Turkey on Saturday lashed out at what it described as French President Emmanuel Macron’s “unacceptable” comments in Algeria on foreign powers spreading anti-French propaganda in Africa, Agence France-Presse reported.
On a visit to France’s former colony aimed at mending troubled ties, Macron on Friday appeared to warn young Algerians and Africans against manipulation by “networks” influenced by Turkey, Russia and China that present France as an “enemy”.
“There is immense manipulation,” Macron told reporters.
“Many political Islam activists have an enemy: France. Many of the networks that are covertly pushed — … by Turkey… by Russia… by China — have an enemy: France.”
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç slammed what he described as the French leader’s “extremely unfortunate” comments.
“It is unacceptable that… 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,” he said in a statement.
“We hope that France will reach the maturity to face its colonial past without blaming other countries, including our country, as soon as possible.”
Macron’s three-day visit to Algeria this week has aimed to turn the page on months of tensions with the North African country, which earlier this year marked six decades of independence following 132 years of French rule.
It also comes as European powers scramble to replace Russian energy imports after the invasion of Ukraine — including with supplies from Algeria, Africa’s top gas exporter.