The Turkish-French conflict took a dangerous dimension in Algeria, as signs of a dangerous penetration of the two administrations into the leadership of the Algerian authority become more obvious.
Against the traditional French techniques for enhancing France’s presence in Algeria, the Turks have employed modern lobbing techniques by reproducing the experience of Said Bouteflika through Mohamed Taboun, the son of President Abdel Majeed Taboun.
Relations in the narrow circle of the Algerian presidential palace were strained in an unprecedented way, after President Taboun had to intervene and reprimand some of his advisers and a member of his family against the backdrop of suspicious contacts aimed at reproducing the experience of the previous regime by preparing his son, Muhammad Taboun, to be inside the decision-making centers.
Morocco Intelligence news website have talked about dispute at the Al Mouradia palace, which took place last weekend, after President Taboun intervened to reprimand his son Muhammad, alongside his Turkish friend, Ahmed Demeral, against the background of using his personal relationship with him to communicate with his son.
The website stated that the mysterious advisor at the presidential palace, Boualam Boualam, has warned the president that the relations between his son Mohamed and Demeral – one of the prominent members of the Turkish lobby in Algeria – have become a real concern, especially after occupying significant parts of the country’s media.
Demeral is one of the prominent Turkish figures who having good relations with President Taboun. He is responsible for managing and supporting Turkish interests in Algeria, particularly in the fields of trade and investment, which were remarkably enhanced during the recent years of Boutaflika regime.
The imprisoned former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s confessions to the judiciary on Tuesday revealed a questionable expansion of Turkish influence in the country through construction investments. “God knows the amount of bread that foreigners have eaten in Algeria, especially in the field of construction” Ouyahia said in front of the judge, in reference to Turkey.
Turks have monopolized the building and construction projects during the last two decades, as Turkish companies backed by a highly active lobby have constructed tens of thousands of apartments and infrastructure projects. They are still doing so despite the economic crisis that hit Turkey since 2014.
A reliable source told al-Arab that Algeria, during the past two decades became a center for the Turkish lobbies, and that after the infiltration of Abdullah Gulen’s loyal groups, Erdogan’s loyal groups have penetrated to Algeria. Ahmed Demeral created a network of connections with the decision makers in Algeria.”
“Algeria opens its doors for official Turkish influence with Ottoman ambitions, becoming a real competitor for the historical French influence in Algeria,” the source added.
However, the recent incident at Al Mouradia Palace revealed some facts hidden from the public. It might also provoke strong reactions by France, which now feels that its interests are being restricted in one of the capitals being loyal for decades.
Ahmed Demeral’s relations with the current Algerian president dates back to 2016, when he was Minister of Housing during Bouteflika’s presidency. Getting his son Muhammad involved in the struggle with the Turkish businessmen could open a new front; therefore, he hastened to surround his son’s influence and stopping his friend.
Taboun addressed Demeral, saying, “You are my friend and not my son’s friend, and there is no need to enter from narrow angles.” However, the incident is likely to raise questions about the relation of the two men, especially if it is linked to the supervision of Taboun on the housing bag that has exhausted billions of dollars in suspicious projects.
Morocco Intelligence said that the Turkish lobby attempted to use Muhammed Taboun for persuading his father to establish a government petrochemical project, with financial cost of about $6 billion, for the benefit of Turkish companies. For that reason, the Turks started a campaign for promoting the son of the president to be the godfather of Turkish interests in the presidential palace.