ALGERIA — Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia urged Turkey on Saturday to stop trying to make political capital out of France’s killing of thousands of Algerians during the colonial period.
He made the call as Turkey continued to assail Paris ahead of a French Senate vote on the Armenian Genocide bill.
Turkey has accused France of hypocrisy for its own hand in killings committed in its former colony, Algeria, in 1945 and during the north African nation’s struggle for independence between 1954 and 1962.
“An estimated 15 percent of the Algerian population was massacred by the French from 1945 onwards,” Erdogan has said. “This is a genocide.”
Ouyahia said every country has the right to defend its interests, but “nobody has the right to make the blood of Algerians their business.”
French forces cracked down on a protest in the east Algerian city of Setif on May 8, 1945, to call for an end to French colonial rule, leaving 45,000 people dead, according to Algerian historians.
Western researchers put the death toll at between 8,000 and 18,000.
Ouyahia noted that Turkey had been a member of NATO during the war in Algeria and as such had provided material support to France.
“We say to our (Turkish) friends: Stop making capital out of Algeria’s colonisation,” Ouyahia said at a press conference.