Thursday, March 15, 2012

Algeria divided after Prime Minister Ouyahia slams Turkey

From Europe News:

Algeria divided after Prime Minister Ouyahia slams Turkey

Today's Zaman 10 January 2012

Following Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia's remarks in which he rebuked his Turkish counterpart for "capitalizing on Algerian blood” by bringing up the French killings in Algeria in its colonial period, Algerian politicians lunged to Turkey's defense and condemned the remarks. Turkey, however, remains an observer to the controversy that has divided Algerian opinion and revived a domestic rivalry against the Algerian prime minister.

While Ouyahia's coalition partners and opposition rose to Turkey's defense against Ouyahia's remarks on Saturday that warned Turkish officials not to speak of Algerian deaths under French rule as part of a "genocide row” between France and Turkey, Ankara has refrained from an immediate reaction to Ouyahia in the belief that the issue is a domestic debate that concerns Algeria.

"It is natural for people to have conflicting opinions in a country,” diplomatic sources contacted by Today's Zaman on Monday stated about Ankara's take on the issue, while they noted that Ouyahia's remarks were debated by other politicians in Algeria, and it was a domestic issue for the country.

Officials from the Turkish Embassy in Algeria, approached by Today's Zaman on the same day, added that they were following developments in Algeria and have reported the incident back to Ankara, which, so far, has not responded to Ouyahia's words publicly.

The words that disturbed the air in Algeria came from the prime minister on Saturday, when he said, "Our [Algeria's] friends in Turkey: Stop making capital out of Algeria's colonization,” as he signaled Algerian annoyance with its history being mentioned in a rift between France and Turkey. Ouyahia further noted that although every country had the right to defend its interests, "Nobody has the right to make the blood of Algerians their business,” the AFP news agency reported.

Reaction to the Algerian prime minister's words was immediate from both opposition leaders and members of the Algerian coalition government, as both blocs suggested that Ouyahia was "serving France” by way of slashing support from Turkey in a matter sensitive to Algerians, tens of thousands of whom died under French colonial rule that lasted for 132 years.

The initial reaction came from the Social Movement for Peace (MSP), a large Algerian party with policies aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, as its leader Bouguerra Sultani backed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks against French President Nicolas Sarkozy for being "hypocritical” in his support for genocide victims. Last month, Erdogan spoke in reaction to a French lower house vote that passed a genocide denial bill onto the senate for approval to fine and jail people who deny that Armenian deaths under Ottoman rule in 1915 were genocide and targeted France for "a dirty and bloody history” of its own for what the country did in Algeria and Rwanda. (...)

Posted January 10th, 2012 by pk

No comments:

Post a Comment