|a republic in SE Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula: became independent in 1912 after more than four centuries of Turkish rule; established as a republic (1946) under Communist rule; multiparty constitution adopted in 1991. It is generally mountainous, rising over 2700 m (9000 ft), with extensive forests. Language: Albanian. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: lek. Capital: Tirana. Pop: 3 193 000 (2004 est). Area: 28 749 sq km (11 100 sq miles)|
Republic in southeastern Europe on the Adriatic Sea coast of the Balkan Peninsula, bordered by Yugoslavia to the northwest, north, and northeast, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the southeast and south. Tirana is its capital and largest city.
Note: The most secretive and closed of the former Eastern Bloc nations, Albania held free elections in March 1991, ending almost fifty years of communist rule and inaugurating a multiparty system. Protests over the collapse of a government-sponsored fraudulent investment scheme led to near anarchy in 1997. United Nations peacekeepers restored order.