The New York Times website reports today (December 24, 2011) that -- in a breakdown of France-Turkey diplomatic relations -- Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey accused France yesterday of genocide against Algerians in the period of French colonial rule, just one day after France made it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turks.
"Approximately 15 percent of the population in Algeria have been subjected to a massacre by the French starting from 1945," Erdogan said of the French dominion, which ended in 1962. "This is genocide."
Turkey halted diplomatic consultations and military dealings with France on December 22, after the French Parliament backed the bill, which would impose a fine of about $58,700 and a year in jail for those who deny the Turkish genocide of up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1918.
France -- a powerful member of the European Union (EU) -- has played a leading role in blocking Turkey's efforts to join the EU. Greece and Cyprus have also played a significant role in vetoing Turkey's attempts to join the EU, and will continue to do so, until Turkey relinquishes its control of the northern third of Cyprus, which it illegally seized in 1974.