Turkey Continues to Warn France

ANKARA (Combined Sources)–Following the approval of a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide Wednesday–Turkey continued to threaten France on deteriorating relations.

After the approval of the resolution French Ambassador to Turkey Bernard Garcia was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry Wednesday and met with Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu. It has been learned that Logoglu conveyed Turkey’s "sensitivity and views" on the issue.

Speaking to the Turkish Daily News diplomatic sources said the approval of the bill may damage relations between France and Turkey. Sources said Logoglu told the French ambassador that Turkey was waiting for the French president and government to make efforts to prevent the resolution being passed in the National Assembly.

The same sources also confirmed that the Turkish Foreign Ministry has prepared a document that shows all aspects of Turkey’s relations with France. They told the TDN that the same had been done for all countries where the so-called Armenian genocide was on the agenda.

Releasing an official statement Turkey’s Foreign Ministry condemned the vote–saying that it was not up to lawmakers to judge another people.

The statement reads: "The French Senate has approved a bill on the so-called Armenian genocide issue–totally contradicting historical facts. We condemn and reject this decision of the Senate–which is extremely unfortunate and improper. … This decision means a ruthless distortion of historical facts and the slandering of an entire nation on the basis of groundless claims. The Turkish nation has never committed such a crime against humanity as genocide–throughout its history. … Turks lived for centuries and are still living in peace with Armenia’s in Anatolia. But during World War I certain Armenian groups in the eastern parts of Anatolia–used as pawns by certain foreign powers–betrayed their own country by forging alliances with enemy forces."

The statement also accused Armenian President Robert Kocharian–whose country borders on Turkey–of orchestrating a campaign to achieve recognition of a genocide in foreign capitals.

"Kocharian has been pursuing a policy of stirring the Armenian Diaspora as part of an effort to get a series of anti-Turkey decisions approved in the legislative bodies of some countries. This policy jointly pursued by the Kocharian administration and the Armenian Diaspora — having considerable financial resources — does not help the establishment of peace and stability in the Caucasus and serves to intensify the isolation Armenia has been facing in the region–greatly harming the Armenian people who have already endured suffering," the statement said.

The Foreign Ministry also warned the French government that the bill would negatively affect Turkish-French relations and described the event as narrow-minded and done for selfish political gain.

The ministry’s statement went on to say: "Furthermore–the traditional Turkish-French friendship–whose origins go back as far as an agreement signed between Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and French King Francois I in the 16th century–is also being threatened for the sake of narrow-minded and selfish political gain. Being a statesman and parliamentarian requires responsibility–common sense and realism. It is not the duty of Parliament members or senators to make decisions about the histories and cultures of other countries and to attempt to judge other countries. But unfortunately–it is observed that the Parliamen’s of some countries having friendly ties with Turkey might not act in the desired manner in that regard. Accordingly–the fact that the Senate of France–who has the closest ties with Turkey–has approved such a bill has deeply hurt and injured the Turkish nation."

The ministry said in its statement that it hoped the French National Assembly–like the US House of Representatives and the European Parliament–would not "repeat this mistake" and deepen the damage to bilateral relations.

Meanwhile French officials released a statement Wednesday saying that despite the approval of the bill in the Senate–France hoped to continue good relations and cooperation between itself and Turkey.

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