Turkish envoy eyes halt of ‘genocide’ bill

Turkish envoy eyes halt of ‘genocide’ bill

PARIS - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish envoy eyes halt of ‘genocide’ bill

‘We expect a positive ruling from the Council,’ Burcuoğlu says. AP photo

Turkey’s ambassador to France said he expected the France’s Constitutional Council to annul legislation criminalizing denials of the 1915 events as genocide after a sufficient number of senators challenged the bill in the high court.

“We have received the result we want. We thank everyone who extended support. Turkish-French relations could not survive with such a law. We expect a positive ruling from the council,” Tahsin Burcuoğlu told Anatolia news agency Jan. 31.

On Jan. 31, two separate groups of French politicians who oppose the contentious legislation – from both the Senate and the lower house of Parliament – said they had requested that the Constitutional Council examine the law.The council is obliged to deliver its judgment within 30 says, but this could be reduced to eight days if the government deems the matter urgent.

Engin Solakoğlu, a spokesman for the Turkish Embassy in Paris, said he did not expect the government to reduce the council’s time to eight days, saying this was only done in urgent cases. Solakoğlu, who also expressed hope that the council would find the bill unconstitutional, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday that a majority of French jurists had publicly suggested the bill was against the constitution.

If the Constitutional Council finds the bill unconstitutional, it will be automatically canceled. If the council finds the bill constitutional, it will be sent to French President Nicolas Sarkozy to sign. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had also praised the legislators for appealing the bill, saying Ankara welcomed the move.