Algeria-Türkiye: Ambitious strategic rapprochement

CEZAYIRLI

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Algeria-Turkey: Ambitious strategic rapprochement​

BY ABDENNOUR TOUMI​

OP-ED
OCT 28, 2021 12:05 AM GMT+3
The flags of Turkey and Algeria. (Photo by Shutterstock)
The flags of Turkey and Algeria. (Photo by Shutterstock)


Despite constant French provocations, Turkey and Algeria have found the momentum to strengthen bilateral ties​

The year 2021 is ending with drastic diplomatic developments that have improved Algeria-Turkey relations. In the aftermath of Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab's call to form a new partnership with Turkey in the energy and mining sectors under Algeria's new hydrocarbon regulations, relations in the field of energy have gained momentum. The total cost of the bilateral project stands at around $1.4 billion (TL 13.35 billion). Turkey's Renaissance Holding, which is considered one of the world's largest international construction companies, owns a 66% stake, while Algeria's national state-owned oil company Sonatrach owns 34%. The project aims to produce polypropylene plastic used in several industries, including cars and textiles.

The Algeria-Turkey deal was launched in January 2020 in light of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's state visit to Algeria following Abdelmadjid Tebboune's election victory. In fact, Erdoğan’s visit raised Algeria’s strategic importance for Turkey to a new high. The Turkish government offered key economic and cultural incentives to Algeria that allowed both countries to hold onto their socioeconomic and geoeconomic needs and interests.

Hesitation and observation

In Algeria, before the project, bold decisions for a strategic rapprochement with Turkey had been expected. The new head in Algeria was hesitant but at the same time, a foreign policy shift had been on the horizon. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Algeria experienced an internal political struggle and was subjected to constitutional and institutional agendas. On the one hand, there was the tenacious resistance of the Francophone and Arabophone anti-Ottoman legacy. On the other, the well-off, pro-France lobbies in Algiers and Paris. Not everyone held Tebboune back from making the choice to enhance relations between Turkey and Algeria.

Meanwhile, the countries' respective ambassadors worked tirelessly toward a strategic rapprochement between the nations. Algeria's ambassador to Ankara, Mourad Adjabi, who was behind the proactive diplomacy between the two nations, was called for another mission in Gaborone, Botswana. One has to mention the role of the two countries’ ambassadors, his excellency Adjabi and her excellency Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş, Turkey's ambassador to Algeria, as they have injected fresh blood into the decades of cold relations between the two nations.

The once frosty relations were only admired by fanatic secularists in the national media, notably print Francophone sources, which have attempted to tarnish Turkey’s leadership in the region, using fallacious arguments against Ankara and Erdoğan.

The straw that broke the camel’s back

Meanwhile, there has been an ongoing diplomatic crisis between Algiers and Paris. The crisis is constantly provoked by French President Emmanuel Macron’s decisions and statements for electoral hearsay. For example, his controversial statements about the thorny question of illegal Maghreb and Sahel countries and deporting immigrants to their countries of origin. On this issue, Algerian diplomatic authorities in France have been refusing to pursue the deportation process for legal and national security reasons. Consequently, Paris responded by severely restricting visas granted to citizens from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Nevertheless, Algiers did use the conventional diplomatic tool, applying the principle of reciprocity. But the straw that broke the camel's back amid the tumultuous relations between the two countries was undoubtedly Macron's amateurish statement about the history of the Algerian nation. In an operation to charm the electorate, the French president met with a group of young people of Algerian descent, who, respectfully, are familiar with Algeria's bloody liberation war (1954-1962).

Chronologically, since the election of Tebboune, Algeria-France relations did shift from "love-hate" to "let’s have a break" at times. Macron and the French deep state’s influential lobbies in Paris did not swallow the fall of late Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's system and the oligarchs who sponsored Macron's presidential campaign in 2017. They bet on the ramifications of the 2019 Hirak protests, hoping relations between the two countries would continue business as usual.
On the contrary, Algiers did set the tone and political behavior, showing new imperatives. This started with a new military doctrine established in the November 2019 Constitution, later foreign policy determinants and objectives were set. Within these new foreign policy determinants and objectives, the demystification of relations between Algeria and France is featured at every level as the country chooses to follow a new diplomatic paradigm of multiplying its partnerships based on mutual respect.

Algiers has now chosen its strategic allies according to its national security and economic interests – a move that Paris did not want to see. Paris' foreign policy has been scoring poorly recently in the trans-Atlantic, Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Sahel. Therefore, France's diplomatic prestige and “hegemony” in the world are declining.
Algiers did not hesitate to take a stand against Paris over the visas measures and Macron's arrogant statement against Algerian authorities. Algiers moved against Macron, calling its envoy in Paris back and banning French military aircraft in its national airspace. In this diplomatic base ball game, the narrative of the story is changing the post-modern history, now Algeria’s home run against France has shifted the balance, and will likely smoothen prudent Turkey-Algeria relations.

Amateurism vs. consequences

What Macron did in three weeks (provoking Algerian leaders with a solemn meeting with the Harki community, imposing harsh measures on visas and the stunning statement about Algeria’s national history) has demonstrated the French president's diplomatic amateurism and only encouraged the pro-Turkey advocates in Algeria and abroad to come up with a credible trajectory to counter Paris' ideologized foreign policy and neocolonial paradigm.

In this favorable context, the new leaders in Algeria seem to be finding a new way to break through to France and position themselves as serious partners, rather than minions. This is the mentality being adopted by Algeria's new leaders. The recent developments in the Sahel combined with the remarkable comeback of Algeria’s active and preemptive diplomacy in both the Sahel and the African continent are intruding on Pairs a great deal.

Analysts argue that the main reason for the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Algiers and Paris is Mali. What did Mali do wrong? The Malian military authorities in Bamako have demonstrated their anger toward Paris since last year's military coup. They recently welcomed Russia's role in Mali – a position that would not have had been acceptable without Algiers okay. Geopolitics is reshaping the landscape of the entire Sahel region and new regional powers are on the rise, i.e, Turkey is gaining posture in the Sahel. The Turkish Parliament voted to extend the deployment of troops in Mali and the Central African Republic for another year within the scope of the U.N.-approved EU peacekeeping mission.

The Algiers-Moscow-Ankara axis being put in place is another thorn in the French foot that Paris is unwilling to accept. What was once France's backyard is now disappearing. All these rapid developments would irritate Macron, who is facing a rough election season. This crucial presidential election has reached a level of selective stupidity akin to the selective narration of history dictated by Macron and Eric Zemmour, the darling of French Islamophobes, who question Algeria and trivialize the evil French atrocities in Algeria.

Yet, Macron likes controversial journalist Zemmour. One is the president and the other wants to be the next president. Both politicians are using history and culture in neocolonial parameters to seduce their respective voters.

In sum, history unjustly separated the two brave nations and the people of Algeria and Turkey. Today the two countries do share geopolitical and geoeconomic stands as a new generation of politicians, diplomats and academics in both countries manifest their will for the reunification process that France has been taking for granted for six decades.

Algeria is on the cusp of its 60th anniversary of independence that released it from the harshest of occupations that saw the bloodiest of wars over the span of 132 years. The time has come for nations to reconnect with their common history, deep civilizations and fulfill their destiny calling for a renaissance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR​

North Africa expert at the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM)
 

CEZAYIRLI

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And for those in this Forum who like Algeria's enemy-brother Morocco, well when it comes to international diplomacy Morocco acts on the opposite side of Algeria. As a vassal state of the West, Morocco's role is to help France maintain its colonial grip on Africa and support Israel's sneaking-in into the African Union.
 

CEZAYIRLI

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A defence pact would make a big statement???.
A defence pact between Turkey and Algeria will shock not only France, but also the Arab world as a whole.

For everything there is a season, A time for every activity under heaven. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to find new partners and a time to reach new horizons.

Algeria looked in the wrong place when it joined the Arab League right after its independence in 1962. Today Algeria will need to reassess not only the failed economic partnership it had established with the former colonial power France, but also move away from the incoherent relation it had with the Arab world throughout the last six decades.
 
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A defence pact between Turkey and Algeria will shock not only France, but also the Arab world as a whole.

For everything there is a season, A time for every activity under heaven. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to find new partners and a time to reach new horizons.

Algeria looked in the wrong place when it joined the Arab League right after its independence in 1962. Today Algeria will need to reassess not only the failed economic partnership it had established with the former colonial power France, but also move away from the incoherent relation it had with the Arab world throughout the last six decades.

As Turkey develops technologically and disrupts the dirty games of some countries in the field, the belief in Turkey's capabilities will be strengthened and strategic cooperation with brothers in Asia, ME and Africa will become stronger. Algeria is a key and strongest country in North Africa in this regard and is Turkey's strongest brothers. Things will change completely when Turkey finish ongoing products in the fields of space rockets, manned/unmanned aircrafts, destroyer/submarines, subsonic/supersonic missile technologies and air defense systems and use these weapons in front of the world's eyes against an itchy enemy that making plans to steal Turkish lands. Then even today's enemies will look for suitable opportunities to get closer with Turkey. Currently, all the calculations of our opponents are based on the failure possibility of Tf-X and turbofan engine projects. On the day when Turkey will develop these engines and fly TfX with domestic engines, these countries will make Harakiri. On that day, all friendly and brotherly countries will be able to add the latest generation systems with full capabilities to their inventory, developed in the hands of their Turkish brothers, instead of monkey versions of western systems. When that day comes, not the balance of power that the West has established in their favor but their arrogance will be broken. A little more patience
 

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Algeria officially begins exploiting the Ghar Jbeilat mine, the largest iron mine in the world. This will increase the production of the Turkish company, Tosyali, and it is now ranked second in the export of iron bars to North America maybe first in the future.
 

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French President Macron:
20220827_133203.jpg

"In Turkey, Russia and China, there are networks of activism, neo-colonial and imperialist agendas and anti-France-at-hand. There is only one enemy, France. It all converges."

"In Africa you are being taught baseless things (about France)."


Spokesperson of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tanju Bilgic:
images-12.jpeg

"It is unacceptable that French President Macron, who has difficulties in confronting his colonial past in Africa, especially Algeria, tries to get rid of his colonial past by accusing other countries, including our country."

"If France thinks that there are reactions against it on the African continent, it should look for the source of these reactions in its colonial past. We hope that France will reach the maturity to face its own colonial past."
 

Ryder

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French committed ethnic cleansing on Algerians they also did the same to Algerian Turks.

Lots of families of Turkish heritage got murdered and deported.
 

Knowledgeseeker

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I do agree with the statement expressed by the turkish ministry of foreign affairs, however france still got the platform to speek in this way in Algeria. Macron came to algeria with high millitary officials, got his their respect, and even visited the graves of french soldiers who died in algeria during their brutal massacres they commited during their colonial past. France is just butthurt that other countries are gaining influence in algeria, but france is still the most influental player in Algeria. Africa needs to slowly leave them out of our continent, they have no place here!
 

Chakib.Y

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French committed ethnic cleansing on Algerians they also did the same to Algerian Turks.

Lots of families of Turkish heritage got murdered and deported.
As long as you were a Muslim you'd be subjected to stuff beyond nightmares under French colonialism. Alhamdullillah the leadership here keeps drifting away from French influence towards a more pragmatic approach, turkey should come ahead as we share centuries of mutual history and brotherhood and had our blood spilled together.
 

Chakib.Y

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I do agree with the statement expressed by the turkish ministry of foreign affairs, however france still got the platform to speek in this way in Algeria. Macron came to algeria with high millitary officials, got his their respect, and even visited the graves of french soldiers who died in algeria during their brutal massacres they commited during their colonial past. France is just butthurt that other countries are gaining influence in algeria, but france is still the most influental player in Algeria. Africa needs to slowly leave them out of our continent, they have no place here!
Most influential in Algeria? Despite the fact that all of the armament is from other countries, not being among the top investors or commercial partners ? That's a schizoid take, in Algeria a guest is allowed a certain amount freedom of speech, like president erdogan was allowed to criticize the Syrian regime from Algeria (with which Algeria seeks normalisation for certain reasons), Macron had his speech, he left empty handed, no trade deals, no extra gas and had to concede in Mali and accept the Algerian initiative which the new govt there adopts.
 

Sami1234

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French committed ethnic cleansing on Algerians they also did the same to Algerian Turks.

Lots of families of Turkish heritage got murdered and deported.
they also established and left behind a neighboring puppet state that still uses the word "Köroğlu" as a racist insult toward Tunisians, Algerians, and Libyans, because we were pro ottoman and they were not 😂
Fun fact, France laterally created their monarchy just like Britain created Saudi Arabia.
 

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they also established and left behind a neighboring puppet state that still uses the word "Köroğlu" as a racist insult toward Tunisians, Algerians, and Libyans, because we were pro ottoman and they were not 😂
Fun fact, France laterally created their monarchy just like Britain created Saudi Arabia.

You mean Kuloglu.

Whats interesting of Ottoman rule Africa is that the Ottomans biggest archrivals the Karamanids actually took control of Libya in the 1700s.

One of the Arab tribes refused to pay tribute so one of the rulers put the tribe to the sword.

Thats why Eastern Libyans hate Turks 🤣

Then again if the Eastern Libyans try to hurt Turkish interests in Libya. Benghazi will be glassed.

The civil war began because Eastern Libyans wanted the Turks of Tripoli and Mistrata massacred.

Turkish drones should have pushed into Sirte and Benghazi.
 

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Basically they ruled Libya like their personal kingdom.

"In public, they proudly intimidated people with heavy weapons they had amassed over the years, as well as pet lions that were rumoured to have been fed with the flesh of their victims."

😲😲😲

Good news is most of them got wiped out by Turkish drones. But still it is said 4 brothers are still alive.

Libyan civil war has every thing. From religious fanatics, tribal wars, militias running their own personal kingdoms, wagner mercs, sna, mass graves you name it.

We still dont know how many wagner mercs got killed. But it said that the wagner mercs suffered heavy casualties which led to Russia intervening. Personally believed that the Turks and Russians having talked allowed the wagners to retreat back to Sirte and Benghazi.

Stupidest mistake from Mevlut Cavusoglu. Somehow he pats on his back for this fck up.
 

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As long as you were a Muslim you'd be subjected to stuff beyond nightmares under French colonialism. Alhamdullillah the leadership here keeps drifting away from French influence towards a more pragmatic approach, turkey should come ahead as we share centuries of mutual history and brotherhood and had our blood spilled together.
You can try to keep Macron away from Haftar.
 

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As Turkey develops technologically and disrupts the dirty games of some countries in the field, the belief in Turkey's capabilities will be strengthened and strategic cooperation with brothers in Asia, ME and Africa will become stronger. Algeria is a key and strongest country in North Africa in this regard and is Turkey's strongest brothers. Things will change completely when Turkey finish ongoing products in the fields of space rockets, manned/unmanned aircrafts, destroyer/submarines, subsonic/supersonic missile technologies and air defense systems and use these weapons in front of the world's eyes against an itchy enemy that making plans to steal Turkish lands. Then even today's enemies will look for suitable opportunities to get closer with Turkey. Currently, all the calculations of our opponents are based on the failure possibility of Tf-X and turbofan engine projects. On the day when Turkey will develop these engines and fly TfX with domestic engines, these countries will make Harakiri. On that day, all friendly and brotherly countries will be able to add the latest generation systems with full capabilities to their inventory, developed in the hands of their Turkish brothers, instead of monkey versions of western systems. When that day comes, not the balance of power that the West has established in their favor but their arrogance will be broken. A little more patience
I am not trying to be dispute your conclusion, but the strategic military cooperation with brotherley countries is one of three area strategic cooperation !

There are other two important factors which is, economical and geopolitical. How do you think turkey is going to address these two ? For example turkey supply weapons to both algeria and morocco,

however, there are some tensions and disputes between two these countries. or for example turkish two other important partner malesyia and indonesia both have dispute and confrotrational relationship. What active role turkey would play to solve these dispute and create a political solution ?
 
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Sami1234

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You mean Kuloglu.

Whats interesting of Ottoman rule Africa is that the Ottomans biggest archrivals the Karamanids actually took control of Libya in the 1700s.

One of the Arab tribes refused to pay tribute so one of the rulers put the tribe to the sword.

Thats why Eastern Libyans hate Turks 🤣

Then again if the Eastern Libyans try to hurt Turkish interests in Libya. Benghazi will be glassed.

The civil war began because Eastern Libyans wanted the Turks of Tripoli and Mistrata massacred.

Turkish drones should have pushed into Sirte and Benghazi.


Basically they ruled Libya like their personal kingdom.

"In public, they proudly intimidated people with heavy weapons they had amassed over the years, as well as pet lions that were rumoured to have been fed with the flesh of their victims."

😲😲😲

Good news is most of them got wiped out by Turkish drones. But still it is said 4 brothers are still alive.

Libyan civil war has every thing. From religious fanatics, tribal wars, militias running their own personal kingdoms, wagner mercs, sna, mass graves you name it.

We still dont know how many wagner mercs got killed. But it said that the wagner mercs suffered heavy casualties which led to Russia intervening. Personally believed that the Turks and Russians having talked allowed the wagners to retreat back to Sirte and Benghazi.

Stupidest mistake from Mevlut Cavusoglu. Somehow he pats on his back for this fck up.

You can try to keep Macron away from Haftar.
In Algeria French colonialism also put in place a law prohibiting the use of any local languages. this is the result after decades 😂
 

Knowledgeseeker

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Most influential in Algeria? Despite the fact that all of the armament is from other countries, not being among the top investors or commercial partners ? That's a schizoid take, in Algeria a guest is allowed a certain amount freedom of speech, like president erdogan was allowed to criticize the Syrian regime from Algeria (with which Algeria seeks normalisation for certain reasons), Macron had his speech, he left empty handed, no trade deals, no extra gas and had to concede in Mali and accept the Algerian initiative which the new govt there adopts.
France is still one of the biggest partners of Algeria on a commercial level, and on a security level in North Africa. It's actually reported that Macron and tebboune will sign a joint declaration for a renewed partnership today! If we take a look at the past couple of months we have seen tensions between France, and Algeria after macron questioned if the Algerian even had a state, and identity before the invasion by France. Your words really look like you trying to beautify the way the Algerian leadership is dealing with the issue with France. As a fellow Muslim, and Moroccan I'm ashamed of how the Algerian state is dealing with the french after their brutal historical colonization in the past, and the treatment in modern times. Funny how Macron made his "Speech" trying to run away from the past, while visiting the cemetery of french soldiers who died in algeria, and perhaps the worst thing I saw was how president tebboune gave a military salute when Macron came to shake his hand. Protocol error or sense of inferiority upon france?

You say Macron left empty handed but let me conclude what has been achieved so far during the visit

- Speaking at a press conference, Tebboune responded by saying the visit yielded “encouraging results” and he hoped it would “open up new perspectives for partnership and cooperation with France”.

- He said they discussed how to bring stability to Libya, the Sahel region, and the dispute with Morocco on the territory of the sahara,

- Yesterday Macron and Tebboune presided over a "coordination meeting" involving security officials from both countries, "the first of its kind between the security interests of the two countries", the Algerian presidency said.


Let me make my statement pretty clear. As a fellow Moroccan, I'm not surprised by this scenario that has taken place, but I just needed to highlight the events that have taken place since you are trying to brush off the truth. France is still the most influential state in Algeria whether you like it or not.


 

Ryder

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I am not trying to be dispute your conclusion, but the strategic military cooperation with brotherley countries is one of three area strategic cooperation !

There are other two important factors which is, economical and geopolitical. How do you think turkey is going to address these two ? For example turkey supply weapons to both algeria and morocco,

however, there are some tensions and disputes between two these countries. What active role turkey would play to solve these dispute and create a political solution ?

If Morocco and Algeria do fight its something we would like to avoid.

But if they do.

I dont know what to say its something we cant stop because the Sahara dispute is like 50 years old.

Us Turks dont know much about it.

If they do fight perhaps the useless OIC should so something about it.
 

Chakib.Y

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You mean Kuloglu.

Whats interesting of Ottoman rule Africa is that the Ottomans biggest archrivals the Karamanids actually took control of Libya in the 1700s.

One of the Arab tribes refused to pay tribute so one of the rulers put the tribe to the sword.

Thats why Eastern Libyans hate Turks 🤣

Then again if the Eastern Libyans try to hurt Turkish interests in Libya. Benghazi will be glassed.

The civil war began because Eastern Libyans wanted the Turks of Tripoli and Mistrata massacred.

Turkish drones should have pushed into Sirte and Benghazi.
With regards to Libya, That ain't it chief, it's a political conflict there, not a race war, that type of stuff only exists in the realm of imagination
 

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