Turkey Recalls Envoys in France Canada

ANKARA (AFP/AP)–Turkey has temporarily recalled its ambassadors to France and Canada for consultations–the Foreign Ministry announced Monday–to protest moves in both countries that recognize the Armenian genocide.

"Our ambassador in Paris–Osman Koruturk–and our ambassador in Ottawa–Aydemir Erman–have been recalled to Ankara for a short time for consultations on the latest developmen’s," the foreign ministry said in a brief statement.

"We foresee that our ambassadors will return to their duties after the consultations," it said.

The diplomatic move was Turkey’s latest outburst against increasing international pressure on Turkey to recognize the genocide of Armenia’s during World War I.

Last week–Turkey warned France that bilateral ties would suffer "irreparable damage" if the French Parliament passes a bill making it a punishable offense to "deny the existence of the 1915 Armenian genocide."

If approved–the bill would provide for one year in prison and a 45,000 Euro (57,000 dollar) fine for any person who denies that the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenia’s were genocide.

The bill–which follows a 2001 French law officially recognizing the Genocide–was proposed by members of the opposition Socialist Party (PS) and will have its first reading before Parliament on May 18.

Turkey was also angered when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reaffirmed the Armenian genocide in a statement praising commemorations of the 91st anniversary of the Genocide on April 24.

The Turkish foreign ministry said at the time that Harper’s words were "appalling" and would "negatively affect" bilateral ties.

In 2002–the Canadian Senate recognized the Armenian genocide as the first genocide of the 20th century and the House of Commons followed suit two years later.


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