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western Macedonia, southern Serbia, southeastern Montenegro and northwestern Greece, who share a common ancestry, culture and language.

Albanians produced many prominent figures such as Skanderbeg, leader of the medieval Albanian resistance to the Ottoman conquest, and others during the Albanian National Awakening seeking self-determination.

During the 17th and 18th century, Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, often to escape higher taxes levied on Christian subjects as well as a plethora of other reasons including ecclesiastical decay, and from 1945 to 1992 Albanians lived under a communist government.

Between the 11th and 18th centuries, sizeable numbers of Albanians migrated from the area of contemporary Albania to escape either various sociopolitical difficulties or the Ottoman conquest.

One population which became the Arvanites settled down in southern Greece who starting from the 16th century though mainly during the 19th century onwards assimilated and today self identify as Greeks.

Approximately 1 million are dispersed throughout the rest of Europe.

These are mainly refugees from Kosovo that migrated during the Kosovo war.

However approximately 500,000 people are reported to profess an Albanian identity.

Of those with full or partial Albanian ancestry and others who have adopted Turkish language, culture and identity their number is estimated at 1,300,000–5,000,000 many whom do not speak Albanian.

During the Kosovo war in 1999, many Kosovo Albanians sought asylum in the Federal Republic of Germany.

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