By SONJA DECHIAN
Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has weighed in to the debate over France’s genocide-denial bill, urging Turkey to stop making political capital out of the deaths of Algerians. ‘Nobody has the right to make the blood of Algerians their business,’ Ouyahia said.
The French senate looks likely to vote this month on the bill, which would make denial of the Armenian genocide a crime. It was passed by the lower house on December 22, to an angry response from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who accused France of committing genocide during its colonial occupation of Algeria.
Bouguerra Soltani, head of Islamist party Social Movement for Peacesaid on Sunday, ‘He just told France ‘You say that Turkey exterminated the Armenians in 1915, I am reminding you that you exterminated the Algerians’.’
‘We support all those who call for France to officially acknowledge the crimes of colonial France and to apologise to and compensate the victims,’ he added.
The leader of Algerian opposition Ennahda Party, Fatah Rabiai, also supported Turkey’s statements. ‘I wonder why those who say these things toTurkey have no courage to speak up against France?’ he said.