Albania stops Turkish-owned schools from using its flag

AP News
Posted: Nov 03, 2016 12:27 PM

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's Education Ministry says it has told Turkish schools funded by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen to stop using Turkey's flag and other symbols.

There are a number of Turkish-owned educational institutions from preschool to university level operating in post-communist Albania, the tiny Western Balkan country with a predominantly Muslim population and strong ties with Ankara.

Television station Top Channel reported Thursday that Ministry General Secretary Plarent Ndreca cited a complaint from Turkey's embassy in Tirana as prompting the government's order.

Ndreca says the ministry sent a letter ordering licensed schools to stop using the Turkish symbols unless they have authorization from the diplomatic mission.

Turkey blames Gulen's movement for a failed coup in July that killed over 270 people. The cleric denies any involvement.