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Armenia

Turkey Asks French Senators To Reject Armenia 'Genocide' Bill

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutogluTurkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkey has asked French senators to reject a bill which makes it a crime to deny that the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey were a "genocide."

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in televised comments on January 20, maintained that it was not right for France, as a country not directly implicated in the issue, to get involved in what amounts to an internal affair for Turkey.

"The discussion that will take place in the French Senate in the days ahead is beyond the Turkish-Armenian debate, and also beyond a third-party intervention in relations between two countries," he said.

"It is not right for a third country -- France -- to intervene in the history of two countries," he added. "It is not right and it is not fair. Removing freedom of expression, sentencing those who express their opinions is against the most basic principles of modern society."

Davutoglu said that Turkey expects France "to respect European values before anything else."

He said that "if the bill passes, it will remain as a black stain in France's intellectual history. And [Turkey] will always remind them of this black stain."

The French lower house approved the bill last month, threatening with jail anyone who denies that the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 were genocide -- something Turkey denies.

A Senate panel this week indicated that it would be unconstitutional for France to make it illegal to deny that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks constituted genocide.

The panel also said that if the bill passed it would violate other statutes, including one on freedom of speech.

Nonetheless, the non-binding recommendation will not stop the vote going ahead on January 23, with the Senate leaders of President Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement party (UMP) and the opposition Socialists saying they would vote in favor of the bill.

France also recognizes the Holocaust carried out against Jews and Roma by Nazi Germany during World War II as genocide.

compiled from agency reports
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by: RD
January 20, 2012 22:24
It is ironic that the Turkish Foreign Minister speaks of freedom of speech, when article 301 is still alive and well in Turkey. I always thought Davutoglu was a tad smarter. I guess he is just as much of a thug as Erdogan.

by: HartR from: Los Angeles
January 20, 2012 23:59
This is not an internal affair you idiot, this is about crime against humanity and destruction in whole of an ethnic group.
"Removing freedom of expression...." How about Turkish Penal Code Article 301? Article 301 has been used to bring charges against journalist, writers and Publishers.
Amnesty International claims that "Article 301 poses a direct threat to freedom of expression, as enshrined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and in Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

There is an ongoing debate in the country on the right to life, torture, freedom of expression as well as freedoms of religion, assembly and association.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

by: Guest
January 21, 2012 15:25
I don't know why Turkey is making a big fuss over it. Every single Western country commited genocide which is much worth than Turkey's. Recognize genocide commited by them.
One of the 'genocides' also includes the role of Turkey during Irish Famine.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0601/1224271591118.html

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