Erdoğan warns Sarkozy of ‘grave consequences’
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Sarkozy and Erdoğan at the G20 meeting. AA Photo
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a
letter today to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, warning of the "grave
consequences" a French bill recognizing Armenian genocide claims would
have on bilateral relations.
"I want to express this clearly," Erdoğan
said. "These steps will lead to grave consequences for the cultural,
economic and political relations between France and Turkey, and the responsibility
of these consequences will fall on those who initiated those steps."
Erdoğan further said such a bill would be seen as
directly "targeting the Turkish state, the Turkish nation, and the Turkish
community living in France."
The Turkish community still has fresh memories of the
assassinations of Turkish diplomats and statesmen by Armenian militants, the
"We should not enslave our bilateral relations to
the wishes of a third party," Erdoğan said. "This is a serious,
sensitive issue. It is important that common sense prevails over political
On Dec. 15, Turkish officials said that if the bill
was passed, Ankara would recall its ambassador and freeze bilateral ties with
France's National Assembly is expected next week to pass the law criminalizing anyone who denies that the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 constituted genocide. Anyone who publicly denies the genocide claims would face a year in prison and a 45,000-euro fine if the motion is passed.