Turkish ambassador set to return to Paris
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish President Abdullah Gül (R) meets Turkey’s Ambassador to Paris Burcuoğlu in Ankara Dec 26, 2011, when Burcuoğlu return to Turkey for consultations. AFP photoThe Turkish ambassador to France is set to return to Paris within days to coordinate Turkey’s efforts to prevent the passing of a controversial bill in the French Senate penalizing the denial of Armenian genocide allegations.
Diplomatic sources did not say when Tahsin Burcuoğlu will begin his work in Paris but said his return will not be delayed. French Parliament passed the bill Dec. 22, but the Senate and the president must approve the bill before it can be implemented. If the bill passes, those who publicly deny Armenian genocide allegations face a fine of 45,000 euros and a year in prison. After the bill passed in French Parliament, Turkey withdrew its ambassador for consultations. The French Parliament and Senate will resume its work by Jan. 10 and will recess Feb. 22 for presidential elections. If the Senate decides not to put the bill on its agenda, the legislation will be annulled according to French laws.
Meanwhile, an open letter to French President Nicolas Sarkozy written by three former students of a French high school in Istanbul was published yesterday in daily Hürriyet.
Melisa Atassi, Nil Eyüboğlu and Sian Kesova said the law penalizing the denial of Armenians’ claims of genocide was in clear contradiction to the values of France that has been a guarantor of fundamental freedoms. “We don’t understand why the French legislature is interfering in this issue,” said the letter. A Turkish cyber group however hacked French politician Patrick Devedjian’s website in protest of the recent French bill.