World Bulletin / News Desk
Although many Balkan countries that were under Ottoman rule have been resisting the Empire's legacy by erasing and prohibiting Turkish place names, Kosovo has been an exception. The Kosovar people are sensitively protective in keeping both architectural heritage and historical names as they were in the past.
Kosovo, the heart of Balkans, had been ruled by the Ottoman administration in Istanbul for five centuries. Over the course of that period, the cultural transformation in Kosovo was not only carried out with the construction of architectural masterpieces, but also by giving new names to residential areas.
Most of the villages and cities in Kosovo named in the Ottoman era have retained their names till this day. Kosovo itself means 'black chicken' in Turkish. The capital, Pristine, was known to be a resting place for immigrants. The capital's Roman name before the Ottoman conquest was was Vicianum. After the Ottoman conquest, the city's reconstruction process was given a boost, which brought prosperity to the city. Renamed Prizren, the Ottoman name of the city literally means 'the city filled with ornaments'.
Siparantum, which was later given the name Ipek after the Ottoman conquest, also has its history embodied in its name, which means 'silk' in Turkish. This name was given personally by Sultan Mehmet II.
Some of the names have been changed due to the differences in pronunciation. For instance, Yakova, famous for its historical dervish lodges, was also called Cakova in the past. Ottomans also founded the city of Jeylan, which today is known as Gilan, meaning Gazelle.
Although the names of cities in Kosovo have been altered due to pronunciation, the Ottoman legacy has remained intact throughout the centuries.Last Mod: 24 Ocak 2014, 17:30