Ina Allkanjari

A few weeks after the new apartments’ keys handover ceremony held on 17 January in the presence of the Turkish President Mr. Erdogan, the Democratic Party criticized the government for propaganda. On 4 February, DP’s spokesperson, Mrs. Ina Zhupa, said that no family has entered new apartments even though 3 weeks had already passed since then. Kurbin Municipality admitted that key hand over would be done following a predefined procedure starting with a DCM on the transfer of ownership, while Faktoje verified taking over of apartments by inhabitants between 11 and 16 February.

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‘Almost three weeks ago, Edi Rama used the President of Turkey to deceive regarding the apartments build by Turks in Laç. Rama and Erdogan handed over keys to four families, however they were there only for propaganda purposes’- stated  on 4 February the DP’s spokesperson Mrs. Ina Zhupa. The reaction of the DP’s spokesperson came a few days after the one-day visit to our country of the Turkish President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan who, on 17 January, was present in the key handover ceremony  for housing units to residents affected by the 26 November earthquake.

Based on this statement, on 16 February, Faktoje sent a request for information to the Municipality of Kurbin, where among others, we asked the provision of data on how many apartment buildings have been completed in Laç and how many families have been accommodated. Up to the publication of this article, we haven’t received any answer by the Municipality of Kurbin.

Screenshot of the request for information addressed to the Municipality of Kurbin, dated 16.02.2022

On 17 February, Faktoje decided to go to Laç to learn more on the reconstruction progress of apartment buildings financed by the Turkish Government and whether the residents have received the keys of their apartments.

Picture taken on 17 February – apartment buildings built in Laç and funded by the Turkish Government

The performed verification evidenced receiving of keys by the vast majority of beneficiary residents of rebuilt apartments in the Neighbourhood No. 4 in Laç funded by Turkish government. Residents confirmed that handing over of keys was carried out from 11 to 16 February.

‘We are very satisfied; we have not entered yet because we are not ready; we received the keys two days ago. We are now taking care of apartment furnishings’ – said to Faktoje one of the beneficiary residents of the apartment rebuilt by the Turkish government.

Picture taken on 17 February – residents being accommodated in apartment buildings built in Laç and funded by the Turkish Government

Another resident entering her new apartment with keys in her hands, says that 16 February was the last day of key handing over while emphasizing that this process lasted about 4-5 days.

‘I am now cleaning the house; I got a 2+1 apartment; I am very happy. The keys have been handed over these days and distribution started on 11 February until 16 February being the last day. ‘Only families living abroad might have been left without keys’ said to Faktoje Eva who is another resident benefiting from the reconstruction program.

Picture taken on 17 February – apartment buildings built in Laç and funded by the Turkish Government

‘Residents have now begun to enter their apartments’. I lived in a building damaged by earthquake and on 14 February I got the keys to the new 1 + 1 apartment. ‘Until the end of February, we will keep benefiting the state rent bonus, then it will be terminated’ – says another resident.

Picture taken on 17 February – apartment buildings built in Laç and funded by the Turkish Government

Mayor of Kurbin, Mrs. Majlinda Shqalsi Cara reacted two days after the statement of Democratic Party’s spokesperson Mrs. Ina Zhupa made on 6 February. She explained the delay of handing over the keys to all residents benefiting apartments within the process of reconstruction of the 1/1 area for development in Laç,

‘The State Commission for Reconstruction has rendered the Decision No. 99, dated 04.02.2022, requesting the Council of Ministers to transfer ownership of all apartments in the Municipality of Kurbin. On Wednesday, 9 February 2022, the Council of Ministers decided to transfer the rights over this property to the Municipality of Kurbin’ – stated Cara.

The construction of 522 apartments, 37 service units, 375 parking lots, shopping centre, service units and infrastructure, according to European standards have been part of the reconstruction process in Laç  with Turkish government funds amounting 42 million Euros. The beneficiary families received the keys of new apartments almost a month after the inauguration ceremony held on 17 January, in the presence of the Turkish President Mr. Erdogan.