Turkey Threatens to Recall France Envoy Over Genocide Denial Bill

Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu

PARIS, ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Turkey will withdraw its ambassador to France if Paris adopts a law that makes it a crime to deny that the Armenian Genocide.

France has urged Turkey to recognize the massacre as genocide and the lower house of the French Parliament will debate on Dec. 22 the proposal. Denying the genocide would be punishable by up to a year in prison and 45,000 euros ($58,500) in fines.

France banned the denial of the Holocaust in 1990. The bill being debated would put denying the Armenian genocide on par with Holocaust denial.

Turkish officials have said such a law would cause “irreparable” damage to ties between the two countries already hurt by French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s opposition to Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.

On Thursday, the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish diplomat Engin Solakoglu as saying the Turkish ambassador in Paris, Tahsin Burcuoglu, would be recalled for consultations “for an indefinite period of time” if the proposal is passed.

In a speech delivered in Turkey’s Parliament late Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused France of spearheading “a Middle Ages mentality” in Europe.

“This amounts to banning alternative thoughts (on history). This mentality belongs to the Middle Ages,” Davutoglu said. “If such a law is passed, France will be leader of the arrival of the Middle Ages mentality in Europe.”

A Turkish parliamentary delegation is scheduled to visit France next week to talk with legislators ahead of the debate.

Sarkozy had hinted during a visit to Armenia in October that Turkey’s refusal to recognize the genocide would force France to change its law and make the denial of the genocide a criminal offense.

“Turkey is a very important partner and ally for France,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in response to questions on strained relations with Turkey.

“We attach the greatest importance to our exchanges with Ankara, notably on international and regional subjects,” Valero added.

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15 Comments

  1. Hamasdegh said:

    Well, the Swiss are still there in spite of all the saber rattling that emanated from Turkey a few years ago. Perhaps it is time for France to join the Swiss and tell the world that the jizz-jazz coming from Ankara is nothing but hot air. Wait for the day when Turkey will be more busy trying to curry favor with the rest of the world when its economy and finances hit rock bottom , running left and right to seek financial assistance. Ask their former Economy Minister Kemal Dervish. I wonder then what they will do with their Ambassadors.

  2. Ashot Karapetian said:

    Good. Let Turkey recall all her envoys from every country in the world. After all who needs a Genocidal Turkey to bully around everyone on this earth! After all who needs Turkey?

    • Satenik said:

      ” After all who needs Turkey ” . During Christmas and Thanksgiving that’s all!!!!

  3. hrair said:

    it’s a joke!!! why is turkey threatening to withdraw there ambassador from Paris, is it because France and the world are telling it that it committed GENOCIDE AGAINST THE ARMENIANS? THE ANSWER IS A BIG YES, THE WORLD IS LAUGHING AT THIS REDICULOUS UNCIVILIZED BEHAVIOR. turkey has a long way to catch-up with the civilized world.

  4. Alex Postallian said:

    I believe,the time has arrived,that turkish threats,and childish behavior,is a subject of disbelief and comedy.The good news is that my reconsidering visiting France,after the turkish ambassader leaves,will remove the stench,that has invaded the country for years.

  5. Halo said:

    France “urging Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide” is like Someone in the north pole telling another in the south pole that tea will be ready in 5 minutes and they should come over quickly before it gets cold. In other words, at this current time it is a waste of time to begin this kind of childish dialogue. Are the French so naive that they can tell a fascist genocidal country with nomadic minded leaders to recognize their crimes and expect results?

    Actions speak louder than words dear France, and so far you have shown us that you are hypocrites. France and the “allies” were all too ready to get rid of Gaddafi, and the whole operation took less than half a year. Now after 100 years these nations which created Turkey at the expense of Armenia throw around phrases like “we urge you to recognize the genocide Turkey” in order to silence the Armenian sheep of the world who are happy to hear such phrases but are all too self-occupied to understand that it all means NOTHING.

    • Arto said:

      Are you American-Armenian? If you are, you should look at the most hypocritical country in the world, namely the good ol’ USA. Compared to the US, France is a beacon of justice and truth.

      • Turkcekonusanamerikali said:

        Come to the US and you will see that we are the greatest country in the world. You will see our immense natural bounty, the cultural life in our great cities, our incredible economic power, our enormous technological superiority, and so far as science is concerned our preeminence. Google Nobel Prize and you will find a country by country list of Nobel Laureates. Guess who has far and away has the most.
        I teach in a University, and I can tell you foreign students from every country imaginable come here in droves– for the best higher education in the world.

        Sure our politicians are liars. Can you name me a country where they aren’t?

  6. Nejteh said:

    Turkey has a much bigger sense of its importance in the world than geopolitical facts permit. Somehow or the other Turkey has come to believe it is an important player on the world scene on account of its NATO membership and past services it had rendered its masters under successive military dictatorships.It has drawn heavily on this account to trot along with other western democracies as a “modern” state while terrorizing its minorities, from Armenians to Greeks, from Assyrians to Kurds. Now things are catching up with it and Turkey as a result faces two important challenges: the former masters no longer need Turkey and Turkey is unable to adapt itself to the new situation ; its suppression of internal liberties for almost nine decades has exasperated the civilian population who yearns for freedom and makes its feelings known . On both accounts Turkey is unable to cope with the new situation and has lost its balance and equilibrium. As a result it threatens the world with ” dire consequences” like a spoiled brat when no one takes it seriously any longer. If the Ottoman Empire was known as the “sick man of Europe, the current Turkish republic is making itself sick agitating the murky waters of the Middle East to show it is in control of its past possessions. Under this scenario Foreign Minister Davutoglu thinks blowing hot and cold would make people sit up and take notice of him. His cosmetic approach to solving problems with neighbors pile up greater liabilities against him than he is capable of handling.

  7. Krikor said:

    Enough is enough. Who is Turkey to dictate France what to do. Since when the decision aking of the countries of the world is dictated by Ankara ???

  8. Peter Megerdumian said:

    France passed a law banning holocaust deniers and if the law against Armenian genocide denial becomes law, then France will be very respected. This will hopefully reduce Turkish illegal immigration into France reducing the already overburdened French welfare system.

  9. Hrair said:

    I can not but agree to the Halo’s comments. This is so hypocritical. I wish it wasn’t and that France was quite hinest about its approach to the Armenian Genocide. But also let’s consider the facts that for nearly 90 years it was OK to deny the Genocide commited by Turkey purely due to the existance of the Soviet Union because America considered Turkey a stratigically posiotioned ally, clearly too important too upset. However I am convinced that since the break up of the Soviet Union the Genocide issue has definately come to the fore. So whilst I agree with Halo that there is an element of hypocracy in France’s approach nevertheless it is important to realise that the political arena has changed for countries to be more outspoken.

  10. Turkcekonusanamerikali said:

    What gall. A mediocre country like Turkey is threatening France, a great country. It’s just one more example of Turkey’s delusions of grandeur.

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