaments, though Italy did take many of Albania’s resources in return. Eventually Albania fought back against this with a Communist movement set on liberating Albania from the Italian and German forces that occupied Albania in the Second World War. After the war, Albania was left one of the most devastated countries with up to 10% of the population being left homeless.
Albania switched to Communism, his name becoming the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania from 1946 to 1976. The country’s government even took steps towards introducing a Stalinist-style economy. He also tried to make Yugoslavia give him back Kosovo, but they refused to do so and eventually Albania stopped with the demands. The two signed a treaty of friendship but relations declined when Albania felt Yugoslavia didn’t care about him and were just exploiting him. However Albania was seen as insignificant to the other communist countries and Albania wasn’t invited to the Cominform. The Soviet Union told Albania to provide himself with more agricultural and industrial machinery but Stalin told one of Yugoslavia’s leaders that Yugoslavia should ‘swallow’ Albania instead.
Due to the switch in Communism, Albania was refused entry into the United Nations and began to fear that Britain and the USA would allow Greece to take his territory. The two nations aimed to overthrow Albania’s communist regime. During the years of communism, Albania’s health care and education improved greatly and relations between the Soviet Union and Albania were good. Albania was involved with the Warsaw Pact, but the Pact did nothing to rid Albania’s huge distrust of Yugoslavia. Albania and China also sided with each other a few times in disagreeing with Moscow on certain issues, providing aid to one another, creating the Sino-Albanian alliance. However Albania found that he was getting too reliant on China and began to make trade negotiations with France and Italy to name a few. And so there was the Sino-Albanian split and eventually communism fell.
After Albania broke away from Communism, his government switched to a democracy and he opened to better his relations in the West. He was accepted into the Council of Europe, requested membership in NATO and is aiming to be accepted into the European Union. However, due to his inexperience with capitalism, there were problems that occurred in the 1990s. His ties with Bulgaria, Turkey, Macedonia, Italy and Greece improved and the US-Albanian military co-operation continued. His debt also reduced over time and he’s getting more of a grasp on the idea of capitalism. The EU has still rejected Albania’s request for candidate status. He seems to keep having problems with political crisis too.
This will be updated with further information on personality, foreign relations and history.
So yes, the lineart was done by the ever lovely Ask-Cambodia
, and was coloured by moi~! And guess what, chickies? Albania was actually my first properly researched Hetalia OC, not Philippines! I actually have a full bio for this guy, but I'm currently revamping it to go with this format and whatnot. Anywho, this is my precious boy - and I actually think he's got one of the best personalities of my OCs, just for the fact that the way this guy operates is just... what. I mean, working out how my Philippines operates is easy (gotta work hard, super hospitable, happy cheer cheer I CAN DO THIS DON'T TELL ME I CAN'T omg food<333) and same with my Colombia (I'm the hottest bitch here and you all know it is the truth deep down)... but with my Albania..? Heck if I know--//runs
but honestly, I love figuring out my own characters, it's fun for me, lmao. Maybe I project a lot of independence to my characters, because they just kind of do their own thing and sometimes it isn't always operating with what I want them to do.
Anywho, faves and comments are always appreciated, and I hope to get more profile sheets up over time of my OCs. XD
Albania OC / Valon Marku belongs to
Lineart was done by
Hetalia belongs to