ANKARA (Agence Free Presse–Reuters–Aksam)–French lawmakers mulling a controversial bill officially recognizing as genocide the massacre of Armenia’s in the last years of Turkey’s Ottoman empire look set to come under fire by fax and email.
One of Turkey’s biggest-selling daily newspaper–Milliyet–on Thursday launched a campaign for readers to "bombard" French parliamentarians with messages warning them not to support the bill when it is debated next week. The paper gave readers a list of addresses of 15 MPs and French journalists–and a prepared text saying it was up to historians–and not politicians–to pronounce on "event of the past."I hope that this absurdity comes to an end and that the French National Assembly is not manipulated by Armenian extremists," the text said.
The foreign affairs committee of the French lower house of parliament–the National Assembly–approved the bill on Wednesday. The decision means the unamended text–which has already been adopted by the upper house–the Senate–will be put before the Assembly on January 18. The bill is an initiative of individual deputies–and has been disowned by the French government which fears it will have damaging repercussions on relations with Turkey. On Monday a visiting delegation of Turkish parliamentarians warned of unspecified "reprisals" if the bill becomes law.
Turkey urged France to drop the bill once again on Friday.in a series of stern Turkish warnings that the ratification of the motion would severely harm ties between the two countries.
"We are warning France for the last time that it must give up that wrong path which aims to harm the Turkish nation in the face of history," Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz told reporters.
In related news–the Turkish foreign ministry announced it is planning to renew its agreement in March with the Livingston-Solomon-Solarz lobbying group which successfully defended Turkey last year when the Armenian genocide bill was being discussed in the US House of Representatives. The agreement is expected to be extended for one-year in the upcoming days.