Prof. Dr. Mustafa Şentop, Speaker of the GNAT answered journalists’ questions on the second day of his visit to Albania. 05.02.2021

Şentop told he is pleased to be in Albania, our friend and brother and stated that he had fruitful meetings yesterday with President Ilir Meta, Speaker Gramoz Ruçi and Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Şentop indicated that the relations between Turkey and Albania are excellent in all aspects, "There are historical and cultural ties between Albania and Turkey. Additionally, the number of Albanian origin citizens residing in Turkey are close to the total population of Albanians living in the Balkans. Therefore, they constitute a strong tie and a bridge between the two countries."

Speaker Şentop stated that this is one of the most prominent elements that provides a strong basis for bilateral relations in terms of politics, history, culture, economy and trade and indicated that the meetings of Prime Minister Rama and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during Rama’s visit to Ankara and signing of High Level Strategic Cooperation Agreement carried already existing excellent relations in all areas to a different and higher ground.

Şentop told that they agreed on increasing contacts of interparliamentary friendship groups and committees in terms of interparliamentary relations, "Of course, the pandemic had a negative effect on these relations however, following the pandemic guidelines during the pandemic process, we will intensify contacts after the pandemic. Turkey-Albania economic and trade relations are rising on favorable grounds. Our trade volume of half a billion dollars did not regress seriously in 2020 despite the pandemic conditions. This shows that our trade volume is based on solid reasons, justifications. Hopefully, our aim is to increase this twice as much, that is over one billion dollars. We have the potential. If we work more and enhance our efforts, we will succeed altogether.”

Şentop warned the Albanian public about FETÖ and continued his words accordingly:

“Turkey had to face a military attempt, a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The whole world knows that our nation flooded the streets and stood in the way of tanks and planes, suppressing the coup attempt. It was proved through the investigations of prosecutors and final court orders indicating that FETÖ was behind this coup attempt. Of course, this organization is one that was actively operating in Turkey with its educational institutions, non governmental organizations and educational firms before the coup attempt. Three bombs were dropped on the GNAT premises by planes flewn by pilots who were members of this treacherous terrorist organization. Radio recordings revealed that teachers of a school in Ankara run by FETÖ, gave the instructions to the pilots who bombed the GNAT.”

Speaker Şentop pointed out the fact that FETÖ does not operate only in Turkey and continued his words:


“It is an organization that keeps its existence like this in countries other than Turkey. People whom we call FETÖ members are not just people from Turkey, Turkish citizens. They bring in countries’ children in which they operate and make them the organization’s members.

Turkey has eliminated this security threat. However, I’d like to reiterate that this organization is a security threat to the countries they operate in. We warn all brotherly and friendly countries. They must be vigilant against this organization which operates under the pretense of various insidious media companies, educational institutions, non-governmental ortanizations. Of course, Turkish citizens who have perpetrated crimes including martyring of our 250 citizens, the coup attempt must be extradited to Turkey.”

Şentop told that they know about FETÖ’s existence in Balkan countries and stated the following:

“We know that there are some people in Albania who are members of this organization. Mainly our intelligence agencies, security institutions, related minitries and judicial institutions are in touch concerning this matter. These organization members must be extradited to Turkey. No country should allow this organization’s activities.”

Şentop reminded that he recently had contacts in Northern Macedonia indicating that the Balkans have a distinct place for Turkey in terms of international relations.

Şentop also mentioned the cooperation in health and the hospital that will be built by Turkey in the city of Fier, stating that the construction will be completed within three months.

Şentop stated that not only in terms of health services but also sharing of information and experience between the two countries will be beneficial and emphasized the fact that Turkey gave health equipment aid to Albania and that it would stand by the people of Albania whenever needed.

Şentop answered a question about Turkish Scholarships and told that Turkey has been awarding many young people with scholarships for 30 years through various institutions and that it would continue to do so.

Şentop underlined the fact that Turkey is the largest investor country in Albania indicating that Turkish investments in Albania are over 3,5 billion dollars and that this is the largest investment in total.

Şentop stated that there are over 600 Turkish firms in Albania of which provide employment for more than 15 000 Albanian citizens, “Could it be more? Undoubtedly. Various steps must be taken in order to attract investors and issues faced by investors must be resolved to increase investments from Turkey.”

Şentop answered a question about territorial waters between Albania and Greece and told that Turkey has been dealing with a similar issue against Greece in the Aegean.

Şentop told that they have seen that court verdicts and legal opinions do not serve as a model at this point, yet there is an international court verdict verifying Turkey’s thesis related to maritime boundaries between France and England in the English Channel, “However, despite this verdict we see France’s approach to these issues and to the detriment of its thesis, it stands close to Greece’s thesis in the East Mediterranean. I don’t see this matter discussed within the framework of international law, but it should be.”

Şentop mentioned carrying the relations between Albania and Turkey to “strategic partnership” level, “Strategic partnership indeed expresses the determination in politics, international law, economy, trade and overall relations. Turkey has relations on various levels with almost all countries however, the countries which it has relations on a strategic level are quite few. One of them is Albania.”