Now Turkey accuses France of committing genocide in Algeria

 

Istanbul

Turkey responded to French genocide allegations with a charge of its own yesterday, accusing France of committing genocide during its colonial occupation of Algeria.

On Thurday, French lawmakers passed a Bill making it a crime to deny that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks constituted genocide.

The deepening acrimony between the two strategic allies and trading partners could have repercussions far beyond the settling of accounts over some of the bloodiest episodes of the past century.

Turkey was already frustrated by French opposition to its stalled European Union bid and hopes for Western-backed rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia seem ever more distant ahead of 2015, the 100th anniversary of the Armenian killings.

The Bill strikes at the heart of national honour in Turkey, which maintains there was no systematic campaign to kill Armenians and that many Turks also died during the chaotic disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.

The French Bill still needs the approval of the Senate, but after it passed the lower house, the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, halted bilateral political and economic contacts, suspended military co-operation and ordered his country's ambassador home for consultations.

"What the French did in Algeria was genocide," Mr Erdogan said yesterday in a heavily personal speech laced with criticism of the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. He alleged that beginning in 1945, about 15 per cent of the population of Algeria was massacred by the French. He also said Algerians were burned in ovens. "They were mercilessly martyred," he added.

Mr Erdogan appeared to be referring to allegations that the French burned the dead in ovens after a 1945 uprising that began in the Algerian town of Setif. Algerians say about 45,000 people may have died, while official French figures say the number was up to 20,000.

The French Bill's passage "is a clear example of how racism, discrimination and anti-Muslim sentiment have reached new heights in France and in Europe", the Turkish leader said. "French President Sarkozy's ambition is to win an election based on promoting animosity against Turks and Muslims," he added.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible