Algeria, a former French colony in North Africa, has cancelled the license of France24 news alleging disinformation. The move holds significance as France24 is a French state-owned international news television network and is widely followed. While imposing the order, Algerian authorities alleged that the move was due to France24’s “clear and repeated hostility towards Algeria and its institutions”.
Then, Algeria also rejected a 27,000-tonne French wheat shipment after dead animals were found in it suspiciously. The incident is a further blow to Algeria-France ties. Recently, Algeria has significantly reduced French wheat imports and replaced it with supplies from the Baltic region, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Argentina. Consequently, France has lost its position as the number one wheat exporter to Algeria due to this approach.
France-Algeria relations have already been under stress due to historical references and interpretations over the French colonial past in Algeria. The above two incidents have added to the growing differences between the two nations.
However, on careful study for a reason behind this change in Algeria’s policy towards France, it emerges that the differences started to widen after Turkey invested $5 billion in Algeria, overtaking France to become the top foreign investor in this African country. Besides, 800-plus Turkish companies have entered Algeria and established their presence in various sectors here.
The shift in Algeria’s favour for Turkey from France got further evident after Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in an indirect message to France, told a French magazine that, “Algeria has excellent relations with Turkey, which has invested about $5 billion in Algeria with no political strings attached. Anyone who is annoyed by this relationship should just invest in our country.”
It appears Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has found a taker for his policy of “soft Turkish colonialism” in Algeria in the form of President Tebboune. Moreover, with Tebboune almost certain to return as President after the last week’s general elections, Erdogan gets another opportunity to expand his Ottoman Empire dream.