Turkish MPs lobby against ‘genocide’ bill

Turkish MPs lobby against ‘genocide’ bill

PARIS / KONYA – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish MPs lobby against ‘genocide’ bill

Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee meets with senior French politicians to drum up opposition against a French bill crimalizing ‘genocide’ denial. AA photo

A Turkish parliamentary delegation started a three-day campaign in Paris yesterday to halt a French motion criminalizing the denial of Armenian genocide claims, warning that the bill’s passage would seriously damage bilateral ties.

Volkan Bozkır, head of Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, met yesterday with his French counterpart, Axel Poniatowski; the delegation also met with Pierre Moscovici from the Socialist Party to drum up opposition to the motion. 

A vote on the bill is expected to take place Dec. 22. 

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey would “not remain silent” if the French parliament adopted the bill and renewed calls on France’s intellectual community to resist the legislation. 

“The ramifications of the bill will outstrip its proportions if such a prohibitive approach takes the upper hand in the middle of Europe,” Davutoğlu told reporters yesterday in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, where he is attending meetings.

 “As always, Turkey has contingency plans, calculations and preparations on every issue. There will be measures that Turkey will take. If our warnings remain unanswered and prohibitive attitudes prevail in France, they should not expect us to stay silent,” he said. 

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, who last week sent a letter to his French counterpart, warned that France would pay “a heavy price” if its Parliament passed the bill. “The approval of the bill will lead to problems at a scale that will cause irreparable consequences for our relations. If things develop in that direction, I’m afraid France will pay a very heavy price in the future,” he said.