In a televised interview for ‘Diplomaticus’ a News24 programme in Albania, Turkey’s Ambassador to Albania Hidayet Bayraktar said that Albania should stand by its strategic partnership and should not turn into a threat for Turkey.
‘No threatening perception should derive from Gülen’s organization FETÖ in Albania towards Turkey. We believe that Albanian authorities will show the necessary sensitivity and together we can work to destroy all FETÖ‘s extensions active across the beautiful country of Albania’ – said Turkish Ambassador Bayraktar who reminded Tirana’s officials that Albania has engaged on a ‘strategic partnership’ with Turkey.
According to Turkish official allegations, Gülen has 12 schools, of which 2 universities and a language training center, as well as a printing house and civil society organizations operating in Albania. Bayraktar said that in addition there is a Business Association under Gülen’s control as well as various educative programmes which are engaged in ‘brain-washing’ activities across Albania.
The fresh threat from Erdogan comes as Recep Erdogan’s government continues its purge of the exiled cleric’s supporters following the summer’s failed coup.
Last week, Qutbadin Gülen, the brother of Fethullah Gülen was detained in western Turkey on suspicion of being involved in the coup attempt which saw soldiers on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul in July.
Since the coup, relations between Ankara and Tirana have been strained due to a heavy presence of Gülen’s investments in the Balkan country. While Turkey has declared FETÖ a terrorist organization, Albania maintains that no terrorist organization has any educational activity in its territory.