Turkish Democracy under Fire, Rama Congratulates Erdoğan

After the OSCE published its report with preliminary findings about the constitutional referendum in Turkey, calling it essentially unfair and a risk for democracy, Prime Minister Edi Rama has congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on his resounding victory.

Turkish press service Anadolu reports that the Albanian Prime Minister placed the call yesterday evening.

It appears that Prime Minister Rama, who enjoys a close relation with the Turkish President, waited with his call to be certain that the referendum was certified as undemocratic, unfree, and unfair. Now that Western countries have openly expressed their reservations about the political developments in Turkey, he felt it was time to show on whose side he really was.

Prime Minister Rama is not the first to reach out to the new Turkish autocrat. Other leaders that congratulated President Erdoğan in recent days were Macedonian President Gjorgje Ivanov, who has been blocking the formation of a new Macedonian government for weeks, and US President Donald J. Trump. From Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Belorussian President Aleksander Lukashenko extended their well-wishes. Other countries that have congratulated the President Erdoğan are Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan.

With his call to President Erdoğan, the Prime Minister has once again shown that brutal display of power and repression are much closer to his heart than free and fair elections. And with the elections in Albania around the corner, it is good to have a confirmation of his general attitude toward democracy.