Turkey has an estimated 1.3 to 5 or 6 million citizens of full or partial Albanian descent, many of whom feel a connection to Kosovo. Erdogan has said “Do not forget, Turkey is Kosovo, Kosovo is Turkey”. The comments caused outrage in Serbia. Erdogan has over 500 troops operationL in Kosovo.
A few years ago Kosovan intelligence services illegally extradited six Turkish citizens on orders that were likely to have come directly Erdogan of Turkey through President Thaci. An investigation by a Kosovan parliamentary committee has revealed the extent of Erdogan’s pursuit of political opponents overseas, and how Ankara used a security agency that acted without the knowledge of the Kosovan prime minister. The Turkish men were legally resident in Kosovo when they were arrested one year ago. They were immediately extradited to Turkey, where they have been imprisoned in the notorious Silivri prison outside Istanbul.
Recently the president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, resigned following an indictment for war crimes. He pleaded not guilty to all war crimes charges brought against him in his first appearance before a judge after being taken into custody in The Hague.