Turkey-Algeria relations within the framework of the New Algeria vision*

AA/Istanbul/Prof. Enver Arpa and Dr

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s visit to Turkey has generated great interest in Turkish and foreign media. The cooperation of these two influential countries in the Mediterranean basin is considered an important factor in the solution of various problems in the region such as Libya, Western Sahara and the Eastern Mediterranean. The vision of the “new Algeria” put forward by Abdelmadjid Tebboune is one of the important reasons for this interest of the Algerian government. Recall that he competed under the slogan “Change” in the election on December 12, 2019 and won the presidency with 58% of the vote.

Historical relationships are also an important source of motivation for the growth of this union. That is why there is a great desire to improve relations between the two countries. On the other hand, it is important that institutions and organizations take the necessary steps to nurture these relationships over time.

-The new vision of Algeria

President Tebboune and his government are beginning to blow an air of change in the country in this new era. Kamel Rezig, Minister of Commerce, whom we met during our trip to Algeria in February, said that he had subjected Algeria to the global change in the vision of the “New Algeria” that they had just had. passed. Then, he said he wanted to open up the country to the world and strengthen its relations with countries in the region and outside the world. Rezig stressed that they want to build warmer relations, especially with Arab and Islamic countries.

In meetings held with Kamel Rezig and administrators of other institutions and organizations, several indicators testified to this new vision promoted by Tebboune and his government. A significant political change took place under the name “New Algeria” in many parts of the country. This new image is based on three main components: supporting production and encouraging investment, fighting corruption and opening up to the outside world. The Algerian government recognizes that supporting the country’s production is essential for the economy. So many encouraging measures, including tax cuts, have been taken. Therefore, President Tebboune has warned governors and other concerned institutions about this issue at all times.

In addition, corruption is a problematic issue that has been addressed and addressed in almost all parts of the country for a long time. This point is a major disadvantage in terms of foreign as well as local investment. Therefore, the Tebboune government is using various measures to eradicate the negative impact of this situation. For example, the press reported that many people in the country were imprisoned for corruption. Afterwards, Tebboune spoke for the first time in February about the decline in investments and losses in the country during the Bouteflika. This criticism of the government of the former president, of which he is also a minister, can be read as proof that Tebboune wants to address this issue. In his speech to the Algerian community during his visit to Kuwait on February 23, 2022, Tebboune said that “New Algeria” rhetoric should not be considered new people or new ministers, and insisted that what he meant by that was to develop a new one. understanding, a new character and the construction of a new Algeria.

The third issue that Tebboune addresses in his new perspective on Algeria is foreign relations. It has often been admitted that Algeria has lost its influence in the world and in the region in recent years due to weak administration due to Bouteflika’s illness and some internal problems. After his presidency, Tebboune aimed to return Algeria to its former influential position. For this, it attaches importance to reviving its bilateral relations with regional and non -regional countries.

-Relations with Turkey

There is no doubt that in the vision of the “new Algeria” particular strategic importance is attached to relations with Turkey, now the main investor country of Algeria with its investment of about more than 5 billion dollars. The Algerian administration expressed on every occasion its satisfaction with Turkey’s presence in the country. “Algeria maintains very good relations with the Turks who have invested 5 billion dollars without making any political counterpart. Those who are not comfortable with these relations should come and invest with us,” President Tebboune said in an interview given by the French magazine Le Point in May 2021. He also referred to France’s complaint about Turkey’s presence in Algeria.

Turkey is now the largest investor in Algeria, with an investment share of more than $ 5 billion.

Another indication of the strategic dimension that Algeria wants to bring to its relations, Commerce Minister Kamel Rezig proposed, at the end of last year, to enter the international market by creating multilateral companies in time. at his meeting. to Algeria. During this visit in February, Minister Rezig once again said that relations with Turkey should have a strategic dimension apart from the traditional buying and selling of goods.

We know that Turkey attaches importance to state relations with Algeria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Algeria in February 2018 and January 2020, two years apart, is a sign of this concern. In addition, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu visited Algeria for three consecutive years in 2019, 2020 and 2021, accelerating relations between the two countries. All these efforts bore fruit and on the visit of the President of Turkey to Algeria in 2020, the decision to create a “High Level Cooperation Council” was taken and a business forum was organized with the participation of entrepreneurs from both countries.

During the meetings held at the level of public institutions and organizations and institutions related to strategic research, the need to provide strategic depth of relations between the two countries, including methods of an important part of global and regional problems, is covered. Algerian Trade Minister Rezig pointed out that with the investment incentive law, which is expected to be implemented soon, will provide significant benefits to traders and expressed his hope in this direction. He affirmed that this law will provide significant investment opportunities in the business world, which will facilitate entrepreneurs in the two countries to conduct joint commercial activities towards the African continent, which Algeria wants to benefit from the Turkish network in terms of openness in both Africa and Asia, and reveal the strategic dimension of its expectations.

-New measures in bilateral relations

In light of these developments, it can be said that compared to previous relations, which were under the influence of the French shadow, now there is a positive atmosphere of Turkish-Algerian relations. We know that the French lobby has long been influenced by the country and this is a brake on the development of Turkey-Algeria relations. The growing national trend in the country under the leadership of Abdelmadjid Tebboune is an important opportunity in the context of relations between the two countries. Algeria is trying to diversify its long-standing unipolar relationship with Tebboune. President Tebboune’s visit to Turkey after 17 years is important in this regard. The agreements reached during the visit, the goals set and the intention of cooperation raised the relationship between the two countries to the level of a strategic partnership. Looking at the content of the agreements, we see that they are not classical agreements, on the contrary, they add to the depth of bilateral relations.

Compared to previous relations, which were under French influence, there was a positive atmosphere in Turkey-Algeria relations.

The opening of a Turkish school by the Maarif Foundation and a Turkish Cultural Center by the Yunus Emre Foundation in Algeria can be counted among the important indicators of the distance in relations between Algeria and Turkey, which in currently shows a strict position on these issues. Cooperation between the two countries on regional issues can also make an important contribution to regional peace.

In conclusion, there is a great desire to improve relations between the two countries; historical relationships are also an important source of motivation for the development of this union. That is why there is a great desire to improve relations between the two countries. On the other hand, it is important that institutions and organizations take the necessary steps to nurture these relationships over time. The cooperation of these two important Mediterranean countries, with a tradition of effective and strong mediation, is an important opportunity to solve the problems of the region, to alleviate the global crisis in the field of energy, to fight against terrorism that threatens the region and to resolve. complex problems such as Libya, Tunisia and Palestine.

[Le Prof. Dr. Enver Arpa est le directeur de l’Institut d’études régionales de l’ASBU.]

*The opinions expressed in this article relate only to their author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial line of the Anadolu Agency.

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