In 1879 the population numbered 20,000, and by a murderous raid attracted the attention of Midhat Pasha, then vali of the province of Syria.
He sent large bribes to influential persons at Constantinople; he aided the Turkish vali to repress the Christians, who had again revolted; and he supported the Bosnian nobles against reforms imposed by the vali.
The city is the headquarters of an army corps, and the see of an Orthodox Greek archbishop, of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Albanians and of a Bulgarian bishop. Its principal buildings are the citadel, the palace of the vali or provincial governor, the Greek and Bulgarian schools, numerous churches and mosques and a Roman aqueduct.
And the government of the province given to Husain Khan, the chief of a rival tribe, with the title of vali in exchange for that of atabeg.
Shortly after his accession, and is said to have contributed to the realizations of his majesty's design of concentrating power in his own hands; later he became successively minister of the interior and Vali of Brussa, reaching the high post of grand vizier in 1879.
He knew, however, how to retain the confidence of the sultan, who not only confirmed him in the possession of the whole of Albania from Epirus to Montenegro, but even in 1799 appointed him vali of Rumelia, an office which he held just long enough to enable him to return to Iannina laden with the spoils of Thessaly.
His brother Vali Mehemet, who succeeded in 1605, soon alienated his subjects, and was supplanted by his nephew Imamkuli.
Below him ranked the newly converted Moslem aristocracy, who adopted the dress, titles and etiquette of the Turkish court, without relinquishing their language or many of their old customs. They dwelt in fortified towns or castles, where the vali was only admitted on sufferance for a few days; and, at the outset, they formed a separate military caste, headed by 48 kapetans - landholders exercising unfettered authority over their retainers and Christian serfs, but bound, in return, to provide a company of mounted troops for the service of their sovereign.
He was still but a vali among the rest, holding his many pashaliks nominally by the sultan's will and subject to annual reappointment; and he knew that both his power and his life would be forfeit so soon as the sultan should be strong enough to deprive him of them.
The vali now called up regular troops from Erzingan; and the sultan issued a firman calling upon all loyal subjects to aid in suppressing the revolt.