Turkish Lobby Seeks to Annul Genocide Bill

ANKARA (Turkish Daily News)–The Turkish lobby–comprised mainly of French businessmen operating in Turkey–has intensified efforts to ward off the ultimate endorsement of the Armenian Genocide bill–which was passed by the French parliament last month.

The representative of a major French company–who spoke on the condition of anonymity–has said that efforts to gather the 60 signatures required to file an application to annul the bill–on grounds that it infringes on the French Constitution–were just about to be completed–the Anatolia news agency reported.

In the event that 60 parliamentarians sign the appeal calling for the abolition of the bill–the French Constitutional Council will take the issue on its agenda and rule whether or not the bill should be annulled. The appeal to the Constitutional Council will be based on an article which stipulates that the authority to determine the country’s foreign policy belongs to the president and the government–not the legislature–the French representative said.

"The Armenian bill is a very dangerous step. It should be prevented," the official told Anatolia–adding that the Genocide bill would damage Turco-French ties.

He emphasized that French investmen’s topped the list of foreign investmen’s in Turkey. French companies aim to win a total of $45 billion in tenders in Turkey over the next ten years–particularly in the fields of energy and defense.

A harsh row erupted between Turkey and France after the French Parliament unanimously passed a bill on May 29 recognizing the alleged Armenian Genocide by Ottomans in 1915. The Senate must give final approval to the bill before it can become law. The Senate did not take the bill onto its agenda immediately. The issue is expected to be handled by the Senate in October at the earliest.

Several French firms have been dropped off the list in important Turkish tenders in response to the stance taken by the French Parliament.

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