France may punish denial of ‘genocide’
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsFrance’s parliament might finally approve a law penalizing the denial of Armenian genocide claims, a deputy who helped prepare a new draft on the matter has said ahead of legislative discussion on the bill, which has prompted a Turkish reaction.
“The draft law [to penalize the denial of genocide], which was prepared back in 2006, ran the risk of challenging the constitution. The new draft law has a stronger basis as it completely complies with European Union norms,” said deputy Valeri Boyer. The bill, however, has caused some worry in Ankara. “At a moment when Turkey and France have entered into a process in which they could increase their
cooperation at bilateral and international level, we hope no unrecoverable steps will be taken,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. France recently officially recognized the 1915 incidents as genocide.
“This draft law will penalize not only the denial of genocide but also the denial of tragedies that France has recognized as genocide. Above all, racism and xenophobia will be penalized,” Boyer recently told the Hürriyet Daily News in an email interview. Noting that Turkey emphasizes the Algeria issue when 1915 incidents are in question, Boyer said, “the incidents of Algeria were a decolonization project which ended with the Evian Accords in March 19, 1962; they were not genocide.” Boyer added that she had Algerian origins in her family. Boyer said France and Turkey might have radically different visions about the tragedies yet could continue their economic and cultural relations. “The general opinion in France is in favor of penalizing the denial of genocide.”