Ankara retains hope for nixing French bill

Ankara retains hope for nixing French bill

Ankara retains hope for nixing French bill

EU hopes the difficulties between Turkey and Armenia will be overcome, Ripert (L), the head of the EU delegation to Turkey, says during a meeting with Minister Bağış. İHA photo

There are positive developments on collecting the 60 signatures required to challenge France’s “genocide” denial law, a Turkish politician said, although the sufficient number had not yet been reached.

“There are positive developments on the issue of signatures, but all is not clear yet,” said Ömer Çelik, deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), speaking in a TV broadcast yesterday. 

Turkey is currently waiting for the conclusion of the legal process in France. If the law is adopted Ankara will implement ready-prepared sanctions against France, Çelik said.

On the other hand, the European Union has expressed hope on reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia despite the current Franco-Turkish spat. 

“The EU supports good neighborly relations between states. We hope Turkey and Armenia pass over these difficulties,” Jean-Maurice Ripert, new head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, told reporters after meeting with Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış yesterday.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said last week he was disappointed by the silence of the European Union on the matter. If any candidate country to the EU had implemented such a law, the union would have raised the issue, included it in its progress reports, and made its removal a precondition of entry, he said, adding that Turkey expected the EU to impose sanctions on France.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also claimed Turkey was keeping up its efforts for the French senators who objected to the denial law to apply to the Constitutional Council. 

The law passed by the French Senate criminalizes denial of Armenian genocide allegations.