As France Tightens the Noose, Turkey Reacts with Outrageous Words and Deeds

Harut Sassounian


Turkish leaders routinely proclaim that they are not afraid of facing their country’s past. Yet, the minute someone reminds them of the darkest chapters of their history, they panic and overreact.

The most recent example of Turkish officials’ irrational behavior is their reaction to French initiatives to adopt a law criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide. Despite Turkish threats and retaliatory measures, the bill was adopted by the French Parliament on December 22, 2011 and the Senate is expected to approve it on January 23, 2012.
Here are a few examples of outrageous Turkish overreaction to France and all things French:

  • Prime Minister Erdogan accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s father of participating in the Algerian atrocities, while serving in the French Army. Sarkozy’s father shot back by admonishing Erdogan to read his biography, telling him that he had never set foot in Algeria.
  • To justify his own country’s genocide of Armenians, Erdogan accused France of committing “genocide” in Algeria. Yet, Erdogan was shocked when Algeria’s Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia rebuked him for playing politics with Algerians’ blood. Ouyahia also blamed Turkey for the deaths of countless Algerians by providing ammunition to France during the colonial period for which former Turkish Pres. Ozal apologized to Algeria.
  • The Mayor of Ankara announced last week that the City Council had decided to change the name of “Paris Street” to “Algeria Street,” rename “Charles De Gaulle Street” in honor of a yet to be named Algerian hero, and erect a monument dedicated to the Algerian “massacres” in front of the French Embassy in the Turkish capital.
  • Turkish factories have been busily manufacturing toilet paper, trash bags, and baby diapers carrying Sarkozy’s name, and condoms with the picture of French Deputy Valerie Boyer. Meanwhile, a gang of Turkish hackers attacked the websites of French lawmakers and threatened to rape Mrs. Boyer and murder her children.
  • Prof. Oya Akgonenc wrote a hilarious article titled, “Armenian Events in the Triangle of Armenia, France and America.” She identified three “dangerous attackers” of Turkey whose last names start with S: “Sarkozy of France, Sargsyan of Armenia, and Sassounian, head of the Armenian lobby in the United States!”
  • Although Turkey called for a boycott of French products and services, Turkish flights to Paris were fully booked, as the number of Turks visiting France during the holidays increased by 10% compared to last year. Similarly, trade between the two countries increased by 30% after the 2001 French recognition of the Armenian Genocide, despite the Turkish boycott of France.
  • French-Algerian businessman Rachid Nekkaz, who proudly declared during a recent visit to Turkey, “I feel like I am a Turk,” announced setting up a million euro ($1.3 million) fund to pay the fine for any Turk arrested in France for denying the Armenian Genocide. Mr. Nekkaz failed to inform potential Turkish denialists that the pending French law also carries a sentence of one year in jail which his fund would be unable to prevent.
  • The head of a Turkish news agency called for the closing down of French schools in Turkey and banning the teaching of French in Turkish schools.

Such nutty statements are likely to multiply after the French Senate approves the bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide and Pres. Sarkozy signs it into law, in view of the fact that the two largest French parties have expressed their support for the Armenian bill. Imagine the whining of Turkish leaders, when Turks are arrested in France for breaking the upcoming law on genocide denial.

Turkish protests will reach a crescendo when the French government proposes to the 25 other states of the European Union a similar anti-denial law which would lead to the arrest and punishment of Turkish denialists throughout Europe.

Turkish leaders have no one else to blame but themselves for their embarrassing and demeaning predicament. Yet, Turkey is in no position to give lectures about freedom of expression to anyone, given its draconian laws that violate the basic human rights of its own citizens. In France, it is illegal to lie about genocide, while in Turkey it is illegal to tell the truth!

Instead of blaming the French Senate or the three men “whose last names start with S,” Turkish leaders could get out of their century-long quagmire by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and making amends to the descendants of dispossessed victims.

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  1. Alexander The Great Armo said:

    Funny fact: Turks tell us to stop whining about us getting slaughtered 97 years ago, it is in the past and to look forward to the future. The thing is that these ‘donkey lover’s’ don’t understand that for Armenian as a nation/race future won’t start until they recognize the genocide they committed; most Armenians are living in aftermath of 1915 events until they (the Turks as a people and not some name for their states) recognize it and we (Armenians/Greeks/Assyrians) get all that we deserve, mainly land that we were slaughter for. There is a lot of speculation why Armenians were ‘massacred’ and/or ‘deported’ (or as I say ‘deported to afterlife’) is for latest Turkish state to have common borders with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran at the cost of Armenian lives and land. All Ottoman controlled nations got their lands back except for Armenians because of not 1.5 to 2 million Armenians being slaughtered, but the percentage of Armenians that were slaughter, which was more that 50% of that time and date. 700 years of slaughter and populations check carried out by Turks against ancient people like Hayer to keep us weak and unorganized. As soon they saw some organization and unification of any sort under Ottomans they checked by massacring those that opposed them, which from imperial mindset is perfectly ok to do, and still is. Armenians were never imperialistic mind-set people that’s why we have suffered for a 1000 years. I blame it on our religious figures of the past. Now it’s time to demand more that we want/deserve and never fall back to any states demand. I call for us to get more unified no matter what part of the world the Armenians are from ( this is directed to close minded, stupidly nationalist Hayastantsis that they think they are more Armenians since they were born in SOVIET MADE ARMENIAN BORDERS LINES) Republic of Armenia. Please don’t forget that everyone that we think is a friend of our homeland has backstabbed us multiple times: USA selling the truth of Armenian Genocide for military support of Turkey for American interests, UK via Churchill backdoor deal with Turkey before WWII to not serve USSR interest, Iran for previous massacres many times against it’s Armenian minorities in the history, Georgians for the sin of envy against Armenians that still exist to this date since they joined the Greek Orthodox Church, Azeri’s never existed until Ottoman Turks created another Turkish state. Also, Kurds that have moved to the South Caucuses during Arab Invasions and spread of Islam, well they were mercenaries for many reason that also killed many Armenians during the genocide but for profit for Turkish cause. How does it feel Kurds to receive the same end of the sword in your case bullets) that laid waste to lot more percentage wise people than you will ever experience).
    I wish for a future that the crimes committed against my ancestor be justified to the times X (X = the year that Turks will recognize the Armenian Genocide after 1915) by the way of currency pay offs to all surviving Armenians, lands returned which was Western Armenian and Pontic Lands given autonomy under Armenian rule, and the rest of the properties that were seized in the rest of the Turkey from Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.


    Yours truly,

    Alexander The Great Armo!

  2. Raffikian said:

    The cost will be lesser for Turkey if recognizes the Genocide ASAP than to confront the pressure and intimidations of other countries

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    Let me offer this premise to the naivete.turkey is ALL TALK,NO ACTION,——UNLESS—-the opposition is 20 times smaller or UNARMED WOMEN,CHILDREN,OLD PEOPLE.—REMEMBER THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE. class dismissed.

    • Sedat said:

      Why is it Alex, that official history shows that Armenia committed all the atrocities that are blaming the Turks for, wake up Alex remember the Turkish unarmed pregnant women, children and old people that were murdered, who will be held accountable for their deaths.. No Alex the real history lesson has just commenced.