ANKARA—French President Francois Hollande, during what is being billed as an historical trip to Turkey, urged Ankara to “reconcile” with its own history and reaffirmed France’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, reported Le Monde.
During a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Hollande said “Uncovering history is always painful, but must be done” urging Turkey to address the issue of the Armenian Genocide on the eve of its centennial.
Hollande’s visit marks the first time a French president has visited Turkey in 22 years.
Gul, on the other hand, said that the matter should be addressed by historians.
“Woes of 100 years ago are our common woes…. It is not right to pass these woes from generation to generation,” said Gul. “What should be done, instead of reviving these woes, is to leave these to historians. This issue can not be tackled unilaterally.”
In 2000, France recognized the Armenian Genocide. In 2011 both branches of the French legislature approved bill to criminalize the denial of the Armenian Genocide in France. The French Constitutional Court deemed elements of the bill unconstitutional.
Hollande was asked if he would pursue the passage of such a bill, to which the French president said: “We will do what is right and only what is right.”
While in Turkey, Hollande is expected to meet with Hrant Dink’s widow, Rakel Dink.