On 31 March 2018, intervening in the AKP’s regional congress at Ümraniye, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to force Kosovo’s Prime Minister to resign.

Turkish Secret Services (Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı — MIT) kidnapped in Kosovo five Turkish professors and a Turkish doctor accused of being members of the Hizmet de Fethullah Gülen. The Services then repatriated them to Turkey. The operation took place with the support of the Head of Kosovo’s Secret Services (Agjencia Kosovare e Inteligjencës — AKI), Driton Gashi, and Kosovo’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Flamur Sefaj. However neither Prime Minister Ramush Haradina nor President Hashim Thaçi were in the picture.

The Prime Minister of Kosovo had been forced to explain what happened before Kosovo’s Parliament which had accused him of tarnishing the country’s reputation as a good host.

After a meeting with President Thaçi, the Prime Minister announced the dismissal of his two collaborators.

“Well, Prime Minister of Kosovo! Who told you to do this?”, harangued President Erdogan. “Since when have you decided to protect those that are working to launch a coup against the Republic of Turkey? Did you not know that we were the second country in the world to recognize Kosovo, after only one hour— America was the first. How can you nourish the bodies of those who have attempted a coup against Turkey, a country which had opened its arms and embraced Kosovo like a brother?”, he continued before predicting that Kosovo’s government would crumble.

Hakan Fidan, Head of the Turkish Secret Services, intervened in support of his friend, the Kosovaran President, Hashim Thaci. By doing so, he managed to defuse the situation. The decision to fire the two men was annulled. Despite this, it is expected that the Minister for Home Affairs will resign but the Head of the Kosovo Secret Services will stay put.

During the Nato aggression against what was then Yugoslavia but which today is Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi (today Kosovo’s President) led Nato mercenaries, who were operating under the cover of the Front de Libération du Kosovo (UÇK), that had been trained by the German Special Forces (KSK) in Turkey. As for Hakan Fidan, he was the Turkish Army’s liaison officer with the Nato Chief of Staff.

Anoosha Boralessa