Policy Brief

Algerian-Turkish Relations: From Alienation to A Need For Strategic Ties

After a long distant friendship between Algeria and Turkey in the post-WWII period, both states are now struggling to develop political and strategic ties. They had been a unit during the Ottoman Empire for over three centuries (1519-1830), but political shifts in the 19th and 20thcenturies divided the Ottoman Empire into nation states. While Algeria achieved such a status in 1960 after it had fallen under French colonization for more than 130 years (1830-1962), Turkey kept struggling to survive amid the international dispute of the 20th century until the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

The relations between Algeria and Turkey date back to the end of the 15th century and stretch up to the 19th century. The existence of the Ottomans in North Africa generally was due to an invitation by North African tribes to defend them against the Europeans. The successive collapse of the Muvahhid dynasty at the end of 14th century and Andalusia in the 15thcentury lead to a political recession in North Africa. The internal political problems between leading dynasties competing for power triggered European powers to launch military strikes south of the Mediterranean (Shaler, 1829: 25). Due to this situation, North Africans called Ottomans for help to stand up to the European threat. Therefore, we can understand that the first initial ties between the Ottomans and the Algerians were strategic ties. However, with the official existence of the Ottomans in North Africa (1519), Algeria became part of the Empire.