Home Page
 
News 19 May 15

Albania Ignores Erdogan's Tirade Against Gulen

Officials in Tirana show no signs of wanting to act on the request of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to close down the activities of the movement following Fethullah Gulen.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Erdogan during his visit in Albania on May 11, 2015 | Photo by " AP

Albanian officials have made it clear that Albania is not planning to act on demands by Turkey's President for the country to close down the Gulen movement.

President Erdogan made his request in Tirana last week when he called the Gulen movement a terrorist organization.

“You are aware that we are fighting a parallel [government] structure, which we officially consider a terrorist organization and which threatens our country and people,” Erdogan declared at the inauguration of work on Tirana’s new grand mosque.

“I know this structure also operates in Albania. With my brothers Edi Rama and Bujar Nishani I discussed this issue and I am sure that they will do the right thing,” he added.

The Gulen movement is a transnational religious and social movement headed by the Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen.

In Albania, the Gulen movement has built a chain of non-religious schools, from nursery to university level, which are run by a non-religious foundation. They also run madrasas in cooperation with Albania’s Muslim Community through the movement’s religious foundation in Albania, Sema

Education Minister Lindita Nikolla declared on Friday that the schools run by the Gulen movement in Albania will not be closed.

“We verify the standards of schools, their safety and their adherence to the principles of secularism,” Nikolla said, commenting on Erdogan’s request. “Schools that did not meet standards have already been closed,” she added.

In a TV interview, Albania’s President, Bujar Nishani, also indicated that the schools will not be closed.

“There is no such terrorist organization in Albania,” Nishani told Ora News TV. “The [Gulen] schools are not only properly licensed but also our experience with them is that they pose no threat to Turkey,” he added.

On Tuesday, the Speaker of Parliament, Ilir Meta, said disagreements with Erdogan on the Gulen issue would not impact on the otherwise good relations between Albania and Turkey.  

“The relationship between Albania and Turkey is historical and should be set apart from certain statements,” Meta said. “A far as the request [from Erdogan] goes, the reply of the Minister of Education was the most adequate,” he added.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

autonomy-demands-strain-hungary-romania-relations-01-15-2018
16 Jan 18

Autonomy Demands Strain Hungary-Romania Relations

Hungary and Romania are at odds – again – over the issue of Transylvanian Hungarian demands for autonomy, which Bucharest must address one day, experts say. 

elections-in-serbia-s-capital-scheduled-for-march-4-01-15-2018
15 Jan 18

Race Starts to Become Serbian Capital's Next Mayor

Opposition parties have split into several factions for the Belgrade city elections set for March 4 – weakening their chances of seizing the capital from the dominant Progressive Party.

11 Jan 18

Kosovo: New Year Brings Same Old Struggles

10 Jan 18

Predrag Lucic – Made Us Laugh, Sing and Cry

Latest News from the Balkans

16 Jan 18

Romania Ruling Party Nominates Woman as PM

16 Jan 18

Macedonia Eases Pressure on Jails