Turkey asks Albania to close US-based cleric’s businesses

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says he expects Albania to close all businesses owned by Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Turkish cleric Ankara blames for an attempted coup two years ago.

Cavusoglu, in the Albanian capital of Tirana on Friday, said Ankara has formally asked Tirana “to close all the institutions that hold anti-Turkey activity in Albania,” considering them “a serious threat for Turkey and Albania too.”

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati said that “as a NATO member country, a candidate country for the European Union,” Tirana follows standard diplomatic procedures.

Gulen, who denies the coup charges, owns a network of schools and businesses in Albania.

Earlier this year, neighboring Kosovo secretly deported five teachers and a doctor back to Turkey. The deportations were criticized by the U.S. ambassador and students.

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