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Arrests, beating, media shutdown, corruption: Is Albania slipping into an Erdoğanian autocracy too?

It is said autocrats think and act alike. So it’s no coincidence when one sees Edi Rama’s Albania making eager efforts, inside and outside the law, to bar his rivals from running in the elections.

Playing with “seals” or inventing “anti-spy” initiatives and project-ideas for prohibiting the ones that are “tarnished” from abroad, Edi Rama is making all efforts to bar the opposition leaders Sali Berisha and Ilir Meta from being in the elections.

So visible is it that an important Greek newspaper writes Rama is becoming Erdoğan’s apprentice. Highlighting the shutdown of schools on Erdigan’s account, the newspaper stresses that Rama has serious mental problems, because he had a mental treatment card which he made disappear.

Their alikeness becomes even more obvious when it comes to attacks on media.

Prime Minister Edi Rama has started recently an unprecedented terror campaign against the oppositionist media, including total demolition and hacking the online portals. Shutdown and buy-out of the criticizing media and those who dare to speak out is the model Erdoğan offers frequently.

It is also said that dictatorships are alike when it comes to terror too. If Erdoğan has the loud protesters murdered, Rama represses the protest spirit by having his police murder the youth even before the rallies start.

Above all, they share the hate for their rivals, which not only they don’t want in the race, not only have their votes and rights stolen, but they also assail physically in efforts to eliminate them altogether.

Albania and the world public opinion were shocked on December 6 when the Albanian opposition leader was physically attacked during a peaceful protest very close to the place where EU’s most important leaders had gathered. What the Croatian veteran politician Stipe Mesić considered as a life attempt against Berisha shocked the West.

But while Erdoğan rules with terror, his and Edi Rama’s ultimate goal is nothing else but becoming rich beyond any imagination. They both are said to possess fabulous wealth hidden in tax havens.

Erdoğan and Rama are the richest persons in their respective countries thanks to what nourishes best the dictatorships: corruption and crime.

In both their cases they have preferred to practice corruption through their close families. If Rama uses his brother Olsi as his main sidekick, Erdoğan goes a little further by putting his son-in-law in the middle of his giant family corruption.

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