France urged for common sense

France urged for common sense

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s president and Parliament urged the French Senate “to heed the common sense” during next week’s discussion of a draft law penalizing the denial of Armenian allegations of genocide. 

“[The adoption of the bill] will not only overshadow bilateral ties but will deal them a blow,” President Abdullah Gül told reporters in the central Anatolian town of Aksaray yesterday. The French Senate will discuss the bill Jan. 23 after its Constitutional Committee evaluated the proposed bill as incompatible with the French Constitution. The committee’s evaluation was welcomed by Turkey who called on French senators to drop it from the Senate agenda. 

However, France’s Ambassador to Turkey Laurent Bili drew the attention to the fact that the situation at the General Assembly could be a little different as senators would defend the demands and the rights of their electorates, in an interview with the private station Kanal D. “[The committee’s evaluation] does not mean that the bill will not be passed [Jan. 23],” he said.

The bill would later be taken to the French Constitutional Court if the Senate would vote in favor of it, Bili said, calling on the Turkish government not to overreact in this case. “What is happening in France [regarding this draft law] does befit neither French democracy nor France as the leading country of the EU,” he said, expressing his hopes that French senators will not endorse a draft law which was found as inadmissible by the committee. A similar call came from Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday through a declaration.

“We wish that the common sense reflected by the committee will be shared by the Senate’s General Assembly as well,” it read, adding that the nature of this draft law was incompatible with universal values. Turkey’s position is leaving the examination of the past’s contested issues to the hands of independent historians and Turkey will have to take retaliatory measures against France if Senate adopts the draft, the statement said.

Armenian genocide,