Bağış reminds France of its national motto
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey does not know what genocide is, says EU Minister Egemen Bağış.
Turkey’s European Union Minister Egemen Bağış has strongly criticized the introduction of the alleged Armenian genocide to French history textbooks.
Bağış called on the French, who take great pride in their state founded on the worthy precepts of “liberté, égalité, et fraternité” (liberty, equality and fraternity), to reexamine their understanding of their own national motto. “I hope they will soon realize this mistake and correct it,” he said, while delivering a speech at a meeting arranged by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).
“Turkey does not know what genocide is. Turkey knows the phrase ‘peace at home, peace in the world,’ as the founder of our republic, [Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk said. We try to provide peace all around the world; we try to give love,” Bağış said.
“There was no colonial system in the places where we had been before,” he said, in an apparent reference to France’s colonial past. “There had always been prosperity and tolerance the places that we went. Instead of putting these absurd things in the textbooks, they should examine their understanding of ‘liberté, égalité, and fraternité.’ We recommend that the OSCE [the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] end the tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We hope they [can stop focusing on] elections and focus on issues affecting future generations as soon as possible. We hope that Turkey will be a means for the European Union to get out of the mental abyss it has fallen into.”