Thursday, August 21, 2014


French Court Overturns French Genocide Denial Law; Turkey Welcomes Ruling

French President Nicolas Sarkozy responded to the court's ruling by ordering his government to draft "a new text, taking into account the decision of the Constitutional Council," according to his office.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy responded to the court's ruling by ordering his government to draft "a new text, taking into account the decision of the Constitutional Council," according to his office.
France's Constitutional Council has ruled that a law concerning the mass killings of Armenians a century ago violates the country's constitution.

The law, passed in December, made it a crime to deny that the killings of some 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 constituted genocide. Punishment under the legislation was set at up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.

But the French high court ruled that the law amounts to an "unconstitutional infringement of the exercise of freedom of expression and communication."

The court said: "It is legitimate for the Parliament to institute indictments on abuse of the exercise of freedom of expression and communication that violate public order and the rights of others. However, the infringement of the exercise of this freedom -- which is a prerequisite for democracy and a guarantee of respect for other rights and freedoms -- must be necessary, appropriate and proportionate to the aim pursued."

Turkey promptly welcomed the ruling. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said the French court's decision "does not indulge political concerns" and that it "averted a potentially serious crisis" in Turkish-French ties.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the French court's ruling would prevent future attempts by French lawmakers to pass such laws, adding he hopes the French government will "respect the decision."

Turkey froze its ties with France after passage of the law by both chambers of the French parliament at the end of last year.

That move included the cancellation of permission for French warships to dock and French military planes to land in Turkey. Turkey also now requires every French military plane to request permission for flights that use Turkish airspace.

Davutoglu also said the government in Ankara would meet to consider whether to restart economic, political, and military contacts with France.

"This verdict is still new. We will consider the subject of sanctions with the prime minister, president, and cabinet," Davutoglu said. "But at this point, I can say that this ruling dismissed the problems that might occur between the Turkish and French people. I say people because we haven't seen any sign that French government has changed its stance. We hope that French government will also respect this ruling that has been taken by the country's prominent judges."

But shortly after Davutoglu made the remarks, French President Nicolas Sarkozy responded to the court ruling by ordering his government to draft a new law punishing those who deny that the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey was genocide.

Sarkozy's office noted the "great disappointment and profound sadness" of those who supported the law.

“As he said at the Armenian Genocide Memorial [in Yerevan in October,] the president [Sarkozy] believes that the denialism is intolerable and must be sanctioned accordingly. He will meet with representatives of the Armenian community of France soon,” read the statement by the Elysee Palace.

“He assigned the government to prepare a new text, taking into account the decision of the Constitutional Council,” it said.

France is home to an influential ethnic Armenian community numbering between 500,000 and 600,000 members. The vast majority of them are descendants of genocide survivors who took refuge in France after World War I.

French Member of Parliament Valerie Boyer told journalists in Paris that she would be "proud" to take part in parliamentary debates and support a new bill if one is introduced.

"Today, descendants of victims of the 1915 genocide can't be protected by acts of negationism," Boyer said. "Let me remind you that negationism isn't the expression of an ordinary opinion. The aim of negationism is to cast a cloud on consent and to make sure that the crime is forgiven in order to prolong the crime. So I wish that in our country, when a genocide is recognized by the law that the negationists can be punished, it is a matter of justice, of equality, of human rights."

RFE/RL's Armenian Service reported that there was no immediate reaction to the ruling from Armenia, which had saluted the bill’s passage. President Serzh Sarkisian twice thanked his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, in December and January for helping to enact the “historic” law.

Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian reaffirmed Yerevan’s strong support for criminalizing Armenian genocide denial in an interview with the Austrian magazine “Der Standard” publicized earlier on February 28. He said the bill reflects “the view of all French people” and “can only be useful for the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.”

With AFP, Reuters, and AP reporting
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Comment Sorting
by: Bulent from: Istanbul, Turkey
February 29, 2012 01:45
Hypocritical France currently utterly incapable of even maintaining her population at its present level has been beautifully humiliated while 'unofficially' permanently losing the vast Turkish market. Turkey with its 16th biggest economy of the World is on the ascent while France will in all likelihood be shut out of the markets of the Middle East! Racist Sarkozy shot France in the foot.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
February 29, 2012 10:06
Aaah,Bulent djan your bleeding heart concern for french democracy and population is heartbreaking.You will be happy to learn that the french have decided to import some 150 000 eunuchs from turkestan to boost the number of their population and you,dearest Bulent is the perfect `man` to lead the group.Now the bad news is that the grand visier told me there`s gonna be some rewriting of the law and this time it will pass the court,so get ready to pay the fines for all your talking turkey.And dont write pisstan bull-its Constantinople !!!

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
February 29, 2012 04:04
When I asked the old grandmother selling woolen socks at the Taganskaya metro station-why the French high court has not upheld a law on the Armenian genocide? She confidently replied: "Because in the court does not persons of Armenian nationality..."

Hey Mr Sarkozy!!
Already it's time to raising a child- waving a rattle,color comics, blow into toy pipe-many important cases...but If you really want to understand what is genocide, then begin to study the events in Abkhazia 1993-94--where the wild tribes of the Abkhazians cut thousands of women and children, and then of course you can dive deeper into history...then we'll talk about the- massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy..
French have done such a horror, that even an executioner and a maniac Ivan the Terrible was troubled...
In Response

by: camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
February 29, 2012 10:10
Dorogoi Vahtang from Moss cow ,have you run out of neckties? Deliciously tasty as they are they must be consumed with moderation.Congratulations on your invention of a brand new grammar of the english language!!!
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
February 29, 2012 14:59
Thank you for the congratulations of course -the great English grammar, but still I think the main thing that those who read my text to understand its meaning...sure that they understand.
by the way
Camel this yellow thing,with two humps and spitting?
What is Kurdistan?Turkey or Iraq?
Write correctly dude-
Camel from the Iraqi Kurdistan.
Camel from the Turkish Kurdistan.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
March 01, 2012 11:31
Tovarish Vah tang from muss cow if you knew the kurdish,arab or the turkish language,which is derived from the former 2 ones then you would know the meaning of my name but it seems you dont know any language but your poor georgian.We all are happy to understand the deep meaning of your posts and dont you care about any stupid grammar rules -you are the bright genius of deep analythical thinking,but we all wonder what are you doing in good old muss cow -maybe they have a sale of sour cabbage and moonshine and you want to take advantage of it???Now we are all sure that pres.Sarkozy is guilty for the massacres in Abkhazia andOssetia and everywhere else in the world-he even made your crazydent eat his necktie and stole your pills so that you may write crap on any subject you can `think` of.The only one that can talk more turkey here is the Onegin guy from `Vienna`,but one wonders whether you are not one allahtan writing under 2 pseudonyms-it doesnt matter---you are both pseuds.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
February 29, 2012 16:34
:-))) Of course, what else could one expect from Mr. Narcozy in the last moths of his reign: he and the French authorities have no idea what to do after their concept of making the guy win the upcoming in April presidential election through an "assertive" foreign policy line (such the genocide recognition) has led them nowhere. One can only hope that the Socialist candidate François Hollande - after winning the election in about 50 days - will implement some of his proposals, such as a 75 % WEALTH TAX on the rich - and a more coherent foreign policy.
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