The Ottoman Empire in Europe collapsed after the Balkan Wars. Many of the political elite in Turkey were ethnically Albanian. The rise of nationalism, and failure to reform, saw groups wanting independence. Albania declared independence in 1912, although there are Albanians on either side of any of their borders with neighbours. Italy invaded in 1939 and it became a Nazi protectorate in 1943, before the Marxist-Leninist party took control through till 1991. Falling out with Russia, China and the West, Albania had a big focus on agricultural self-sufficiency. Post-Communist Albania saw people redirecting their remittances, selling homes and cattle to put cash in large scale Ponzi schemes. A crash starting in 1996 saw this 'wealth' disappear. There has been a long, slow, rebuilding of trust and Albania is now an official candidate for membership of the European Union.
Leader from 1945-1985