Albania

Shqipëria / Arnavutluk

Relations between Albania and Turkey date from the arrival of the Ottomans in the region in the 15th century. Many Albanians during the Ottoman period converted to the official religion Islam and contributed through administrative, political and military positions to the Ottoman empire and culturally to the wider Muslim world. Albania was also deeply culturally influenced by the Ottoman Turks.

Towards the end of the Ottoman era in the 19th century, relations between the Albanian territories and the Ottoman center rapidly deteriorated due to a number of factors, such as the swelling of Albanian nationalism and perceived betrayal by the Ottomans in defending Albanian-inhabited lands from encroachment. Although many Albanians backed the Young Turk reformer movement, they revolted against the new Young Turk government when it tried to impose centralization and a Turkish identity upon Albania, with the last of these revolts in 1912 ultimately leading to the independence of Albania and the First Balkan War.

Albania’s modern relations with Turkey commenced after the declaration of independence (28 November 1912) from the Ottoman Empire. International recognition of Albanian independence entailed the imposition of a Christian monarch, which, alongside internal political power struggles, generated a failed Muslim uprising (1914) in central Albania that sought to restore Ottoman rule. During the First World War contacts between Albania and the Ottoman Empire were limited. In 1921 the Ottoman Empire officially recognised the Republic of Albania, while the Turkish National Movement under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, fighting for a Turkish republic, cultivated contacts with Albanian representatives through former Ottoman Albanian officials for establishing future bilateral relations.

During the interwar and Cold War periods, bilateral relations at times experienced tensions and disagreements due to ideological and geopolitical circumstances of either country. In a post Cold War environment, both nations are bound by an alliance treaty of military cooperation and other agreements relating to economic, political and cultural fields. 

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