Turkey’s Gul Urges Sarkozy to Drop Genocide Bill

Turkish President Abdullah Gul

PARIS (Agence France Presse)—Turkish President Abdullah Gul joined the chorus of protests as Turkey continued to pile pressure on France Tuesday to drop a proposed law making it illegal to deny the Armenian genocide, warning its adoption will spark a diplomatic crisis and have economic consequences.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul urged France to drop the bill.

“It is not possible for us to accept this bill, which denies us the freedom to reject unfair and groundless accusations targeting our country and our nation,” Gul said in a statement from Ankara.

“I want to hope that France will not sacrifice centuries-old Turkish-French friendship, common interests and bonds of alliance for small political calculations,” Gul said, alluding to next year’s elections in France.

The French parliament is to debate the bill, which would see anyone in France who publicly denies the genocide facing a year in jail and a fine of $58,000 (45,000 euros), on Thursday and is expected to approve it.

A delegation of Turkish lawmakers and businessmen met with officials in Paris, among them Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s foreign policy advisor Jean-David Levitte, and argued the law was an attempt to win support among voters of Armenian origin ahead.

“Mr. Alain Juppe reminded his guests that Turkey is for France a friend and ally, with which it has always sought dialogue,” the foreign ministry said.

Juppe told the Turks that Paris and Ankara have many vital common interests and argued these were “sufficiently strong to overcome the challenges that might confront or relationship.”

“Every five years this question comes up ahead of the elections,” said delegation member Umit Boyner, chairwoman of the Turkish Industry and Business Association.

“If this law is adopted, there will be a lot of damage and consequences for the two countries,” warned Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, who was leading the delegation of Turkish businessmen.

Turkey has urged France to block the bill, or face “serious and irreparable” consequences for Franco-Turkish relations.

A Turkish government source told AFP on Tuesday that it would impose diplomatic and trade sanctions on Paris if French lawmakers adopt the law.

“Turkey will not remain silent. That will obviously have consequences,” the source said. “We have already discussed our plans if the bill is adopted at the French National Assembly on Thursday.”

Among the sanctions, Turkey will recall its ambassador to Paris for consultations and ask the French ambassador in Ankara to leave, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ankara is also planning trade sanctions targeting French interests in the country, though the government has so far avoided openly using the term of “boycott” against French products.

Close to 1,000 French companies in Turkey, as well as those in partnership with Turkish companies, will be excluded from public contracts, especially in the field of transport, according to the source.

The French foreign ministry spokesman, Bernard Valero, however said Turkey was bound by international agreements to not discriminate against French companies.

Turkey “is a member of the World Trade Organization and is linked to the European Union by a customs union agreement. These two legal commitments require non-discrimination in regards to EU companies,” the source said.

France recognized the killings as genocide in 2001.


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  1. Lily said:

    This is good because everyone is going to see the real face of these turks! They think they are so powerful but truthfully they are just the most weakest on planet earth. I think this is going to be the end of Turkey being member of Nato, Eu!

  2. Norin Radd said:

    PLEEAAAAAASE, stop barking you Turkish mutt, especially since you have Armenian blood in you lineage thanks to your ancestor being a victim of Turkification and genocidal persecution.

    “Centuries old allies”, did I miss something here or was it no Turkey in WWI that fought against the French as a means to invade more of Europe and split the spoils with the Germans? Did you conveniently forget your role in that great war Mr. Presidentoglu?

    The French need to be strong and stand together against all of these geopolitical threats, us Americans already have our government cowering away every time Turkey does political saber rattling. Only a fool like Gul would assume that Turkey is in a position to “boycott” France in any shape or form, PASS THE LAW and call the Turkish BLUFF, you will see that they will continue to lick French boots just like before.

    Be strong FRANCE!

    • Kevork said:

      Good point, and I’ll add that Turkey is what it is not because of their infrastructure or ingenuity, but because of foreign aid and investments. That could change over night.

      Take away all the foreign companies operating in Turkey and you are left with hotel maids, shawarma sellers, shoe shiners, toilet cleaners, etc.

    • Gary_S said:

      You are right! The Turks have more Armenian, Greek, Kurd, Assryian blood in them than Turkish!
      If they were mostly turkish, they would have slanted eyes! The Turks have ALWAYS been in DENIAL about their ancestry and what their grandfathers did–murderers and thieves!
      Also, they were WORST than the NAZIS! Why? They killed their victims in a more barbaric way!
      They killed them with farming equipment in many cases!

  3. Araxi said:

    Mr. Gul should read the first hand eyewitness account of the 1915 Armenian Genocide by Fa’iz El-Ghusein – “Martyred Armenia”. This is only one of hundreds and hundreds of eyewitness accounts.

    “Mr. Gul, you are hiding your head in the sand. You know Very well that the world is fully aware of the atrocities of your forebears”.

  4. Berge Jololian said:

    Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability: land, reparation, and restitution.

    Genocide Acknowledgement without Accountability is hollow and meaningless.

  5. zohrab said:

    turkey sees us as a small calculation after stealing everything from our ancestors.big shame on turkey

  6. Ararat said:

    These genocide denying Turkish hypocritical leaders have no shame whatsoever. They dictate what the French should do so as not to fringe on their rights to freedom of speech, totally disregarding the fact that they themselves have put laws in place since 2005 that caused the death of the Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, and the intimidation and imprisonment of countless other journalists, writers and academicians wanting to exercise their rights to freedom of speech.

    It is priceless and very satisfying to watch all these genocide deniers in the Turkish government running around, pan-handling and pleading with the French leaders like beggars to stop the passage of the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial.

    Through their panic-stricken actions they have given us the greatest service of widespread media coverage worldwide. God willing, all these cunning, double-talking, self-proclaimed, spineless, almighty Turkish leaders will soon fold like lawn chairs.

  7. Nairi said:

    Hopefully this bill makes it through.
    My blood boils every time Turkish propaganda masters label the genocide as “groundless claims”, etc. We HAVE all the proof, countless periodicals and eye-witness accounts FROM THE TIME PERIOD. How can anyone still believe the genocide did NOT happen? Please, let’s silence these people once and for all!
    Turkish chairwoman makes a good point that this issue comes up every five years — the armenian genocide has ALWAYS ALWAYS been used as a political ploy for votes at the expense of our dignity. Earlier this year, Israel, who has previously vehemently denied the genocide, was yacking about recognizing it as a way to punish Turkey. I have no doubt that on a great level, the French bill IS a means of gathering Armenian votes, as well as slapping Turkey in the face with yet another reason it should NOT join the EU … however, France is definitely doing it at its own risk. If the bill passes, French companies and even French people in Turkey can expect to be ransacked, jailed, and to become targets of violence from the good ol’ nationalists. This will end very badly.
    I find it hilarious that the Turkish Foreign Minister’s response was that France was ushering in the middle ages by “not accepting alternative views of history”. Is that not the ultimate hypocrisy considering the “alternative” view that the Armenian genocide DID occur will get you KILLED or SANCTIONED? How I wish western medias would publically tear apart all of Turkey’s obvious lies — sure, Turkey will swing its dick around a bit, but in the end if more countries followed suite, Turkey couldn’t block itself off from ALL of them — it needs the west as much as it thinks we need Turkey.

    • Haluk said:

      I recommend the ones their fanning hatred to come Turkey and meet Turkish people.U mention in ur comment about Turkification and most of Turks having no turkish blood.This is because Turks do not have any prejudices against any nation.Whoever speaks Turkish is Turk,according to us.We do not judge people by considering their ethnic origin and belief.Why do u think turkish-armenian burned himself to protest Armenian gans’ brutality…

      • Serop said:

        haluk bey, so you do not judge people by their ethnic origin or belief! so why did turkey force christians to convert to Islam or death. tell me haluk bey, why are so many forced islamized hidden Armenians,Greeks, Assyrians? in Turkey today?? you have a malice agenda, by not telling the truth.

  8. ataturk said:

    Armenians liar … Armenians the Ottomans back stabbing you … eastern Anatolia, the Turks have brutally killed … Armenia is a country poor and stupid … and know that small and poor Armenians to Turkey can not beat the big …

    • antranig said:

      mr. ataturk please write in proper English, or shut the hell up you ignorant Turk, stop your stupid

  9. Albert Nercessian said:

    France is better off not having economic ties with an Islamofacist state . This will reduce the number of savage Turks entering France.