THE APPROACH OF ATATURK TO RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND ALBANIA BEFORE THE PROCLAMATION OF MONARCHY, IN THE LIGHT OF THE DIARIES OF RAUF FICO, THE MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY OF ANKARA
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The diaries of RaufFico, Albanian Minister Plenipotentiary to Ankara, gives a lot of useful information about Albania-Turkey relations that had not been stumbled across in the literature until today. The aim of this study is to point out Atatiirk's views on relations between Albania and Turkey, Albania and Italy, as well as his suggestions to Albanian envoy in Ankara about how to overcome the Albanian dependency on Italy. The research is based on the diaries of Fico, Albanian Minister Plenipotentiary to Ankara. The study is limited with focusing on the Italian factor in Albania's relations with Turkey rather than examining all aspects of the relationship between the two independent countries. Fico had had formal education in the Ottoman Empire and occupied bureaucratic posts such as being provincial governor and following independence of Albania started to work for Albanian government as an important diplomat. Therefore, his diaries provide us a plenty of information on the question of Albania's relations with Turkey as well as with Italy, particularly between 1925 and 1928 during which there had been a Republican regime in Albania. In fact, Fico's diaries give perfect information about close relations between Turkey and Albania and the importance given by Mustafa Kemal Atatiirk on these relations at bilateral level, at least until the destruction of the Republican regime by Ahmet Zogu who would proclaim himself as the King of Albania in 1928. The content of the Fico's diaries are very rich in a way that they consist problems of Orthodox Albanians in Istanbul, positions of Albanians in Kosovo, the exchange of Albanian Chams, reforms in Turkey, assassination attempt to Atatirk in izmir and main themes in Nutuk. It should be kept in mind that the scope of this study is confined, first, to suggestions of Ataturk to the Albanian government regarding getting rid of dependency on Italy, and second, to his foresight about Italy's position towards Albania and Turkey. In this respect, the Fico's diaries give invaluable information on all these subjects elaborated in this paper.