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INTERNATIONAL >Nekkaz urges Turkey to pass ‘Algerian bill’

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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    İpek Yezdaniİpek Yezdaniipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr

    The Turkish government should make a law to punish those denying Algerian genocide, similar to France’s bill concerning Armenian claims of genocide, according to Rachid Nekkaz, a French businessman of Algerian descent.

    “Sarkozy’s stance for Turkey is parallel to the Western countries’ stance during Ottoman time when they called Ottoman [Empire] the ‘sick man’ of Europe. However, Turkey is not the sick man anymore, and you have to transform your economic power to diplomatic power now,” Nekkaz told journalists in a press conference held at the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (Mazlum-Der) in Istanbul. Nekkaz called on Turkey to legislate Algerian genocide on March 19, when the Evian Agreement was signed between France and Algeria. Nekkaz also started a fund for 1 million euros to pay for future fines of people denying Armenian claims of genocide in France should the controversial law be passed.

    If the bill is accepted in the French Senate on Jan. 23, Nekkaz said he will be the first person to commit the crime of denying Armenian genocide in front of the French Senate. “The only aim of Sarkozy is to capture the votes of the 500,000 Armenians in France. This is not acceptable for a state policy. It is very normal that Turkish Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is now talking about France’s genocide in Algeria,” Nekkaz said.

    Nekkaz also said Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s warning to Turkey “to stop trying to make political capital out of France’s killing of thousands of Algerians during the colonial period” does not reflect the views of the Algerian people.

    January/13/2012

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