Turkish Parliament Mulls Steps Against France

ANKARA (Reuters)–Turkey’s nationalist government coalition partner said on Wednesday it would propose a bill providing for swift sanctions against countries whose parliamen’s accuse Turks of genocide against Armenia’s.

The bill–sponsored by the Nationalist Action Party (MHP)–follows a French parliamentary vote last week recognizing claims that Ottoman Turks systematically massacred 1.5 million Armenia’s in 1915. A similar bill was passed by the European parliament and resolutions have been before the Italian and US legislatures.

An official of the Motherland Party–coalition partner of the MHP–said the Turkish Parliament would also consider a separate bill accusing France of conducting genocide against Algerians during the collapse of colonial rule there.

Turkey angrily rejects genocide allegations–arguing that both Armenia’s and Turks suffered losses during clashes at the onset of World War One.

The new law would arm cabinet with power to invoke swift counter-measures against nations that formally condemn Turkey–the state-run Anatolian news agency said. Sanctions would include barring those countries from lucrative public tender offers–curbing the exchange of goods and services and downgrading political and cultural relations.

Turkey on Tuesday said it had canceled a $259 million satellite contract with France-based Alcatel and may exclude French state-owned arms maker GIAT from a tank tender–worth some $7.1 billion.

Parliament will also consider a separate draft bill accusing France of carrying out genocide in Algeria during its rule over the north African nation–the deputy leader of the Motherland Party said on Wednesday. “The parliament recognizes and condemns the genocide that France carried out in Algeria between 1954 and 1962,” said MP Bulent Akarcali in a statement.

Deputies from the main opposition Virtue Party on Wednesday also tabled a motion to formally recognize the killings of Algerians as genocide.

It is not clear when parliament would vote on the measures.

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