Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo) (epa)
May 14, 2006 -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is today quoted as threatening France with trade sanctions if it adopts a bill making it illegal to deny that the 1915-17 massacre of Armenians in Turkey was "genocide."
The Turkish newspaper "Hurriyet" quotes Erdogan as saying sanctions will be imposed if French lawmakers pass a bill making denial of the "Armenian genocide" liable to a five-year jail term and a 45,000 euro ($58,000) fine.
Legislators are expected to vote on the measure on May 18.
Armenians allege up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings between 1915 and 1917, while the Ottoman Empire was falling apart.
Turkey rejects the claim that the killings were systematic.
CALL IT GENOCIDE? Questions surrounding the mass killings of Armenians at the beginning of the last century continue to dominate relations between Armenia and Turkey. In April,
Ankara proposed conducting a joint Armenian-Turkish investigation into the mass killings and deportations of Armenians during World War I.
Turkish leaders suggested that the two countries set up a joint commission of historians to determine whether the massacres carried out between 1915 and 1917 constituted genocide. Armenia, however, insisted it would continue to seek international recognition and condemnation of what it says was a deliberate attempt at exterminating an entire people....(more)
Armenians Mark 90th Anniversary Of Start Of Massacres
Armenia: Tragedy Remains On Europe’s Political Map
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