Istanbul, Turkey: Turkey lashed out on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) over what it called “unacceptable” comments by French President Emmanuel Macron in Algeria about foreign powers spreading anti-French propaganda in Africa.
During a visit to the former French colony aimed at mending murky ties, Macron appeared to warn young Algerians and Africans on Friday against manipulation by “networks” influenced by Turkey, Russia and China who present France as an “enemy”.
“There is immense manipulation,” Macron told reporters.
“Many political militants of Islam have an enemy: France. Many networks that are secretly pushed –… by Turkey… by Russia… by China — have an enemy: France. France.”
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic criticized what he called the French leader’s “extremely unfortunate” comments.
“It is unacceptable that (…) Macron, who is struggling to face his colonial past in Africa, especially in Algeria, tries to get rid of his colonial past by accusing other countries, including our country”, a- he said in a statement.
“We hope that France will reach maturity to confront its colonial past without blaming other countries, including our country, as soon as possible.”
Macron’s three-day visit to Algeria this week was aimed at turning the page on months of tensions with the North African country, which earlier this year marked six decades of independence after 132 years of French rule.
It also comes as European powers scramble to replace Russian energy imports following the invasion of Ukraine, including with supplies from Algeria, Africa’s top gas exporter.