Prime Minister Edi Rama has remained curiously silent on the victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the constitutional referendum last Sunday.
This is all the stranger, because the Albanian government and Prime Minister Rama personally have been a supporter of President Erdoğan’s regime since the beginning.
Prime Minister Edi Rama was a personal witness to the wedding of President Erdoğan’s daughter on May 14, 2016, together with other leaders of Muslim states.
The Albanian government has also supported the Turkish government in its witch hunt against the supposed “terrorist” organization of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen by issuing a decree in October 2016 that prohibits, in violation of the Constitution, private educational institutions in Albania from “using ‘Turkish’ names, national symbols of the Republic of Turkey, including the Turkish flag.” This decree was explicitly aimed at the several educational institutions in Albania related to the Gülen movement.
Then in November 2016, during the second presentation of the new police uniforms, Prime Minister Rama explicitly “thanked” President Erdoğan for his “support” in the project, which was mired in suspicious public procurement procedures and a design that is a direct copy of Turkish police uniforms.
However, in spite of both his personal connections with President Erdoğan, and the ostensibly good relations between the governments of both “brother nations,” Prime Minister Rama appears to hesitate to extend his congratulations, even though his political project is remarkably similar to Erdoğan’s.