Turkey welcomes appeal of French "genocide" bill
Turkish Foreign Ministry on...
Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday welcomed an appeal of a French bill that incriminates anyone who denies Armenia`s take on the incidents of 1915 to the Constitutional Council for annulment, according to Xinhua.
"We welcome this most honorable initiative. We will now wait for the Constitutional Council`s ruling, which we believe would fit with the France`s rooted tradition of democracy and of rule of law," said the Foreign Ministry in a press release.
Meanwhile, Turkey`s Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoglu to France on Tuesday said he expected the French Constitutional Council to annul the legislation that makes it a crime to deny that the incidents occurred in 1915 during the Ottoman era were a "genocide. "
"We have received the result we want. We thank everyone who extended support. Turkish-French relations could not survive such a law. And we expect a positive ruling from the council," Burcuoglu was quoted as saying by the semi-official Anatolia news agency.
In France, even if a bill has been approved by the Senate, it can still be appealed to the Constitutional Court if a large number of lawmakers file for it.
The French Senate voted last Monday 127 to 86 in favor of the bill after hours of debate. The bill, yet to be signed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was passed in the French National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, on Dec. 22 last year.
Armenians claim that more than 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a systematic genocide during the World War I, but the Turkish government insists that the Armenians were victims of widespread chaos and governmental breakdown as the Ottoman Empire collapsed before modern Turkey was created in 1923.
The two countries signed protocols to normalize relations last October but the protocols needed to be ratified by the two countries` parliaments before taking effect. Turkish authorities have warned that the row over the "genocide" claims could hamper the normalization process.