Erdogan’s Turkey exercises significant control and influence in Albania. Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama, known for his close relations with Erdogan, was the only leader from Europe to attend Erdogan’s daughter’s wedding.
Despite Albania’s constitutional secularism, in 2015 Erdogan inaugurated the Grand Mosque “Namazgja,”, the largest mosque in Albania, financed by Turkey’s Department of Religious Affairs ( the Diyanet). Many see this as clear proof of Erdogan’s unambiguous Islamist agenda in Albania.
Turkey’s investments in Albania are selective and strategically calculated. They include ownership of the country’s second-largest bank, hydropower plants, an iron smelting plant, as well as the former state-owned telecom operator “Albtelecom” and the mobile operator “Eagle Mobile.” But by bit, Albania is becoming more and more dependent upon Erdogan.
On July 23 2020, the Albanian parliament passed a bill for the ratification of a military funding agreement with Turkey.This agreement intends to determine the allocation of a $2 million grant from Turkey for the purchase of military equipment from Turkish companies.