Albania refuses Erdogan’s ‘ultimatum’

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The Albanian government has refused to follow through with the Turkish president’s request – made during his visit to Tirana – concerning members of the Gulen movement who live and operate in our country.

During a public message, PM Edi Rama said that ‘we don’t owe Erdogan or Turkey anything’.

“We don’t owe Turkey or the Turkish president anything and nor does the Turkish president and Turkey owe anything to us because amongst friends and brotherly relations, there is no room for debts,” – said Rama.

During his visit to Tirana on January 17, Erdogan asked that the Albanian government take concrete steps towards addressing the issue of Gulen’s presence and influence in our country.

According to him, this was a ‘precondition’ towards maintaining a good friendship and partnership between both of our countries. In addition, he considered the Gulen movement ‘a serious threat to Albania’s national safety’.

This isn’t the first time Erdogan makes such requests. In January of last year, when PM Rama and the Albanian cabinet visited Ankara, the same thing was reiterated.

In May 2016, Turkey officially declared cleric Gulen’s movement a ‘terrorist organization’

Erdogan argues the Gulen stands behind the failed coup which took place on July 15, 2016 in Turkey.

Albania has so far refused to hand over members of the Gulen movement to Turkish authorities.

Since 2016, our government has allowed certain leeway like allowing Turkish investments in our country to take over institutions previously owned by Gulen’s organization.

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