Albanian Premier Edi Rama never disappoints when it comes to exchanging favors prior to elections with Turkish President Erdoğan. He has produced a video message addressing to the Turkish electorate, with Turkish subtitles, urging the ppublic to support the President on the occasion on the presidential and parliamentary elections of May 14.
In the beginning of his video address, Rama highlights that “Turkey is facing an election of great importance not only for the Turkish nation and people, but also for the Balkans and Europe”.
“It is, without question, the duty of the citizens of the Republic of Turkey to choose the leader and the government they want. No one can and knows to do this better than them. But in respect of each of them, I want to express the highest regard for President Erdoğan, whose vision, courage, and hard work turned Turkey into an example of a fantastic transformation in the eyes of the whole world. The exemplary strengthening of Turkey and the creation of a new awareness of the strength of the Turkish nation and state, did not only bring good things to Turkey and its people, but also created great difficulties, very strong contradictions that culminated in questioning the integrity of Turkey’s institutions, even the life of the president himself. I know President Erdoğan has strong critics, as well as supporters. But I just want to say that in such difficult times, his experience and character, his role in easing the heavy burden of the conflict in Ukraine on grain supply routes and many other countries threatened by the weight of that conflict, or the weight of the threat of terrorist hotbeds, are valuable assets to consider for all those who will decide on who will lead Turkey this Sunday. To Albania and Albanians, President Erdoğan is a good friend on some of the hardest days, from the day of Kosovo’s independence, with Turkey being the first to recognize it, to the earthquake tragedy in Albania, with Turkey supporting hundreds of affected families by building new homes, or the help in getting vaccines against the deadly virus, when others were too busy with their own problems. To me personally, President Erdoğan is not only a good friend in days of need, but also a very special political leader, because he does what he says. Some think he is too rigid and maybe they are right. But in this phase of the Turkish history and in a world that is so unpredictable, not bending was exactly what Turkey needed and still needs. Wishing the Turkish nation all of God’s blessings, I wholeheartedly hope that citizens keep in mind the irreplaceable role Turkey has in these delicate times for the Balkans and for the whole Europe”.
Rama also supported Turkey in his address in last year’s TRT world forum, where he warned the Western allies about its role in the Western Balkans:
“It is also very important to say it clearly and loudly to all our European and American friends that in the Southeastern Europe and in the Western Balkans in particular, Turkey is not a third power, it is not another foreigner in our part of Europe. Turkey is a regional power and for our region, for the Western Balkans, it is a determining one”.