Erdogan Attempts to Leverage Albania Into a Crackdown on Gulenists

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan never misses a chance to advance his unsubstantiated claim that the Gulen movement is a terrorist organization and responsible for the assassination of the Russian ambassador to his nation this week. Fatjona Mejdini writes for Balkan Insight:

Turkey’s President has once again urged Albania to fight against so-called “Gulenists”, known in Turkey as the FETO organization, during the Albanian President’s visit to Ankara.

On Wednesday in Ankara, during a meeting with Albanian President Bujar Nishani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed impatience over Albania’s existing measures against supporters of the exiled Muslim cleric, Fetullah Gulen.

“Today we discussed the Fethullah Terrorist Organization, FETO, which is a common security threat against the two brotherly nations. I personally thank President Nishani for Albania’s support in Turkey’s fight against the FETO. Our demands from Albania for its fight against structures which threaten Turkey are our rightful expectation,” Erdogan said.

In his speech, Erdogan recalled the ties that connect both countries, adding that the Namazgah Mosque, which is under construction, will be a gift to the Albanian nation.

On the other hand, he recalled Turkey’s help to the Albanian people with its recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

Even the Russians are skeptical of the involvement of the Gulenist movement in the assassination of their ambassador. Mejdini’s frank reporting indicates that the Albanians are, too.

President Nishani also gave a warm his speech on the strong ties between the two peoples but was more careful when it comes to Albania’s role in dealing with Gulen organization.

He repeated that Albania condemned the failed coup in Turkey on July 15 – which Ankara blames on Gulen – while after a meeting with the speaker of parliament, İsmail Kahraman, he laid flowers on the spot where the Turkish parliament was attacked during the coup.

Ylli Pata, a journalist, and political analyst, told BIRN that Albania is hesitating about collaborating with Turkey when it comes to investigating the so-called Gulenists.

“Ankara wants an investigation of the money managed by the Gulenists in Albania through their businesses. But Albania is also conditioned [on this] but its relationships with other countries and has to be careful when it comes to financial investigations,” Pata said.

He said that enthusiasm for a strategic partnership between the two countries had started to fade, and the so-called Gulenists were not the only factor.

“The Albanian government is less relaxed when it comes to the relationship with Turkey since the coup, mainly because of the new alliance this country [Turkey] has with Russia,” he said.

In a day of instant fact-checking online, Erdogan and his henchmen are beclowning themselves on the world stage. They may not care. Meanwhile their unprecedented censorship in the own country that includes the jailing of journalist and closing down on social media outlets gives life the Joseph Goebbels Big Lie:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”



About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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