Gül’s bill call falls on deaf ears of Sarkozy
Turkish President Gül (R) is seen with French President Sarkozy in this file photo. AA photoIn an unprecedented move that was perceived as an act of disrespectfulness by Turkey, French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday refused to talk to Turkish President Abdullah Gül on the phone as the latter attempted to call him to personally convey his message over the Armenian “genocide” denial bill to be voted tomorrow in French Parliament.
The Elysee Palace was notified Monday morning that Gül would like to talk to Sarkozy in person, but the request was not met, leading Gül to issue a written statement slamming the bill, sources from the Presidency Office said. “We have not received a reply from Sarkozy for the last two days,” one source said. “Sarkozy did not have the courage to talk to Gül on the issue.” After Gül’s request to speak was turned down, a presidential statement calling on French Parliament to immediately abandon the bill that would criminalize the denial of Armenian “genocide” was posted on the presidency’s website.
The statement warns that the move jeopardizes deep-rooted bilateral ties. “I hope that this initiative, which flouts freedom of expression and blocks even the path to objective scientific research, is dropped in the shortest possible time,” Gül said. “It’s strange and thought-provoking that such initiatives always coincide with pre-election periods.” The president said: “Judging a country’s history by the way of political parliamentary moves and distorting history for the sake of political ends is inconsiderate in the least.” Ankara expects “reason and common sense to prevail in France,” he said.