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POLITICS > Ankara cool to French move on ‘genocide’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Ankara remains calm and cool-headed after French President Hollande confirms plans for a new law criminalizing the denial of Armenian genocide allegations

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius met Paris last week. AP photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius met Paris last week. AP photo

French President François Hollande’s promise to the strong Armenian diaspora to pass a law penalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide is seen an attempt to alleviate their concerns in the wake of the normalization of ties between Ankara and Paris.

“We pay more attention to the statement of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius,” a Turkish foreign ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, obviously referring to a meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers on July 5 in Paris. The meeting between Fabius and Ahmet Davutoğlu marked a new beginning between the two allies after their relations ruined during Nicholas Sarkozy’s presidency.

During the joint press conference, Fabius recalled that earlier attempt to penalize the denial of the genocide was annulled by the French Constitutional Council and severely hurt bilateral relations. He added that a fresh attempt at the Parliament would mean re-experiencing these bitter times.

Hollande confirmed on July 7 plans for a new law criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide allegations, showing the rift between Elysee and the Cabinet. Hollande’s conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had pushed ahead with a bill to criminalize denial of the Armenian genocide allegations, which passed the National Assembly in December 2011, but was canceled by a top constitutional court.

The Elysee Palace confirms

Hollande has clarified in a talk with representatives of the Armenian community from the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) that he will propose a similar law, the group said on July 7. “François Hollande has again expressed his willingness to propose a bill designed to curb the denial of the Armenian genocide, as he had said during his campaign and even before,” said the group.
The Elysee Palace confirmed the telephone conversation and told Agence France-Presse: “The president expressed his commitments during the campaign. He will keep them.” “There is no change, although we must find a path, a road that allows for a text that is consistent with the Constitution.”
“We are closely following the developments,” Turkish official said. “We have never thought that Socialists would ever consider bringing a similar law to the Parliament. They too would think of using it as a domestic political tool as this issue has already turned into an internal political issue.”

July/09/2012

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Raymond Zak

7/11/2012 10:52:08 AM

Turkey 0. France 1 More denies more backwards.

sam stevens

7/9/2012 6:32:11 PM

V Tiger, a very sensible comment. Turkey is supposed to be re-modelling herself ..... what better place to start than sorting this out openly ,honestly & apologetically. Sink her false pride. Until they do that , this will never go away.

Blue Dotterel

7/9/2012 6:06:41 PM

Murat, Turkey is already the only country where arguments on both sides can be found in bookstores. You can't find both sides in any other Western democracy. It is all one sided with a negative statement of Turkey's position on the issue. The facts are irrelevant.

mara mcglothin

7/9/2012 4:12:16 PM

Wis word MURAT It is a shame that I am not optimistic about the esteemed FM taking your adivce. He will continue to be an embarrassment to Turkey on the Interntaitonal stage. Why is anyone surprised about the opinions in France. It is what it is.

titan 71

7/9/2012 3:55:00 PM

Have said this before and will say it again, put Turks and Armenians have to come to terms together. The sooner they realize this and start talking openly, the sooner things will start to improve. Don`t let the French, Americans... Azeris dictate your future. Don`t forget, one thing is 100% sure that all other countries meddling in this have their own agenda and interest in hand. No country will lookout for Turkey or Armenia before their own!

Murat

7/9/2012 3:29:30 PM

It is time for Turkish governments to avoid emotional responses, in fact respone of any kind at high leves to these manipulations. It simply empowers the hate lobby. These are internal matters for France. They want to debase their constitution to appease a hate lobby, it is their problem. Facts will remain facts, history may be re-written but can not be changed. Turks owe apologies to no one on this subject. Best response is to make Turkey World capital of free speech on this topic.

V Tiger

7/9/2012 12:45:53 PM

Best for Turkey to recognize & apologize for the Genocide,reconcile with Armenians & open a fresh new page.Armenians never blame the current Turks for what their forefathers did.They hold Turkey responsible as the representative of the Ottomans & Young Turks similar to Germany with Nazis.Armenians will never let go until justice is achieved & this can only become true when Turks & Armenians resolve these issues together without the involvement of other states like France,Azerbaijan & others.

dogan kemal ileri

7/9/2012 12:02:54 PM

Dont play the European game and resign your application to join the EU.This will automatically disempower France and Germany and their shieldGreek Cyprus.Turkiye is already in the customs union and receives record amounts of active inward investments from the EU countries.Clearly they think we are extremely worthy of trade but not to sit around the table and make policy.Leave NATO too,are we not fed up being the unpaid unloved defenders of Europe's SE wing for decades?

Falk Bernard

7/9/2012 5:43:20 AM

As long as this French tool is not from the table, Turkey shouldn't start to end the measures it took in December 2011. Just show you're determined, otherwise the world will laugh at you (paper tiger).
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