14 April 2021

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Inaugurated the Student Dormitory Renovated by TİKA in Albania

The Gjirokastër Boys’ Dormitory, which was renovated and furnished by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in the city of Gjirokastër in southern Albania, was put into service with a ceremony attended by Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism.

In addition to Minister Ersoy, the ceremony was attended by Elva Margariti, Minister of Culture of Albania; Blendi Klosi, Minister of Tourism and Environment; Flamur Golemi Mayor of Gjirokastër; the delegation including Murat Ahmet Yörük, Turkey’s Ambassador to Tirana, and Mahmut Çevik, Vice President of TİKA; and representatives of Turkish institutions and organizations in the region.

In his speech at the ceremony, Minister Ersoy stated that they had long-standing cultural and historical ties and deep-rooted friendly relations with Albania and that he brought love and greetings from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the people of Turkey. Reminding that TİKA has implemented 532 projects since 2001, Ersoy said, “We have intensified the activities we have been carrying out through TİKA especially since 2004. We have implemented 52 projects in the health sector for the renovation of hospitals and health centers, the provision of equipment, and the construction of medical analysis laboratories.” Stressing that there were more than 2,000 historical monuments in Albania, Ersoy said, “Such a potential will undoubtedly lead to high goals in cultural tourism. We appreciate and support the efforts to contribute to the wealth of the country and the people by turning this rich civilization heritage into tourism assets. The sensitivity of Prime Minister Edi Rama, who is not only a statesman but also an artist, and my esteemed counterparts to this issue makes our cooperation even more meaningful.”

Ersoy noted that the Gjirokastër Castle, the Bazaar Mosque, and the Clock Tower, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have been restored and turned into cultural tourism assets, and that the restoration of the Ethem Bey Mosque in Tirana will be completed in the first half of this year.

“We have set out to serve young people once again.”

Ersoy stated that they attached importance to the education of children and young people and that Albania would earn its well-deserved place in the world with its new generations. Ersoy thanked Ilir Meta, President of Albania; Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister; Elva Margariti, Minister of Culture; and Blendi Klosi, Minister of Tourism and Environment, for their cooperation in these activities. He said, “The project implemented for the renovation and equipping of the boys’ dormitory we are inaugurating today has also been carried out in this context. We have set out to serve young people once again upon the instructions of our President, as we did in Tirana and Elbasan, and thankfully completed this project properly. Under the leadership of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, we will continue to offer support and cooperation in order to improve and strengthen bilateral relations in every field. We will top our friendly relations with concrete works and services. The firm and determined steps taken by these two sister nations towards the future will make a significant contribution to welfare and peace not only in these countries but also in the Balkans.”

“We are strengthening our relations.”

Albanian Minister Margariti expressed her special thanks to Turkey for their continued support, especially in the project implemented for the renovation of the dormitory. Margariti also thanked Turkey as a representative of the government of Albania for its great assistance following the earthquake that hit Albania in November 2019. Stating that the restoration of the Kurşunlu Mosque in Shkodër was a major step for the cooperation between the two countries, Margariti said, “We are strengthening our relations and addressing a broad range of issues, including not only restoration, tourism, and environment, but also copyright and art trafficking, through the agreements signed by our Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism and Environment. It is of great importance for us that the Turkish government, which supports us with great difficulty in 2021, is our strategic partner.”

Referring to their meeting with Minister Ersoy in Gjirokastër and the topics they discussed, Margariti noted that their government attached special importance to culture and tourism. Margariti thanked TİKA for their efforts.

Mayor Golemi expressed his gratitude to Turkey and TİKA for their support for the city and stressed that the historic houses in the city were cultural monuments in need of support. At the end of the speeches, Minister Ersoy and Albanian ministers examined the dormitory they inaugurated.

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