[62] Albanians kept arriving into Turkey illegally and their main destination was İzmir. [143], Albanian-Turkish economic relations began in the late 1980s after both countries signed the Agreement on Trade and the Agreement on Industrial, Commercial, Technical and Economic Cooperation. [88] Turkey has been supportive of Albanian geopolitical interests within the Balkans. [73] Rural communities were the main targets of the measures and properties of deported people were to be liquidated in Yugoslavia. [11][14][15], The Albanian diaspora in Turkey was formed during the Ottoman era and early years of the Turkish republic through migration for economic reasons and later sociopolitical circumstances of discrimination and violence experienced by Albanians in Balkan countries during the Eastern crisis, Balkan Wars, World Wars One and Two and communism. They consist of Albanians who arrived during the Ottoman period, Kosovar/Macedonian and Tosk Cham Albanians fleeing from Serbian and Greek persecution after the beginning of the Balkan Wars, alongside some Albanians from Montenegro and Albania proper. [23], Albanians were one of many Muslim peoples in the empire set for resettlement throughout Anatolia to generate conditions for linguistic and cultural assimilation with the aim of creating loyal Muslim Turkish speaking citizens. [85] In Gallup polls conducted in the 2010s, Turkey is viewed as a friendly country with a positive image amongst a large majority of people in Albania, Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia which contains a sizable Albanian minority. [39] By allowing freedom of movement for the Albanian community, Turkey sought to integrate those Albanians already present into Turkish society. [97], Under current Prime Minister Edi Rama, he has strengthened ties with Turkey and maintains a good personal relationship with President Erdogan. [59], The collapse of communism in Albania led to a deepening of interstate relations and cooperation with Turkey in economic, political and especially military fields. Early Turkish settlers in the area slowly overtook the mostly Greek and Christian areas of Turkey and it soon became a Muslim country. [74] Five months prior to the death of Atatürk, the Turkish Assembly during July 1938 refused to ratify the agreement and with the onset of the Second World War, the matter was not reopened. [32] Tirana insisted that incoming Cham Albanians from Greece be allowed to migrate to Albania from Turkey if they so wished. According to a 2008 report prepared for the National Security Council of Turkey by academics of three Turkish universities in eastern Anatolia, there were approximately 1,300,000 people of Albanian descent living in Turkey. As of 2011, Turkey has an estimated 78.8 million citizens. [1] Nonetheless, a sizable proportion of the Albanian community in Turkey, such as that of Istanbul, has maintained its distinct Albanian identity.[1]. [54] Albania's position of isolation within Europe and Balkans during the Cold War alongside territorial issues with Greece motivated it to cast a negative UN vote on the Cyprus question regarding the island's future geopolitical status in the hope of being recognised by Turkey. Albanians in Turkey (Albanian: Shqiptarët në Turqi, Turkish: Türkiye'deki Arnavutlar) are ethnic Albanian citizens and denizens of Turkey. [103] Though many Albanians hold (nationalist) interpretations of history with a dichotomy of "bad" Ottomans versus "good" anti-Ottoman Albanian forces like Skanderbeg, interstate relations of Albanians and Turkey are very good. [6] Turkey remains for Albania an important military ally alongside the USA. [57][6] The military agreement entailed education and training of personnel, bilateral cooperation in weapons production, joint military exercises, the exchange of military delegations and joint commissions on expanding further military ties into the future. [87] Some tensions arose over some Gülen members who fled Turkey for Albania, as the Turkish government sought their return. 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