08 May 2006

634) French Special On Armenian Genocide



French Torture Algerie

The French attitude towards Armenian claims

The French Parliament is set this Thursday to debate a bill to criminalize denial of the so-called Armenian genocide. The one-article bill aims to impose prison terms of up to one year and a 45,000 euro fine for deniers of the so-called genocide claims. In France it's already an offense to deny the Holocaust of World War II.

France has been a haven for the Armenian diaspora for almost a century. That's why almost every French government, whether leftist or rightist, has tried to be sympathetic to the diaspora to get their votes. As a result, the French public has been influenced by Armenian propaganda without questioning the case. In 1920, when Aram Andonian published the so-called "Official Documents on the Armenian Massacres" (Documents Officiels Concernant les Massacres Armeniens, Imprimerie H. Turabian, Boulevard Raspall, 1920, Paris), the French public accepted them as real evidence of an Armenian "genocide." But in the 1980s it was proven that the letters which are the basis of the book's claims were false and mere fabrication.

Even though French soldiers were eyewitnesses to the Mt. Musa incident, exaggerations in the book "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh" (Werfel Franz; Die vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh, Paul Zsolnay Verlag A.G., 1933, Berlin) were disregarded by the French. French administrations have been proud of themselves for erecting genocide monuments. French governments sometimes went too far, even supporting terrorists. They supported the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). But after an ASALA bomb blast in front of a Turkish Airlines (THY) office at Orly Airport which claimed eight lives (four of them French) and wounded 60 on July 15, 1983, and their occupation of the Turkish Consulate General in which they murdered the security officer and wounded the consul general, the French government realized that supporting terrorism doesn't help anything. There were many reasons at the root of all this, but I would like to address four of them.

The first reason is classic Christian solidarity. The second was quite interesting: The French government, during World War I, like the Russians and British, provoked the Armenian quest for an independent state just to dissolve the Ottoman Empire. But the French didn't help the Armenians after their revolt. To a certain extent the French betrayed the Armenians. This isn't my own idea; it's found in pro-Armenian books. Armenian villagers died not for their own cause, but for the realization of the Alliance's plans. They squeezed the juice out of the orange and then threw it away. After the massive Armenian immigration to France, the French government started supporting them just to save face.

The third reason behind the French governments' stance was and is to gain leverage against Turkey. The fourth is to seek Armenian votes as a part of domestic politics. I would like to make some comments on the last reason. Many people think that the Armenian lobby is solid and powerful in France. But it's not. There are many French citizens of Armenian origin who think that there have been falsifications in the thesis of the "genocide" story. Because of oppression from the diaspora's leaders, these poor people haven't been able to say anything or reject some claims. Some of them think that a continuation of the genocide claims won't help anyone, especially the Armenian state, where economic conditions are bad and the population is falling rapidly. Some of them believe that the diaspora's leaders are working for some Armenian families which for the most part live in the U.S., and that their main cause is compensation from U.S. insurance companies if Turkey accepts the "genocide."

Now I'd like to ask the French legislators some questions. Do you really believe that you're going to secure all the Armenian votes if you approve the bill?

How will you implement the bill? Are you considering creating a sort of examination at the border gates to check at passport control whether Turkish citizens above all believe in the Armenian "genocide" or not? Do you believe that anti-Semitism is over because it's a crime to deny it in your law?

Which massacre would be the next to criminalize? That of the Algerians? I'd like to take this opportunity to like to express my humble gratitude to the Bulgarian Parliament for last week rejecting a bill on "genocide" claims.


Recep Guvelioglu

rguvelioglu@thenewanatolian.com
15 May 2006

http://www.thenewanatolian.com/opinion-6808.html




French Bill Again: Let's win a big compensation from the European Court of Human Rights, if French bill goes ahead

If the "Armenian Genocide" bill in France becomes law,
it will mean that the French are discounting the very values which they have defended since their revolution. France will be shelving freedom of expression and the right to argue over information, even if this shelving is limited only to one subject.
Mehmet Y. Yilmaz: I'm heading for Paris with my poster if the genocide bill becomes law

You know, there is an international organization found in the middle of Paris which we all recognize: UNESCO. Why doesn't our Ministry of Foreign Affairs say "Friends, there is no more academic freedom in France, let's move the UNESCO headquarters to a place where academic freedom actually exists"? There are some things that we can do ourselves if this bill becomes law:

For example, I will go to Paris if the bill is voted in as law, and will hold a poster proclaiming "There was no Armenian genocide!" in front of the central police station in Paris. They will catch me, try me, and expel me from the country. Then I can go to the European Court of Human Rights with my carefully plotted out case against France, and, winning a large sum of money in recompensation for everything I experienced, I will have taken a large step towards making my retirement dreams come true.

What I'm trying to say is that, if we all think hard, I think we can come up with more effective ways of protesting this Armenian genocide law than through the simple boycotting of French goods. Because let's not also forget that many of things which we assume are purely French products are in fact "made in Turkey." And the number of Turkish people involved in the production of these products is over 30 thousand.

So, let's leave off our laziness, and find creative ways of protesting!

Mehmet Y. Yilmaz
http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/4402701.asp?gid=74

Chirac pledges 'sensitivity' to Turkish concerns on Armenian bill

Chirac: Pro-Genocide Bill could still be rejected
At a dinner with Latin American Leaders held in Vienna this week, French President Jacques Chirac gave Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan an important message regarding the “Bill on Criminal Punishment for Denial of the supposed Armenian Genocide”. Chirac told Erdo�an, “the National Assembly is very busy. The bill may still be rejected at a vote which will determine whether or not it will be part of the agenda. It may not be discussed at that session.” Chirac stated that the French Government would treat the case with utmost respect to Turkey’s sensitivity about the issue.

Diplomatic sources evaluate this new attitude of the French Government as “the result of suggestions from French firms, investing in Turkey. The volume of trade between the two countries currently stands at 10 billion euro, of which 6.3 billion euro belongs to France, and 3.7 billion euro to Turkey. Chirac’s Government, the UMP, could prevent the bill from getting to the parliamentary agenda, in a pre-voting session to take place before the bill appears on the Parliamentary agenda on May 18.”

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/4408436.asp?gid=74



Chirac to Erdogan: We'll Consider Your Concerns

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met French President Jacques Chirac during the Latin America-European Union (EU) Summit in Austria's capital Vienna. The main topic of the meeting was the draft bill that would carry a fine of imprisonment for those who deny the so-called Armenian Genocide.

Erdogan reacted to the regulation, which will be discussed at the French National Parliament on May 18, and demanded the bill's cancellation.

Chirac said they will show the necessary sensitivity to Turkey's concerns about the issue.

Erdogan also met his Greek counterpart Kostas Karamanlis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Reportedly, dual relations were discussed during the meetings in addition to Turkey's accession to the European Union.

A unique protest took place during the “family photo” taken at the Vienna Congress Center. After the leaders took their places on the platform, Evvangelina Carrozzo, an accredited journalist for the El Diario newspaper in Argentina, walked towards the leaders half naked sporting a banner. The Greenpeace member and Uruguay national was protesting environmental pollution.

After drawing surprised laughter from the leaders, she was escorted out of the hall and detained.

Following his participation in the football match organized in the frame of the EU-Latin America summit upon the invitation of Austrian Prime Minister Wolfgang Schussel, Erdogan also participated in the opening session of the summit as the "Special Guest of Schussel."

Erdogan spoke with United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan about developments in the Middle East and the political process in Iraq during an official dinner for the leaders.

Turkish Prime Minister left for Bali after the meeting to attend the D-8 summit.

The echoes of the football match, in which Erdogan scored two goals, still resound. The British Financial Times commented on the game with jokes and wrote Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected Schussel's invitation, but he established a team of all-stars including the Turkish PM.

By Cihan News Agency, Anadolu News Agency (aa), Vienna
May 13, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060513&hn=33084



Chirac pledges 'sensitivity' to Turkish concerns on Armenian bill
French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday reportedly told Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that France will show sensitivity to Turkish concerns over a bill threatening prison terms and fines to people who question the Armenian genocide claims.

Chirac made the remarks during a meeting with Erdogan on the sidelines of a dinner hosted by Austrian Prime Minister Wolfgang Schuessel in honor of the participants of the European Union-Latin American summit held in Vienna.

Although Chirac assured Erdogan that France will take into consideration Turkish concerns during the debate of the Armenian bill in the French Parliament set for next week, French socialists Thursday expressed their insistence on bringing the bill to the Parliament's floor despite Parliament's Law Commission rejecting the controversial bill.

During Wednesday's debates at the Law Commission, ruling Union for Popular Movement (UMP) deputies sharply criticized the bill, drawn up by a group of socialist deputies. Alain Marsaud and Michel Piron from the UMP are opposed to the bill, and Piron stressed that trying to write history with laws would result in a discredited "official history." After the debates, the commission made no changes to the bill and rejected it by a majority.

However, under the French Parliament's bylaws, the bill is still going to be debated by the General Assembly next Thursday. The majority of ruling UMP deputies are opposed to the bill, but if they don't participate in next week's meeting, it's expected to be approved by the National Assembly. The UMP has announced that there will be no group decision on the issue.

Gul warns France on dangers of bill

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul warned France on Friday about danger of possible approval of the Armenian bill, saying, "Sometimes issues of domestic politics may hurt the greater interests of the country."

"I think a country like France will give priority to its interests," Gul said.

Telling of the initiatives made by Turkish officials to block approval of Armenian bill by the French Parliament, Gul said that the aim of these initiatives is to warn France on time about the dangers of such a move.

Underlining that recalling Turkish ambassadors from Ottawa and Paris for consultations doesn't aim at provoking the public, Gul said, "This is not an issue of governments, but one of society. Both non-governmental organization (NGOs) and businessmen warned their French counterparts that approval of such a bill would harm relations."

The New Anatolian / Ankara
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6709.html

Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Mesrob II warns France over Genocide Bill / French Ambassador: Armenian Issue for Historians, not Politicians

In the toughest communiqué he has published to date, the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, Mesrob II, warned that the Bill put forward by the French Socialist Party with the aim of punishing those denying the Armenian Genocide, will be detrimental
to the process of the Turkish-Armenian dialogue.

Mesrob II reminded French parliamentarians that the passing of such a bill would strengthen nationalist and racist elements on both the Armenian and Turkish sides, “We do not deem any format that does not serve the purpose of a dialogue between Armenians and Turks as acceptable”.

Mesrob II went on to say the following: “Any country, with Turkey and Armenia at the top, should take care to ensure that barriers preventing communication between the two countries should be lifted, not put down, in order for the issue to be studied and researched. Whatever the reason, any initiative that forbids freedom of expression will be detrimental to Turkish Armenian relations.”

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/4408388.asp?gid=74


French Ambassador: Armenian Issue for Historians, not Politicians

As the French parliament prepares to criminalize denial of the Armenian genocide, the news media heard on Friday a statement from Paul Poudade, the French ambassador to Ankara, who defined the Armenian question as a historical phenomenon that should not concern politicians.

Approval as well as enactment of the bill in question would leave no room in France for the discussion of history, said Poudade, as he pressed to stop parliamentary handling of the Armenian question as it is likely to create a situation impossible to bear.

In his Thursday night speech at a conference in Istanbul, the French ambassador vowed to do his utmost to improve ties between Ankara and Paris, which would greatly benefit both countries.

It is likely to take a long time for the bill to receive bill parliamentary approval; said Poudade, as he pointed out the symmetry between his and the French parliamentarians' view that it is not up to politicians to handle history.

France does not suffer from a problem with history, argued the ambassador as he renounced some parliamentarians as courting the Armenian vote for upcoming elections.

The developments should not be interpreted from racists and nationalist point of view, said the Ambassador in his disguised criticism of Turkey for Article 301, saying, “I speak as a European, not as a Frenchmen,” in support of the democratic freedom of speech.

In reference to the significant ties between France and Turkey, Poudade pointed to a difficult period during which one should avoid being tempted to create friction between the two countries.

By Sezai Kalayci, Istanbul
May 13, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060513&hn=33079

Turkish purchase combat helicopters will be shaped by the play of the Armenian card in the French Parliament

Turkey's drawn-out decision to purchase combat helicopters will be shaped by the play of the Armenian card in the French Parliament, which recently proposed a bill threatening prison terms for people who question the controversial Armenian genocide claims.

The fate of the estimated $2 billion Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter (ATAK) tender, which began last year and is expected to be finalized by June, will be affected by the vote set to take place in the French Parliament on Thursday.

Four companies have submitted proposals for the tender that seeks 91 helicopters (30 firm, 20 additional and 41 optional).

The firms that submitted their request for proposal documents to the Defense Industry Undersecretariat were Italian Agusta, French Eurocopter, Russian Rosoboronexport and South African Denel Aviation.

The models proposed are Eurocopter's Tiger, Agusta's A129 Mangusta, Rosoboronexport's MI-28 Havoc and Denel Aviation's CSH-2 Rooivalk. From among these four models, interest has only been shown in the French and South African options.

According to defense industry observers, the final decision, which will be made in June, will be shaped by the French Parliament's decision on the Armenian bill.

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent a message to his French counterpart Jacques Chirac this week warning passage of the bill could have serious consequences.

Should the French Parliament pass the bill in question, the likely winner of the tender will be South Africa's Denel Aviation. The same defense circles said that the South African model has a phenomenal success rate after passing many technical tests.

History of ATAK tender

It has been 10 years since the ATAK project was initiated in 1996. In the first tender opened that year, there were no results to come out of contract meetings to discuss U.S. firm Bell Textron's King Kobra model and Russian firm Kamov's Erdogan model. The Defense Industry Executive Committee canceled the tender in May 2004 and it has since entered another phase.

Two companies from both the U.S. and Europe, as well as one company each from Russia and South Africa, were invited to take part in the tender. The American firms, however, withdrew last summer over a clause in the tender granting the approval of the administrative specifications from the beginning of the tender.

Following the withdrawal and delays in proposals from other firms, especially the South African offer, the deadline for submissions was extended from last June last year to Sept. 13.

The deadline was later again pushed back to Nov. 8 in order to give other companies, including those in the current four, the opportunity to to make an offer.

Evren Deger - The New Anatolian / Ankara
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6705.html

French Deputies Hid from Turkish Delegation / 'Genocide' tension clouds relations with Greece, France

A delegation from the Turkish Parliament scheduled to meet in Paris about the parliamentary bill to criminalize denial of the so-called Armenian genocide could not meet with the bill’s architects.

The Turkish deputies said in a news conference after their three-day meetings that those who proposed the bill did not want to meet with them under the pretense of being busy.

Socialist Party (PS) Leader Francois Hollande and Pierre Moscovici, one of the leading figures of the party and former European Minister, are among the politicians who prepared the bill.

Though Moscovici told the Turkish delegation that he would not be in Paris and would be unable meet with them, to the annoyance of the Turkish delegation, he was seen in the party building in Paris while Turkish parliamentarians were visiting.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Gulsun Bilgehan noted that Moscovici said he would be in Brussels. Hollande defended he genocide law right after the Turkish delegation's visit to PS at a meeting at the Foreign Press Center.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Turkish Parliament, Mehmet Dulger said the bill, which will be discussed in French parliament on May 18, is against freedom of speech and human rights.

Dulger noted France should play an intern mediatory role between Turkey and Armenia to resolve the problem of these countries rather than trying to increase the tension.

"The bill was accepted as a declaration of war in Turkey and this will halt Turkey-France relations," said Bilgehan, "You will visit me at prison next time with my Legion d'Honneur Medal."

CHP Deputy Onur Oymen said France, who is supposed to be the defender of freedom, turned out to be a pro-censorship country. "Do not sacrifice 70,000,000 Turks for 4,000,000 Armenians," Oymen said, adding if the law passes, a British minister, for example, would be arrested as soon as he comes to France if he denies the so-called Armenian Genocide, and that the bill exceeds all boundaries.

Turkish deputies asserted that if the bill passes in the Parliament it will be dissolved by The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The Turkish delegation held a number of meetings on the issue with many authorities, including Speaker of the French National Parliament Jean Louis Debre, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Parliamentary Group Chairman Bernard Accoyer, PS Group Leader Jean Marc Ayrault and Parliamentary Foreign Affairs President Eduard Balladur.

By Ali Ihsan Aydin, Paris
May 13, 2006
zaman.com
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060513&hn=33088


'Will you throw me in jail, too?'
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül is asking his French counterparts, “Will you throw me in jail, too?” The Turkish minister is reacting to moves in Paris to legislate a new law criminalizing denial of Armenian genocide claims. Indeed his question is quite a valid one since the law under consideration stipulates imprisonment as well as a heavy fine for those who speak against Armenian claims. For example, use of the qualifying words “alleged” or “so-called” before referring to the genocide claims, under the draft to be voted on May 18, could land one in prison in France. Even the use of the word “claimed” can be very dangerous.

We are already facing a similar situation in Switzerland, where veteran politician Do�u Perinçek and Turkish Historical Society chief Professor Yusuf Halacoglu have been testing for some time the applicability of such a law that contradicts the basic norms of freedom of expression, to say nothing of the oddity of providing a legal perspective to a historically contentious issue that ought to be settled by historians.

The latest indications from Paris make us hope that common sense will eventually prevail at the French Parliament and that rather than trying to make decisions on historical events, the issue will be left to historians and researchers. Anyhow, even if the bill is not passed, Turkish-French relations are being seriously damaged by this rather opportunistic and unethical move.

As regards the officiousness of the Canadian prime minister, it is just plain unfortunate. Relations with Turkey are either not that important for him or he just doesn't care too much about the intense efforts exerted by diplomats from both sides in past years to bring an end to the stagnation of relations between the two countries after the Canadian Parliament voted to recognize the alleged genocide. We believe our bilateral as well as allied relations with Canada are valuable. Unfortunately, it will take years again to revive the relationship to a satisfactory level, and even when we achieve that, both the parliamentary decision and the officiousness of the prime minister will remain as constant irritants to our ties.

Unlike most Turks, we have no psychological obsession regarding what might have happened in the first quarter of the last century to Armenians, Turks, Arabs and other ethnic groups of this country when the Ottoman Empire was in the process of dissolution. There is an official Turkish thesis on the issue; there are Armenian claims as well. Which is true, how many people perished under what conditions during those years, whether there was an official position of the Ottoman palace regarding the “extermination” of Armenians and such questions cannot be resolved through what individuals might say or by the laws legislated by the parliament of this or that country.

There are two aspects to the problem. One is political: the Armenian territorial claims on Turkey as outlined in Armenia's declaration of independence -- which must be resolved through dialogue between Turkey and Armenia. The other is what happened during those times, which must be addressed by a credible commission of historians and researchers that Turkey and Armenia must establish together.

Another way of resolving all this might be through Turkey or Armenia or the two states together taking the problem to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and letting the international court make a decision after reviewing documentation provided by the two sides justifying their positions.

Turkey has already suggested to Armenia the establishment of a joint commission of historians that would work under the auspices of the United Nations, declaring that whatever the outcome, it would accept and undertake whatever is required of it. Turkey has also declared its readiness to engage in a constructive dialogue on this issue with Armenia.

Armenia is not budging an inch towards resolution of the problems. It has rejected all Turkish offers and instead has demanded unilateral moves from Turkey, such as the opening of the border.

While we wholeheartedly support the demand for the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border for humanitarian reasons, as well as because we consider such a move in Turkey's national interest because it would then have direct land and rail connections with Central Asian and Caucasian countries, we cannot understand why Yerevan is so adamant about engaging in a process with Turkey to resolve the problems and why it continues its occupation of Azerbaijani territory in contravention of international law, thus further complicating the already delicate situation.

Perhaps we are in need of a trustworthy mediator that will help us and the Armenians overcome the obsessions and enable the two countries to instead join hands in building a better future.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Yusuf KANLI

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/editorial.php?ed=yusuf_kanli



'Genocide' tension clouds relations with Greece, France
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said yesterday the unveiling of a memorial to what the Greeks claim was a genocide against Pontus Greeks in the early 20th century had cast a shadow over relations with neighboring Greece but voiced hope that France, whose Parliament will start debating a controversial bill to penalize denial of the alleged Armenian genocide, will not pass the bill.

Gül said the monument, unveiled last weekend in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, was likely to prompt a counterreaction from Turkish nongovernmental organizations, citing plans by Turks to erect a similar monument in northwestern Anatolia to commemorate those who were killed by Greek troops during the Turkish War of Independence.

“Such steps would not benefit anyone,” Gül told the Anatolia news agency. “One should avoid initiatives that offend the other side.”

The Greek move came as the French Parliament prepares for debate on a bill to make it a crime to deny the so-called Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

Gül said France would hopefully act in line with its national interests and highlighted growing nongovernmental reaction against the bill in Turkey.

“This is not a matter for the government, but one for the people,” Gül said. In the eastern Anatolian province of Erzurum, an association that lobbies for the victims of a massacre by Armenian gangs during World War I yesterday launched a petition campaign against the bill in France.

In France, Turkish parliamentarians lobbying against the bill in a visit to Paris said yesterday that the bill, if passed, would violate the freedom of expression.

Saturday, May 13, 2006
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=43355

Turkish bill seeks prison terms for advocates of 'genocide' thesis

Opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Erzurum Deputy Ibrahim Ozdogan on Friday presented a bill stipulating prison terms of up to three years for those who claim that Turkey committed "genocide" against Armenians in 1915.

Ozdogan's bill follows a similar move from a deputy of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party who opened a draft bill for signatures aimed at Turkish recognition of a French massacre of 200,000 Algerians between 1954 and 1962 as "genocide."

Neither bill is expected to win much support as they're contrary to the Turkish thesis and foreign policy which oppose bringing controversial historical issues before parliaments as they should be left to historians. However analysts say that the bills are either inspired by anger towards France or to block a possible approval of a bill which stipulates prison terms and fines for questioning the Armenian genocide claims at next Thursday's gathering.French Parliament

Ozdogan's bill aims at punishing those who claim there was an Armenian "genocide" whether it's in written form, orally or depicted in any way through cartoons, photos or drawings. Under the bill, if a claim is made public through the media or at open or closed meetings or gatherings the penalty would be doubled and if it's committed outside Turkey the bill aims at introducing up to four years in prison.

The bill also stipulates up to five years in prison for those who use foreign or domestic funds or financial assistance to spread propaganda about the so-called Armenian "genocide."

If the offender were a public official the punishment would be doubled and if it's a legal entity the bill aims to stop the activities of that entity.

The New Anatolian / Ankara

http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6710.html

CivilSociety Mobilized against French bill / FrenchTension / French Co warns France / 'I am a Denier, too'

Nongovernmental organizations are up in arms against a French bill that criminalizes any denial of an alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the last century.

Musa Çam, secretary-general of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (D�SK), warned that the enactment of the bill would harm bilateral ties.

Çam was in Paris yesterday where he met with representatives of French unions and lobbied against the bill.

Instead of passing a law about the 1915 incidents, Çam said, research into Armenian allegations by impartial historians would be more proper.

Ahmet Aksu, head of the Civil Servants' Trade Union (Memur-Sen), said in a written statement that France should apologize to Algeria for committing genocide against tens of thousands of Algerians in 1945 instead of recognizing an alleged Armenian genocide that never took place.

“French goods and medicines must be boycotted if the bill is adopted,� he said.

In the eastern Anatolian province of Erzurum, an association that lobbies for the victims of a massacre by Armenian gangs during World War I yesterday launched a petition campaign against the bill in France.

Süleyman Çi�dem, an official from the association, said the bill, drafted to win 400,000 Armenian votes in France, would amount to a denial of history. “We'll collect the votes of 400,000 Erzurum residents and send them to the French Parliament during the three-day campaign, in return for 400,000 Armenian votes.�

“I believe the bill, which foresees penal sanctions, restricts freedom of expression,� Turkish-French Trade Association Chairman Yves-Marie Laouenan was quoted as saying yesterday at a press conference with members of the association in Istanbul.

“I want you to believe that we understand why you are surprised and sad,� he added.

The French businessman also said the members of his association had agreed to send open letters to senior French politicians and party officials, including President Jacques Chirac, saying that the possible adoption of the bill would harm bilateral ties and dialogue between the two countries.

Last week Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo�an personally contacted the representatives of Turkey-based French companies. During an almost one-hour meeting, Erdo�an, in an address to the group, said he hoped they would be lobbying against the bill.

If approved by the French National Assembly, the bill would provide one year in prison and a 45,000 euro ($57,000) fine for any person who denies that Armenians were victims of genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire during World War I. The French Parliament is set to have its first debate on the bill on May 18.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said yesterday he believed the uneasiness sparked by the French bill would be eliminated through common sense.

Gül said the government, businessmen and nongovernmental organizations had done their share in protests against the bill and emphasized that it was important to express how wrong it would be to enact such a piece of legislation and how it would impact on Turkish-French ties.

“I believe everyone will act responsibly,� he said.

The foreign minister also said the passage of the bill would be a mistake becausee it would be wrong to play up to small interests and risk bilateral ties.

Gül said the recalling of Turkey's ambassadors to France and Canada amid tension with the two countries over the alleged Armenian genocide was aimed not at provoking the public but rather at warning these countries against the consequences of such attempts that deeply hurt Turkey.

The return of Ambassador to France Osman Korutürk after a few days of consultations in Ankara was a sign of Turkish willingness to ease the diplomatic tension sparked by the French bill ahead of May 18.

“This is not a matter for the government, but one for the people,� Gül said.

Turkish lawmakers visiting France to lobby against the bill said at a press conference that the adoption of the bill would cause irreparable harm to Turkish-French relations.

“The bill is against freedom of expression,� said Mehmet Dülger from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), accusing French deputies in favor of the bill of acting with election concerns.

“The bill is against the European Convention on Human Rights,� said Onur Öymen from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), claiming that the European Court of Human Rights would convict France of violating the freedom of expression.

The Turkish lawmakers are expected to return to Ankara today.


Saturday, May 13, 2006
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=43314


French Tension High Ahead of Armenian Bill
Tension in France has been rising ahead of French parliamentary resolution which criminalizes denial of so-called Armenian genocide, as Turkish and Armenian organizations are set to hold demonstration before parliament on May 18 when the bill will be voted.

A group of Armenians sneaked into the congress of ruling Union for Populist Movement (UMP) in Paris on Sunday, protesting against the rejection of similar resolution at the French National Assembly Judiciary Affairs Commission.

The protest of the Armenian Collectif Van group at the UMP congress was blocked by the security forces. The group members chanted slogans against Turkey.

The draft bill to be voted in the French parliament on May 18 brings in up to a year of imprisonment and a fine of up to €45,000 for those who deny the "Armenian genocide".

The fate of the Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during WW1 is a sensitive issue in Turkey. Armenians claim that over 1 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed as part of an campaign during World War I.

Turkey rejects the allegations saying that 200,000 Armenians died during forced migrations due to cold weather and bad transportation conditions. Turkish historians argue that same numbers of Turkish citizens were killed by the Armenian gangs.

By Cihan News Agency
May 14, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=hotnews&alt=&trh=20060514&hn=33102



French Company Trading with Turkey Warns France Against Genocide Bill

Tension between Turkey and France is mounting over a bill to criminalize denial of the Armenian genocide due for discussion in the French Parliament on March 18.

French companies with commercial ties with Turkey are most concerned over the escalation tensions between the two countries.

French companies are expending every effort to persuade French parliamentarians to vote against the bill that they fear will cause them to suffer immeasurable commercial losses from future embargoes imposed by Turkey, as the bill is chiefly designed to win Armenian votes.

The De Villepin administration received a strong warning over the Armenian bill from Eurocopter, one of the world’s largest helicopter manufacturers with French partners, as the company fears losing a contract to supply attack helicopters to the Turkish military late this summer.

Fabrice Breiger, chief executive of Eurocopter, pointed to the temporary nature of the crises that will eventually be overcome by ties of friendship between the two countries:

“I am not a politician; I am the manager of an international company. But that does not necessarily mean that I am not familiar with news articles; it also does not imply that company managers cannot form ideas about what is going on outside. As European industrialists, we conveyed the necessary messages to European countries.�

Turkey had planned to buy attack and exploration helicopters for its fight against terrorism, as part of the ATAK Project launched in 1996.

The Project, expected to cost $1.5 billion, was delayed for five years and the previous tender was cancelled during a Defense Industry Executive Commission meeting in May 2004.

After the cancellation of the tender, studies began in search of a new model that aimed at meeting the military’s needs in a shorter time and make more cost effective use of Turkey’s domestic capacity.

For this purpose, a new tender invitation was released on 10 February 2005.

Several defense companies applied to participate in the tender that closed in December 2005.

Those companies include: Eurocopter with the Tiger helicopter, the Italian Agusta company with the A-129 Mangusta, Russia’s Rosoboronexport with the MI-28 Havoc, and the South African Denel Company with the CSH-2 Rooivalk helicopter.

By Erkan Acar, Marseilles
May 14, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=economy&alt=&trh=20060514&hn=33104


'I am a Denier, too'
On May 18, the French National Assembly is expected to start debating the draft law that stipulates prison sentences for those who deny that the tragedy that befell the Ottoman Armenians in 1915 - 1916 was a “genocide."

If the law is enacted, France will become the second country after Switzerland to impose prison sentences on those who do not agree to the “Armenian genocide" claim. Belgium may soon join them. The only thing that can be said about the decisions to recognize the “Armenian genocide� by countries ranging from France and Belgium to Lebanon and Uruguay, whose number has risen to 20 with Canada recently joining them, is expressed by French historians who issued a declaration entitled "Freedom for History": "Writing of history is not the duty of parliaments…" If the parliamentarians of these countries have concluded that it is appropriate to recognize "the Armenian genocide," this is an issue that has to be assessed in the context of the domestic and foreign policies of the countries concerned. As for the criminalization of the "denial of the Armenian genocide", on the other hand, a number of things can be said.

The first point I would like to make is that such a ban constitutes a gross violation of one of the most fundamental principles of liberal democracy the European Union and the Council of Europe want to consolidate in all their member states. Such a ban does not at all becoming of France, the country of Voltaire who famously said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Punishing those who claim “there was no Armenian genocide" in Switzerland, France or in other countries is, undoubtedly, as serious a violation of the freedom of expression as punishing those in Turkey who claim that "Ottoman Armenians were victims of genocide" for denigrating the Turkish nation. “Hate speech� aiming to incite enmity against a certain religious or ethnic group is, surely, incompatible with freedom of expression. No one, however, who is committed to the ideals of an "Open Society" can approve of censoring or banning of debates on whether the countless cases of massacres in history constitute genocide or not, according to UN Convention or other criteria.

It is not possible to compare what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany with what happened to Armenians in the last years of Ottoman Turkey. Nowhere in the world is there a serious historian who claims that what the Nazis did to the Jews was not genocide. There is, on the other hand, no consensus among historians on the question as to whether or not the Ottoman government ordered the annihilation of its Armenian subjects. Highly respected Ottoman historians such as Bernard Lewis and Gilles Veinstein, and the distinguished genocide studies scholar, Guenter Lewy (in his recently published book which provides perhaps the most meticulous research on the issue) claim that "There is no evidence that the Ottoman government intended to annihilate the Armenian community." It is obvious that the criminalization of the "denial of the Armenian genocide" will have no other consequence than helping prevent the clarification of the question as to what happened in 1915 - 1916, sharpening enmities, and provoking ethnic nationalisms. It is, therefore, necessary that even those who are convinced about the “Armenian genocide� oppose the criminalization of views to the contrary. Otherwise can only be explained by feelings of enmity and revenge against Turkey and the Turks.

I have no doubt that a part of the Ottoman security forces was involved in the massacres of Armenians in 1915-1916. I have also no doubt that Armenian nationalist gangs provoked the deportations that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Armenians. I strongly believe humanity requires that the memory of the massacred Ottoman Armenians has to be respected as well as that of the Ottoman Turks who were slaughtered by Armenian nationalists. I am not, however, convinced that the decision of the Ottoman government for the deportation of Armenians, and the great tragedy that followed constitutes "genocide." I am, therefore, also a “denier�. I too, then, can be indicted.

SAHIN ALPAY
05.13.2006

e-mail:s.alpay@zaman.com.tr
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=columnists&alt=&trh=20060514&hn=33085

AKP discusses recognition of Algerian 'genocide'


A ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party deputy on Wednesday opened a draft bill for signatures that aims at Turkey's recognition of a French massacre of 200,000 Algerians between 1954 and 1962 as "genocide."

The move mirrors the French Parliament's current discussions on a bill that aims to punish those who question Armenian genocide claims with prison time.

"The rationale of the Algerian draft bill underlines the French double standards in denying crimes in Algeria and Rwanda and closing its archives on the one hand, and not hesitating to move on a law dictating imprisonment for those who question Armenian genocide claims," a source from the AK Party told The New Anatolian yesterday.

Although the draft bill succeeded in winning some support from AK Party deputies, other members of the ruling party opposed bringing such a bill to Parliament's discussion floor, saying that controversial historic issues should be discussed by historians not parliaments. Opponents of the draft bill also say this contradicts the Turkish position on the Armenian genocide claims.

The Algerian draft bill is expected to be discussed at an AK Party group meeting on Tuesday and if approved will be brought to Parliament.

Turkey has always opposed the debates that have taken place in many European parliaments on the Armenian genocide claims, some of which voted for recognition, saying that history should be left to studies and interpretation by scholars.

In line with the Turkish thesis, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested to Armenian President Robert Kocharian the establishment of committees composed of Turkish and Armenian historians to study the controversial events of 1915. Kocharian refused the suggestion, saying that historian committees could only be established within the process of a normalization of relations between the two countries.

French massacre of Algerians

The 1954-1962 Algerian War of Independence cost the lives of 1.5 million Algerians, according to the Algerian government, but French figures for the same period show that just 200,000 were killed.

According to Algerian sources, Muslims were systematically killed at the time. Senior French officers who fought in Algeria recently confessed that torture and summary executions were routine grisly instruments of French warfare. President Jacques Chirac, however, fiercely opposed a parliamentary inquiry into the killings and said it is a subject best left for historians to explore.

The Algerian archives were taken to France, and the French archives for that period are off-limits to historians carrying out genocide research.


Although the Algerian government has been seeking an apology from France for its massacre of Algerians and other crimes committed while the French were the country's colonial rulers, besides not apologizing, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy last month warned Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika not to overuse the term "genocide."


Algeria and France were last year preparing to sign a friendship treaty, similar to the 1963 Franco-German reconciliation treaty, as part of efforts to normalize their relations. It was blocked, however, by the French Parliament's approval of a law that included a reference to the "positive role of the French presence overseas, especially in North Africa," which provoked a strong reaction from Algeria.

Senem Caglayan - The New Anatolian / Ankara

http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6624.html




450,000 Turks in France: Will you Imprison us All?

The bill, punishing those who deny the Armenian genocide due for discussion in the French Parliament on Thursday, is worrying the 450,000 Turks living in France.
If the bill is enacted, tens of thousands of Turkish expatriates will become potential offenders.

Turkish-French citizens say the denial bill cannot be enforced say, “Will you put in prison tens of thousands deniers of the genocide?”

Turkish expatriates have been reacting against the Socialist Party (PS), which prepared the bill, and will organize protests on May 18 before the French Assembly.

They will send their message to the French parliamentarians by chaining themselves and taping their mouths.

Turkish-origin head of the PS’s Strasbourg-Neuhof town regional office Saban Kiper, protests his party’s attempt and said, “I find it really unnecessary.” Kiper has been conducting negotiations for three weeks with the party's regional office and headquarters, as well as evoking Turkish-French citizens to protest the bill.

“Tens of thousands of Turkish-French citizens like me want to be proud of this country. However, how can you feel proud of it; it calls your ancestors murderers,” said Kiper, PS’s only Turkish origin regional branch president.

Saban, also a member of the French Joint Culture Youth Council, says tens of thousands of Turks in France may be imprisoned, if the bill is enacted.

Cojep President Ali Gedikoglu said they protested the motion with the slogan, “Don’t restrict freedoms, don’t keep the truth in the dark,” and thousands of Turks sent letters of protest to the French authorities.

Gedikoglu announced they will protest outside the French Parliament while the motion is being discussed on May 18; sending their message to parliamentarians by chaining themselves to the gates and tapping their mouths shut.

The Cojep president indicated they were able to make contact with leading figures from the Socialist Party and may possibly meet with party leader Francois Hollande.

Paris Anatolia Cultural Center Chairman Dr. Demir Onger thinks the motion is “a result of the effective lobbying activities the Armenian Diaspora in France has been conducing for 80 years,” and says, “This attempt is a shame for France that pretends to be the champion of freedom of expression.”

“France, which refers the past to the historians when the issue is its own history, passes a law on the history of another country and displays a paradoxical attitude,” cardiologist Dr. Onger defends, accusing France of “playing with the fire.”

Demir Onger noted they established the “Union for Freedom of Expression” in order to protest the motion and sent thousands of protest letters to the French authorities.

Onger criticized Turkey’s ineffective lobbying, describing it as “a vertical lobbying” conducted by top level bureaucrats or company bosses. Onger stated the Armenians follow a policy from the bottom up and said Turkey must initiate activities in an effort to persuade the French people in the long term.

Yuksel Bilici, an expatriate graduate student on “Turks’ political participation in France” living in the capital Paris, termed the proposal as an “election present” for the Armenian Diaspora asking, “Will they put 500,000 Turks in Jail?”.

Suleyman Toppeker, an official translator, said, “If 15,000 people sign a petition claiming ‘We do not believe in the genocide’, they will be immediately jailed”.

Marc Semo, an expert on Turkey from the leftist French paper, Liberation, advocating that the draft, which will cause problems over freedoms, concerns France a great deal and emphasizes the difficulty in the implementation of such a law.

There is no political integrity in France prior to the election due in 2007, Semo revealed, and added French President Jacques Chirac, favoring Turkey, will not be able to do anything because the law could be acceded in parliament on May 18.

The notice of motion leads to some concerns among expatriates, while several Turkish foundations and institutions in France have noticeably remained silent.

Some other foundations referring to Zaman’s view avoided sharing their assessments on the issue. Few pay attention to the case except for a number of foundations in France, where nearly 450,000 Turkish people reside.

By Ali Ihsan Aydin, Paris
May 16, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060516&hn=33161




A group of French historians, who last month put together a letter of protest against a proposed "Armenian genocide law," have now come together again to publish a declaration against the draft of the new law, which mandates prison sentences for those who deny the genocide.

The bill, which was put together by the opposition Socialist Party in France, and which will come before the French Parliament on May 18 for debate, has elicited protest from French historians on the grounds that it carries stiff penalities for those denying the Armenian claims, and in this sense infringes on freedom of expression in France. The declaration from the group of historians against the bill, who have expressed that they are "in a state of deep shock" about it, notes, among other things, that "history teachers in French schools will be taken hostage by this law."

Among the historians signing off on this new declaration of protest are well-known French academics such as Jean-Pierre Azema, Elisabeth Badinter, Marc Ferro, Jacques Julliard, Pierre Nora, Mona Ozouf, Jean-Pierre Vernant, and Pierre Vidal-Naquet.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/4378436.asp?gid=74

Turkey harsh on ‘genocide’ references in France, Canada ; recalls ambassadors for consultations

Turkey has recalled its ambassadors to France and Canada for “a short time” for consultations over “baseless allegations” made about the alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire last century, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday in a brief written statement.
“Our ambassador in Paris, Osman Korutürk, and our ambassador in Ottawa, Aydemir Erman, have been recalled to Ankara for a short time for consultations on the latest developments,” the statement signed by Foreign Ministry spokesman Nam�k Tan said.

“We foresee that our ambassadors will return to their duties after the consultations,” the statement noted.

Ankara has recently criticized Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for remarks he made in support of recognizing the mass killings of Armenians during World War I as genocide, and warned such statements threatened to harm Turkish-Canadian relations.

The Foreign Ministry at the time described Harper's words as “appalling” and said they would “negatively affect” bilateral ties.

In 2002, the Canadian Senate recognized the killings during World War I as the first genocide of the 20th century and the House of Commons followed suit two years later.

As for France, Turkey last week warned that bilateral ties could suffer if the French Parliament adopts a bill that would criminalize any denial of the alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire last century.

The bill in France, proposed by members of the opposition Socialist Party (PS), criminalizes any denial of an alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

The bill, expected to be voted on later this month, has a first reading before the Parliament on May 18. If approved, the bill would provide for one year in prison and a 45,000 euro ($57,000) fine for any person who denies that the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenians were genocide.

If adopted, it will follow a 2001 French decision that infuriated Turkey by acknowledging that mass killings during World War I amounted to genocide.

Relations suffered a major blow when the French Parliament accepted the so-called genocide in 2001, and the bill penalizing its denial may spark a new crisis in ties if it is passed.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings between 1915 and 1917 by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey.

Turkey categorically rejects the claims, saying 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with Russian troops invading Ottoman soil.


French historians against bill; say it violates freedom of expression:

A group of prominent historians in France has opposed the bill that is expected to be voted on later this month, arguing that “parliaments cannot write history, history should be left to historians.”

Late last year a group of 19 French historians -- who also put their signatures under a new declaration -- released a joint declaration demanding the annulment of all parliamentary decisions concerning history, including the Armenian “genocide” law. The historians said in the declaration, titled “Freedom for History,” that parliaments should not make decisions on history.

The historians asserted in the new declaration that they were “deeply shocked,” adding, “History teachers will be taken hostage with this bill.”

“It's furthermore shocking that deputies who had earlier promised not to introduce such a bill have again preferred to act the same way,” the declaration was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42849


‘Genocide’ references in France, Canada anger Turkey

Following separate warnings issued to Canada and France that recent developments in the two countries concerning their recognition of an alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire last century could harm bilateral relations, Turkey has recalled its ambassadors from Paris and Ottawa for “a short time” for consultations over “baseless allegations” made about the alleged genocide.

As the most recent diplomatic move revealing Ankara's anger against the two countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nam�k Tan officially announced yesterday that Ambassador Osman Korutürk had been recalled from the French capital and Ambassador Aydemir Erman from Ottawa “for a short time for consultations” on the latest developments.

“We foresee that our ambassadors will return to their duties after the consultations,” Tan noted.

Remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in support of recognizing the mass killings of Armenians during World War I as genocide have recently sparked harsh reaction from Ankara, which imminently warned such statements threatened to harm Turkish-Canadian relations.

As for France, Turkey warned last week that bilateral ties could suffer if the French Parliament adopts a bill that would criminalize any denial of the alleged Armenian genocide.

The bill, expected to be voted on later this month, drew reaction not only from the public in Turkey but also from a group of prominent historians in France who argued that “parliaments cannot write history, history should be left to historians.”

“History teachers will be taken hostage with this bill,” said the historians, describing the bill as “deeply shocking.”

“It's furthermore shocking that deputies who had earlier promised not to introduce such a bill have again preferred to act the same way,” they said.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42938


Turkey Reacts to French Motion on So-called Genocide

Reactions against the legislative offer to punish anyone that denies the so-called Armenian Genocide in France continue to echo.

Turkey also forwarded a communiqu� against the act in addition to a warning issued by a group of French historians asking the French government "not take historians hostage".

Nine journalists, authors and academics in Turkey, renown for their denigrations regarding the so-called genocide claims, will release a declaration in the French press warning those supporting the proposal.

The declaration prepared by intellectuals in Turkey will be published on Friday in the French daily Le Figaro. It asks for the disapproval of a legislative proposal that will hamper freedom of expression.

Signed by Ahmet Insel, Hirant Dink, Halil Berktay, Murat Belge, Elif Safak, Baskin Oran, Etyen Mahcupyan, Muge Gocek, and Ragip Zarakoglu, the notice reads that Armenians and Turks experience a normalization process, in which freedom of expression and free dissemination of information are essential to move forward with the process.

Speaking with Zaman, Agos Newspaper Editor in Chief Hirant Dink said their call is to everyone behind the French proposal; and warns French-Armenians not to be involved in making such a serious mistake. Due for discussion in the French parliament on May 18, the Genocide recognition legislation motion, put forward by the Socialist Party making denial of the so-called Armenian genocide a crime, is anticipated to be denied.

By Celil Sagir, Istanbul
May 09, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060509&hn=32954
Turks in France to intense lobbying efforts
Leading representatives of people of Turkish origin living in France have decided to accelerate their lobbying efforts via cooperation and coordination under a joint platform -- a move that came simultaneously with Ankara's recent diplomatic move to recall its ambassadors to France and Canada for ?a short time? for consultations.

Yesterday's announcement from Ankara has been considered the Turkish capital's latest salvo against increasing international pressure on Turkey to recognize the killings of Armenians during World War I as genocide.

On the same day the ambassadorial recall was announced, the Anatolia news agency reported from Paris that the leading Turkish organizations and individuals gathered and decided to establish a joint platform for lobbying efforts.

Akif Gülle, deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who joined the gathering in Paris, urged ?Turks living in Europe to play a more active role in domestic politics of the countries where they are living,? Anatolia said.

Last Friday several Turkish organizations published an open letter in leading French newspapers calling on top-level French politicians not to back a bill that criminalizes any denial of an alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

Proposed by members of the opposition Socialist Party (PS), the bill, expected to be voted on later this month, has a first reading before the parliament on May 18. It contains one year's imprisonment and a 45,000 euro ($57,000) fine for denying that Armenians were victims of genocide.

Also during yesterday's meeting, letters calling on French deputies for annulment of the bill were opened for signature. The letters will later be sent to French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin as well as to speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate and representatives of political parties with groups in the National Assembly and the Senate.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42911


Armenian and Greek genocide claims:

A flurry of articles in yesterday's Hürriyet daily examine other countries' moves with respect to bringing attention to the genocide charges against Turkey. A small report focuses on the unveiling two days ago of a new statue in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki in commemoration of the so-called "Pontus Genocide." Many Greeks claim that the Pontus genocide took place between 1916 and 1923, and was aimed at exterminating ethnic Greeks living along the eastern shores of the Black Sea in Turkey.

According to the report, the new statue stands "in the center of Thessaloniki in Hagia Sofia Square, and is a bronze depiction of a crying woman." It describes the weekend unveiling of the statue, saying, "Thessaloniki Mayor Vasilis Papayeorgopulos, who will come to Izmir in a month to celebrate the union of Izmir and Thessalonica as sibling cities, said, 'We put this statue here to remember those who died, and in honor of patriotism'." The report in Hürriyet also notes that the new Pontus statue is only 40 meters from another one commemorating the incident, which stands in Thessaloniki's Ayasofya church.

The Greek Parliament voted in 1994 to make May 19 the annual "Pontus Greek Genocide Remembrance Day." In the meantime, Hürriyet yesterday also devotes coverage to moves in connection with Armenian genocide claims, with one article noting that Ankara has called back its ambassador to Ottawa following the Canadian government's use of the word "genocide" in statements marking April 24. A separate article notes that a group of French historians have come together to write a declaration in protest of the bill on which the French Parliament will decide on May 18. The bill, if passed, will bring about prison penalties for those who publicly deny Armenian genocide claims in France.

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42902

Turkey recalls ambassador to France for talks over Armenian 'genocide'

The Turkish ambassador to France has been recalled for "a short time" for consultations, announced the Foreign Ministry on Monday following the recall of the Turkish ambassador to Canada, in protest of the fact that both countries have recognized the forced deportation of Armenians under World War 1 conditions as "genocide."

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Namik Tan stated that both Turkish Ambassador to France Osman Koruturk and Turkish Ambassador to Canada Aydemir Erman have been recalled for consultations concerning the French Parliament's possible approval of the Armenian bill and Canada's move to recognize the 1915 events as "genocide."

"It's anticipated that the ambassadors will return to their posts after the consultations," Tan added.

Turkey warned French legislators not to approve a bill to criminalize the denial of the genocide claims. The French Parliament is set to consider the one-article Armenian bill on May 18. It was presented by the opposition Socialists and aims to impose prison terms of up to one year and a 45,000 euro fine for deniers of the so-called genocide claims.

It's already an offense in France to deny the Holocaust during World War II.

Turkey has recently criticized Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for remarks supporting the recognition of the controversial events as "genocide," and warned that such statements threaten Turkish-Canadian relations.

Armenians say that 1.5 million of their people were killed as the Ottoman Empire forced them out of eastern Turkey between 1915 and 1923, and that it was a deliberate genocidal campaign by Turkey's rulers of that time. The Turks, on the other hand, say the death count is inflated and insist Armenians were killed or displaced as the Ottoman Empire tried to secure its border with Russia and stop attacks by Armenian militants.

The Turkish media reported that the country could bar Canadian companies from bidding on the construction of a nuclear power plant which Turkey hopes to build in the Black Sea coastal town of Sinop.

In 2001, Turkey canceled millions of dollars worth of defense deals with French companies after lawmakers in France recognized the Armenian genocide claims.

The New Anatolian / Ankara

http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6385.html

Algeria Seeks Apology for Massacre, France Occupied with Armenian Law - Bouteflika Asks French to Pressure Paris for Apology

Today, Europe is celebrating the anniversary of one of the most important events of the 20th century, their defeat of the Nazis on May 8 1945 signaling the end of World War II.

Contrary to the excitement of victory won 61 years ago, France is facing the serious allegation of conducting a massacre. While, on 8 May 1945 Europe was able to breathe a sigh of relief, Algeria mourned as it continued to remain under French colonization. Algerians fought along side the French in the fight against the German Nazis together in hopes of gaining their freedom, however, their dreams were dashed when they returned to home after the war to find French soldiers murdering Algerian survivors.

Algerians have been commemorating May 8 for years and call for "the acceptance of genocide and an apology" from France. France, in pursuit of version of history, continues to say, "Let’s leave the past to the historians," in response to these calls. The Paris administration, which made the Armenians' genocide allegations into a law in 2001, is attempting to go one step further and introduce a law to punish those who deny the genocide. The discussions to start in French Parliament on May 18 will be conducted under the shadow of the Algerian massacre.

Zaman went to Algeria on the 61st anniversary of the massacre and spoke to witnesses of the event and to local historians. Witnesses to this event are now in their 90s, however, they remember how the French colonial administration incinerated thousands of Algerians in lime ovens and dumped their bodies into the rivers. Despite the calls for apology, France passed a law praising colonialism last year, further infuriating the Algerians. The opposition al-Islah Party in Algeria has taken new steps taken in a reaction to Paris's attitude, by submitting to parliament a proposed law condemning French colonialism and considering it a crime. Al-Islah Party Secretary-General Dr .Mohammed Djahid Younsi, speaking to Zaman, stressed that colonizing countries must apologize and pay compensation to people they colonized. France is double-dealing, according to the general manager of the French newspaper published by French Courrier d'Algerie, Ahmet Toumiat.

Algerian historian Professor Mohammed El-Corso speaks out against the understanding of justice in France: "It is a double standard that France replies, 'Let’s leave the past to the historians,' to the calls by Algerians, while passing a law for the Armenians. There is such an odd understanding of justice in France. It is as though some things have become the property of France."

Algeria sent its young men to fight for France’s freedom against the Nazi occupation in Europe; in return it was promised independence. The Algerian people believed they would be freed as soon as France was released from the grip of Nazi occupation, and the fall of Germany was welcomed with a festival atmosphere in Algeria. Algerians organized marches on May 8 to celebrate their victory and to remember the promise given to them. The demonstrations held in the cities of Setif, Guelma and Kherrata in the east of the country turned bloody when 40-45,000 Algerians, according to Algeria and the United States, and 20,000, according to France, were murdered within a week.

Hamla was 19 in 1945 and one of the organizers of the march in Guelma. "We wanted to celebrate the victory and remind the Americans, British and Russian people their promise of independence," says Hamla, clearly remembering those days. Hamla welcomed us into his modest home in an Algerian suburb, and he said they flew the Algerian People's Party flag along side French, British, American and Russian flags during the march, and shouted slogans of freedom. Hamla says they confronted the French Gendarmerie Units waiting for them and violence broke out when the gendarme began shooting at civilians.

A state of emergency was declared and the French army began to massacre local Algerians. "We were gullible then and we did not think the French would kill us. They betrayed us and the other allies forgot their promises also," says a mournful Hamla, remembering that French soldiers killed ten of thousands of Algerians. While some of the bodies were buried in mass graves outside the city, some of them were burned in furnaces so not to distress the French governor with the smell of rotting corpses, which Ben Hamla likened to the Nazi "death chambers." The lime furnaces outside Guelma were turned into death furnaces, where thousands of Algerians were brought to die, their bodies were completely incinerated. We smelt the burning corpses", Hamla added.

'I couldn’t believe my eyes when I returned to my country'

Said, who withheld his surname, was 17 at that time he joined the march in Setif, and he says murdered Algerians were carried in trucks to Kherrata River and then dumped. "They threw even some living people into the trucks", says the old Algerian remembering those days, adding that France is still his "enemy." Said says they stoned the French soldiers that started firing at them and tried to lower the Algerian flag. "They killed anybody they saw in the streets, and they raped our women. They even stabbed a pregnant woman in the stomach. I saw all these events", says Said, remembering that French soldiers confiscated guns and sharp tools from the organizers of the marches to prevent any incidents of violence.

Amar Aliat, 98, whom we came across wearing traditional clothes and wandering on the road where the march took place in Setif, is a war veteran that fought for French independence in 1939. Ali said they were made to wear French military uniforms and he remembers listening to a speech made by French commanders telling Algerian soldiers that Algeria would gain independence if it defeated the Nazis. Ali says all the shops were closed, and the all streets were empty when they returned to Setif. General Duval, known as the "Setif Butcher," in command of the French army executing the massacres, told the French in Algeria, "We established peace in ten years. If France does not do anything now, then a similar difficult situation could happen again and next time it amy be unsolvable." Just as, the salvation movement started in 1954 brought independence to Algeria. Algeria was a French colony for 130 years before gaining independence in 1962.

By Ali Ihsan Aydin, Algeria
May 08, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?hn=32921&bl=international

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Bouteflika Asks French to Pressure Paris for Apology

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who likened the massacres French soldiers committed in Algeria to the Jewish Holocausts, this year renewed his call, “Paris should apologize.”

A French apology would be the only way to transform the chronic stagnation of relations into a real friendship, Bouteflika told in a commemoration ceremony held for the 61st anniversary of the massacre of Algerians.

According to the Algerian leader, the French people also owe the people of Algeria an apology.

The Paris administration fiercely reacted to Bouteflika in April when he pointed the finger at French colonialism and cited it as the guilty party responsible for the cultural genocide in Algeria. On Monday, he emphasized it is their basic right to demand an apology for the crime of colonialism.

In 1945, pro-independence protests in the cities of Setif, Guelma, and Kherrata were suppressed in a bloody show of strength by the French army, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Algerians; according to the Americans this figure is 40-50,000, while the French say the figure is closer to 20,000.

Bouteflika, in a statement last year, likened the term’s French administration to the Nazi regime, as he claimed furnaces set up in Guelma were reminiscent of those used by the Nazis.

By Foreign News Desk, Istanbul
May 09, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060509&hn=32964

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Algerian Youth, Indifferent to History, Seek Future in 'Colonialist' France

Algeria, with its energy resources, is one of the Africa’s richest countries. However, the civil war that broke out in the 1990s, signaling the end of 132 years of French occupation in 1962, has destroyed the country.

The country isolated itself during the years of terror, referred to as the "dirty war," and was devastated during this period. Social reconciliation projects launched a few years ago to leave this unfortunate period in the past have begun to bear positive results.

Algeria has taken giant steps towards political and economic stability, and life is rapidly returning to normal. Algerian streets, once filled with the fear of death, are now filled with joy. The country is still under French influence although years have passed since the occupation. The country’s aged live with the “pains of history,� and demand an apology from France, while its youth seem "indifferent" to the past. Young Algerians believe the way to a secure future is through France and admire them despite the painful experiences.

Although it has been almost half a century since Algeria, which was under French colonization between 1830 and 1962, won its independence, the French influence can be seen everywhere. The official language is Arabic, but in Algeria’s capital, everyone speaks French. Posters, and streets signs and names are in French. Some are written in both languages. Most official correspondence is still done in French. The capital is more like Marseilles than an African city when viewed from the coast. Algeria has only state-run TVs, and the French channels attract more viewers. Façades of apartments are adorned with satellite dishes pointed at French satellites. Some French channels, coded even in France, are viewed freely here, which seems a little strange. Aside from the every day lives of Algerians, French influence is especially apparent in architecture. Many buildings in the center of Algeria date back to the French period. Most of them house state institutes. In politics, economy, and daily life, many French traditions have become the culture of the Algerians. Politically leaving Algeria in 1962, France still says "I am here" with its ingrained cultural influence.

Helpless and 'indifferent' youths…

Living in French colonized, Algeria, and joining the war of independence, the aged Algerians rage at France, but the younger generation Algerians think differently. The older Algerians, still living with "pains" from the past, seek an apology from France, while their descendants feel attracted to France and the French language, with who they feel an affinity even through theirs a great distance between them. Kamel, 31, returned to Algeria after living in Britain for nine years, is a taxi driver. He relates the French "admiration" among the Algerians youngsters is a product of their sense of helplessness. He said the younger generation lost any hope for the future during the last terror period and added, "They have no other choice. Everyone dreams of establishing a new life in Europe. They first think of going to France since they know French. It is easier for them."

Kamel, who also lost his family during the war of independence, believes that what France did in Algeria will never be forgotten. Many youngsters we met in Algerian streets share these thoughts. However, living conditions, though showing signs of improvement recently, push the nation’s youths to look ahead rather than look at the past. In Mad Ibrahim suburb of the Algerian capital, senior high school students like Wahab, Calal, and Adel, who we spoke to about the 1945 massacres, confess they are indifferent to the past, saying,: "We are not interested in history. The future is our only concern."

We saw French symbols on many Algerian cars while driving from Constantine, known as "the Turkish-origin city" by Algerians, to Guelma. In Algeria, most people live in poverty despite the country being rich in oil and gas reserves, and minds of a nation have turned to France, just like its satellite dishes. Algerian’s younger generation wait for an opportunity to escape to France, a country follow closely from their television sets.

When we asked their opinion about the Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s accusation that France committed genocide, and then traveling to Paris for medical treatment, they responded saying it is quite normal, business and other issues should not be confused. Bouteflika's treatment at a French military hospital after his statements fuelled debate in Paris as well. Turkish origin Algerian Riza Bey Ibrahim terms Algerian-French relations "extraordinary" and said they are difficult to understand. "In fact, Algerians also think like the French. Many Algerians feel close to France, though they are angered by it."

By Ali Ihsan Aydin, Algeria
May 09, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060510&hn=32969


France Abuses Armenian Issue to Prevent Turkey's EU Membership

ANKARA - Turkish political scientists argue that France abuses the Armenian issue in order to prevent Turkey's EU membership

Sedat Laciner, Director of Ankara-based Turkish think tank USAK says that "the anti-Turkish circles in France are so strong and they abuses the Cyprus and Armenian issues to halt the Turks." Dr. Laciner further said:

"Christian fundamentalists, ultra-nationalist Armenians, and other anti-Turkish lobby have done anyting possible to prevent Turkey's EU bid. Turkey is now in memberhip negotiations with the EU. Turkey's economy and human rights records fulfill the EU criteria. As a matter of fact that there is no excuse to put the Turks in cold. That's why the anti-Turkish groups look for new excuses. France is not sincere in dealing with the Armenian issue. The Paris Government abuses the problems between the Turks and Armenians instead of helping them in solving the disputes. Both Armenia and Turkey need French help in reconciliation, yet the French politicians undermine the dialogue environment."

Similarly Dr. Halil Ibrahim Bahar argued that each country should focus on its own dark pages in the past. "The Algerian days are the darkest pages in French history" he told the JTW. Dr. Nilgun Gulcan labels the French Rule in Algeria 'genocide'. She said that "French rulers killed more than 1,5 million people in Algeria".


09 May 2006
Jan SOYKOK, JTW
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=31431


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Turkish Parliament Delegation to Travel to France over Armenian Bill

ANKARA - Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said on Sunday that a Turkish delegation of four parliamentarians is planning to travel to France today. Speaking to reporters, Arinc, currently paying an official visit to Sweden, stated that France's Parliament is set to debate a bill concerning the so-called Armenian 'genocide' on May 18, adding that the Turkish parliamentarians will hold a series of talks with their France counterparts to convince them not to pass the bill.

Regarding the issue, Arinc also sent a message to France Parliament Speaker Jean-Louis Debre last month.

Turkey does not accept the Armenian accusations about the 1915 Events. Both sides accuse each other of committing genocide. Turkish historians argue that more than 520,000 Muslim Ottomans were massacred by the Armenian gangs. Thosands of Armenians were also killed in the communal clashes during the First Worl War.

France on the other hand does not recognise the Algerian genocide. The Algerians blame French Government as 'denier'. However the French politicians are very keen on recognising the Armenian allegations as truth.

JTW and Hurriyet
9 May 2006

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=31377

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Turkey and France clash over Armenia 'genocide'

Turkey has recalled its ambassador to France in protest against a French bid to criminalise denial of the alleged Turkish genocide of Armenians in the early 1900s.

Turkey has always rejected claims by international historians that 1.5 million Armenians died between 1915 and 1923 as a result of systematic genocide while modern-day Armenia was under Turkish Ottoman control.

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry in Ankara said on Monday (9 May) that the ambassador was recalled for a short time to discuss what Ankara calls the "baseless allegations of Armenian genocide" in France.

Later this month French parliamentarians are set to discuss and vote on a law that would make denial of the so-called Armenian genocide a crime.

The law would mirror existing French legislation against holocaust-denial, carrying a sentence of up to five years' prison and a €45,000 fine.

"The adoption of these texts will provoke irreparable damage to Franco-Turkish relations," a Turkish government spokesperson said, according to French media.

Ankara recognises just 500,000 Armenian deaths during "the Ottoman war," and rejects the "genocide" tag saying both sides suffered severe losses, with Armenia allied to Russia at the time.

Brussels MEPs, acting on a French initiative late last year, also demanded that Ankara recognises the genocide of Armenians as a "prerequisite for accession to the European Union."

The European Commission's translation database, IATE, defines genocide as "harmful acts...committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

A commission official told EUobserver that Brussels' enlargement unit avoids using the word because "the commission is a forward-looking institution."

Trade sanctions mooted
The head of the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs commission, Mehmet Dulger, said this weekend that Turks could boycott French products and French firms could lose lucrative contracts if the legislation is passed, according to Reuters.

"Turkey will not accept becoming a toy in the French election campaign," Dulger said, with a nod toward the French presidential race in 2007.

He added that he would lead a group of Turkish lawmakers to Paris this week to lobby against the bill.

In 2001, Turkey cancelled multi-million euro deals with French enterprises after the French parliament officially recognised the genocide.

Turkish lawmakers are also preparing a rival law accusing France of committing genocide during its colonial rule in Algeria.

The legal proposal has also come under fire from less politicised voices, with Turkish and French intellectuals protesting over the "inflation of laws of memory" and criticising the government's "promulgation of official truths."

Meanwhile, an open letter to "our French friends" signed by nine groups of Turkish entrepreneurs and trade unions, published in several French daily newspapers, said "it is not up to the law to describe history."

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic relations and closed borders, with the landlocked country keen for Turkey to open up highways for trade to western Europe.

"We are too small to have enemies," an Armenian diplomat said.

09.05.2006 - 10:34 CET | By Teresa Küchler
http://euobserver.com/9/21543


French Ambassador: Friendship between Turkey & France must go on & Bill was rejected


The French Ambassador to Ankara, Paul Poudade, has commented about diplomatic tensions between Turkey and France in the run-up to the May 18 debates in the French Parliament over a bill which proposes jail time for people in France who publicly deny the Armenian genocide.

In a statement in reference to the fact that Osman Koruturk, the Turkish Ambassador to Paris, has been called back to Ankara "for consultations" in what is being viewed as a largely symbolic protest, Ambassador Poudade said "France is an EU member. It would be in the interests of Turkey to continue relations." Speaking in advance of a dinner being hosted for EU ambassadors in Ankara by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Poudade also said this about the call-back of Ambassador Koruturk to Ankara:

"Koruturk was called back for consultations. I will be meeting with him tomorrow (today). It is important that the friendship between Turkey and France continue. The two countries have good economic and political relations. We must not exaggerate this situation. I am quite sure that the developments will be kept under control."

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/4390918.asp?gid=74

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Response to Canadian "genocide" statement continues in Ankara
The response from Ankara to Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper's accusation that the Turks had committed genocide against the Armenians has climbed to an even higher level in the weeks following Harper's April 24 statements.

In the wake of Turkey's ban on Canadian firms from taking part in bidding for contracts in the construction of the nuclear power plant planned for the Black Sea city of Sinop, the next stage of Turkish reaction to the "genocide" statements was to call back the Turkish Ambassador to Ottowa, Aydemir Erman, for "consultations" in Ankara. And now, it appears that the Turkish armed forces too are involved in the general reaction.

In what was viewed to be a display of shared stance between the government and the General Staff of the Turkish armed forces, it was announced yesterday that Turkish military forces will not be participating in the May 12 "Maple Flag 06" national military exercises that Canada is planning on holding. Turkey had previously accepted the invitation of the Canadian armed forces to participate in the exercises with 6 F-16 fighters of its own. Many other countries, including the US, are scheduled to be involved with the military exercises.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/4390464.asp?gid=74

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Genocide Bill at French Constitutional Commission

The controversial bid to penalize those who deny the so-called genocide in France will be discussed at the French National Parliament's Constitutional Commission today.

The motion, expected to be discussed at the National Parliament on May 18, needs to be approved by the Senate as well to become a law. If the motion passes, those denying the existence of the so-called genocide may be fined 45,000 euros and sentenced to one-year in prison. The French Foreign Ministry in a statement yesterday said "they are following the developments carefully" concerning Turkey's reaction. The bill prepared by the main opposition Socialist Party (SP) needs to pass the commission in order to reach the parliament. Last month, the SP decided to bring the bill to the parliament by using its "right to determine agenda" given to French parties in proportion to the number of deputies. Five other bills prepared by parliamentarians from the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and the SP in this frame were unable to be included on the parliamentary agenda since 2001. The right to determine the agenda, which normally belongs to the government, will be invoked by the SP on May 18.

A Turkish split in the SP

Jean Marc Ayrault, the Socialists’ house leader, that party that prepared the bill, does not hide his concern about the draft.

Ayrault, warning that the bill will be a "source of chaos and difficulty," stresses the offer came to the agenda as "a result of big pressure from the party."

The left-leaning newspaper Liberation wrote that the bill deepened the crisis between France and Turkey.

Liberation estimates Ankara harshly reacted to the proposed law when it recalled Ambassador to France Osman Koruturk "to discuss the issue," and "is getting harsher against France."

The article cites the boycotting of French goods and excluding of French companies from public tenders came to the agenda in Turkey, and those who criticize the bill, mostly Turkish intellectuals such as Baskin Oran, are struggling against official history. Marc Semo, the newspaper's expert on Turkey who wrote the article, maintains that although the majority of historians accept it, Ankara still rejects the so-called genocide. In the event the bill passes, Turkish-French relationships, which almost stopped in 2001 due to the Armenian issue, are again expected to undergo a second crisis.

By Ali Ihsan Aydin, Paris
May 10, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060510&hn=32993

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Turkey Pressures France to Prevent Pro-Genocide Bill


Turkey is acting to prevent France's legislative proposal to penalize those who deny the so-called Armenian genocide.

The Turkish administration briefly recalled its Ambassador to France this week, Osman Koruturk, who returned to Ankara to offer an official analysis through diplomatic channels. A group of Turkish deputies traveled to France to persuade their French counterparts. Foreign Ministry sources say Koruturk was called to Ankara to discuss issue, and he will head back to Paris by the weekend.

Turkey is exerting efforts in diplomatic, political and economic channels against the bill in question.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meeting with business leaders partnered with French companies yesterday, asked for their support to obstruct the submission of the motion to the French Parliament on May 18.

Business executives representing French economic interests in Turkey said they sent a letter to French President Jacques Chirac and will do all they can to stop the motion.

Ankara does not expect rocky relations with Paris at this point. No extreme measures, such as officially withdrawing the Turkish ambassador, will be resorted to at this stage. However, Turkey will convey the message that it believes in the "liberalistic environment of France."

The motion, proposed by the main opposition Socialist Party in France, will be discussed today at the French parliamentary Regulations Commission. Even if the motion passes on May 18, a long process is required to render it law.

The legislative proposal brings a fine of 45,000 Euros and a prison sentence to those who deny the so-called Armenian genocide. Trade unions, labor unions and non-governmental organizations in Turkey issued a full-page notice in French newspapers asking for the motion's withdrawal.

As part of the concerted efforts, the Turkish Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission went to Paris Tuesday before discussions for the motion begin.

Turkish Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Mehmet Dulger from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and deputies Musa Sivacioglu, Onur Oymen and Gulsun Bilgehan Toker will meet with representatives of political parties present at the French Parliament and ask for the motion to be withdrawn.

The Turkish deputies are expected to warn the French politician that the motions' becoming law may lead to irreparable damages in bilateral relations.

Erdogan: 10 days of hard work await

In the frame of economic efforts, Ankara pointed out Turkey is an important export point for France and asked for the support of business circles.

The Prime Minister had a 45-minute meeting with the executives of French companies operating in Turkey. "This is unfair," said Erdogan, "This is the job of historians, we expect support from your business partners in France; we want them to lobby."

Twenty-two of 28 companies joined the meeting. TEB-BNP CEO Yavuz Canevi, one of the participants, said: "We all agree with the Prime Minister. We have not reached decisions like an embargo yet," and Omnium Plastic Industry Chairman Bulent Akman warned, "There will be much reaction if the motion passes. It will cause trouble both for the French and us."


By Salih Boztas, Ali Ihsan Aydin, Ankara, Paris
May 10, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060510&hn=32977


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Armenian Bill Would Send Paris to ECHR

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judge Riza Turmen predicts that if the French legislative proposal to criminalize denial of the so-called Armenian genocide becomes law, the ECHR will inundated with cases.

The 10th article of the European Human Rights Convention “guarantees freedom of expression and thought,� reminded Turmen, noting that any individual sentenced after the legalization of the bill might take France to the European Court.

The Turkish Judge also suggested that the ECHR might approve an investigation on such applications.

French historians had earlier put forward, “Such an offer might impinge on freedom of expression, and therefore; legalization will turn history teachers into prisoners.�

By Anadolu News Agency (aa), Paris
May 10, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060510&hn=32988

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Historians Warn French Parliament: Do not Censor History


Famous American and European historians have sided against the bill, which would make denial of the so-called Armenian genocide a punishable offence, to be discussed in the French Parliament on May 18.

Historians say if the bill is passed, freedom of speech will be harmed and history will have been “censored.�

Lobbies in Brussels make jokes that the French parliament is being influenced by the 301st clause in the Turkish criminal code which is frequently criticized by the European Union (EU).

Professor Eric Zurcher, a famous Dutch professor and an expert on Turkey, considers getting stuck on the word “genocide� is unfortunate.

Emeritus Professor of Political Science Guenter Lewy, who became the target of Armenians because of his recently published book “The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide,� wants history to be left to the historians.

Britain’s Dr. Andrew Mango says it is “an insult to pass such a ridiculous bill.� The three important academics responded to questions posed by Zaman.

Jewish origin American scholar Lewy says he also opposes the laws that suggest criminalizing the denial of the Jewish Holocaust. “Parliaments should discuss the laws, not history. The Armenian “genocide� bill in France is not as logical as the Holocaust oriented laws. The freedom of speech in democratic societies should also be applied to fools speaking unwisely. I oppose the existence of such laws wherever they are – in France, in Germany, in Switzerland or in Turkey. Such laws could have functioned in Germany after the Nazi defeat in 1945; however, they are not needed anymore.�

Lewy says he is not concerned about being arrested in France over his book. “If French judges want to censor history, including all the history books published all over the world,� he said, “they will be insulted by everyone siding with the academic world, and with free and uncensored researches.

Algeria and Congo are forgotten

Professor Zurcher considers the French bill is objectionable in two aspects: Primarily historians should avoid writing history; and the use of the word “genocide� is a hindrance to any research being conducted on the events in 1915. He also believes Armenians were exposed to ethnic cleansing and if it is to be compared to any other event, it can be more likened to the Serbian massacres in Bosnia and Kosovo, not to the Jewish holocaust.

Zurcher points out that the French law could be spread throughout Europe, but the issue, he says, cannot be made a condition for Turkey’s entry to the European Union. “What France did in Algeria; Belgium in the Congo and in my country, The Netherlands, as well as in the Far-East, have never been discussed by the EU; so then why Turkey?�

British scholar Andrew Mango puts the so-called Armenian genocide allegations aside and considers that freedom of speech will be restricted after the bill becomes law.

Mango says, “Such a law is unlikely to be exercised in my country, Britain. Britain even allows you to deny the Jewish Holocaust because we highly appreciate the speech freedom.� He says defending such a law is an “insult against freedom.�

When asked whether he will hesitate about traveling to France if the bill becomes law, Mango replied: “I was asked the same question in my previous France visit. I said, ‘I will not talk about the Armenian case here because there is no freedom of speech in your country.’ I will probably not talk about these issues in France anymore.� The British historian says enemies of Turkey consider the EU bid as an “opportunity.� Don’t the Greek Cypriots do the same thing? Turkey portrays itself as if it is ready to accept everything for EU membership.�



By Selcuk Gultasli, Brussels
May 10, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060510&hn=32983

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The socialist bill rejected by the commission of the laws

(Rough Machine Translation):

(10.05.06) - the Commission of the Laws of the French National Assembly rejected this day the bill of the Socialist Party aiming at penalizing the dispute public of the thesis Armenian of “genocide�.

Unanimously of its members, the commission refused to examine the single Article (see hereafter) this private bill, which should nevertheless be submitted to the Parliament next on May 18 at the time of a parliamentary niche.

At the time of the layout of text before the Commission of the Laws, Alain Marsaud (UMP) expressed his opposition. “Let us avoid making the history, to make stories�, has it says, while Michel Piron (UMP) prevented: “when the history is made by the law, it is the official history�.

This private bill divides the deputies right now, beyond political cleavages. Whereas voices rise within the Socialist Party to underline the dangers of the text, the parliamentary group UMP openly declared its hostility, without however giving of instruction of vote the deputies.

The exit of the vote of May 18 thus seems dubious and will depend on the number of deputies present at the time of the debate and the degree of their mobilization in favour or against this proposal.

N° 3030

NATIONAL PARLIAMENT

CONSTITUTION OF October 4, 1958

TWELFTH LEGISLATURE

Recorded with the Presidency of the French National Assembly on April 12, 2006.

PRIVATE BILL

supplementing the law n° 2001-70 of July 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915,

(Returned to the commission of the constitutional laws, the legislation and the general administration of the Republic, in the absence of constitution of a special subcommittee in the intended deadlines by articles 30 and 31 of the Payment.)

PRESENTED

by Mr. Didier MIGAUD, Mrs. Martine DAVID, Misters Rene ROUQUET, Jean-Yves the BOUILLONNEC, Jacques BASCOU, Christophe MASSES, Jean-Paul BACQUET, Bruno LE ROUX, Laurent CATHALA, Mrs. Sylvie ANDRIEUX, Misters Jean-Marc AYRAULT, François HOLLAND, Mrs. Patricia ADAM, Misters Jean-Marie AUBRON, Jean-Claude BATEUX, Jean-Claude BEAUCHAUD, Jean-Pierre BLAZY, Patrick BLOCHE, Jean-Claude DRINK, Daniel BOISSERIE, Pierre BURGUNDIAN, Mrs. Danielle BOUSQUET, Misters François BROTTES, Thierry CARCENAC, Mrs. Martine CARRILLON-COUVREUR, Marie-Francoise CLERGEAU, Misters Pierre COHEN, Michel DASSEUX, Jean DELOBEL, Michel DESTOT, François PROPORTIONED, Julien DRAY, Jean-Pierre DUFAU, William DUMAS, Jean-Louis DUMONT, Jean-Paul DUPRE, Yves DURAND, Mrs. Odette LASTED, Misters Albert WAY, Pierre FORGUES, Michel FRANÇAIX, Mrs. Genevieve STRAPPING MAN, Misters Joel GIRAUD, Alain GOURIOU, David HABIB, Mrs. Danièle HOFFMAN-RISPAL, Francoise IMBERT, Mr. Serge JANQUIN, Mrs. Conchita LACUEY, Misters Jean LAUNAY, Jean-Yves the DÉAUT, Jean the GARREC, Mrs. Marylise LEBRANCHU, Mr. Patrick LEMASLE, Mrs. Annick LEPETIT, Misters Michel LIEBGOTT, Bernard MADRELLE, Henri NAYROU, Alain NÉRI, Mrs. Marie-Renee OGET, Misters Michel PAJON, Jean-Claude PEREZ, Mrs. Marie-Francoise PÉROL-DUMONT, Misters ROMANCE Bernard, Roger-Gerard SCHWARTZENBERG, Pascal TERRACE, Daniel VALIANT, André VALLINI, Michel VERGNIER

and members of the socialist group (1) and related (2)

Deputies.

EXPOSED REASONS

Ladies, Sirs,

On May 29, 1998, the French National Assembly adopted unanimously a private bill, deposited by the socialist group, including/understanding one article, that only one sentence. A sentence whose simplicity badly testified to the horror of the drama that it evoked and of the difficulties which had had to be overcome to arrive at this stage of the recognition, but whose significance was large.

Thus, this day of May 1998, “France publicly recognizes the Armenian genocide of 1915.�. The emotion is palpable in the hemicycle of the French National Assembly. The members of Parliament have this day the impression to free themselves from what one could call the reason of State, while returning its dignity with the Armenian people finally. Because to deny the genocide whose were victim the Armenian people amounts denying the existence even EC people, which were however exterminated for what it was.

Since, after some adventures, this sentence became a law of the Republic, the law n° 2001-70 of January 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

While recognizing the existence of this genocide, the first of the XXe century, the French Republic thus symbolically returned to the Armenian people the share of itself which it lost there is more than 80 years.

For much, this recognition could be regarded as an achievement, as well it is true as the obstacles set with this recognition by the law had been numerous.

The elected officials of the Nation could thus be tempted to yield to the temptation of the feeling of the accomplished duty. There would be nothing worse!

Indeed, an important legislative work remains to be achieved to draw all the conclusions from the law carrying recognition of the Armenian genocide. It is in particular advisable to integrate the negation of this crime against the humanity which the Armenian genocide of 1915 in our criminal law constitutes.

It is what had done the law Gayssot of 1990 in connection with the dispute of the crimes against humanity defined in appendix in the agreement of London of August 8, 1945.

This dispute is punished five years of imprisonment and 45.000 € of fine, in accordance with the provisions of article 24 (a) the law of 1881 relating to the freedom of the press, in its bearing chapter IV on the crimes and offences made by the way of the press or of any other means of publication.

By definition, the law of 1990 could not integrate the Armenian genocide, which did not have, at the time, is the subject of an official recognition.

Since this genocide was officially recognized by a law of the Republic, it is necessary to supplement the provisions of the law of 1881 so that the negation of the Armenian genocide is punished as it should be.

Such was the object of an amendment deposited, on November 26, 2003, by the members of the socialist group of the French National Assembly.

It acted, neither more nor less, to draw in the penal plan the conclusions from the entry into force from the law recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Consequently, the examination of the bill carrying adaptation of justice to the evolutions of criminality and reforming the penal code was the unhoped-for occasion to carry out without delay the necessary adaptation of the law of 1881.

But, according to the Minister of Justice of the time, the existing legislation makes it possible to continue the people who make themselves guilty of apology for crimes against humanity. The current right would allow thus, according to him, to continue any person defending the Armenian genocide. This analysis is certainly interesting, but it appears, with the reflexion, insufficient and in shift with the problem arising.

Indeed, the problems of the Armenian genocide are singular. The reality of Shoah, for example, was not only denied by those which one calls the revisionists, but it also was the subject of apology. It is thus desirable to condemn the two facets of the same unbearable attitude: the apology and negation. The Armenian genocide, until now at least, to our knowledge never was the subject of any apology. On the contrary, it is its existence even which is denied.

The need for sanctioning penally not only the apology, which according to the minister is possible with the existing right, but more especially the negation of the Armenian genocide, which is not possible in the state of the right, is thus obvious.

The work of the members of Parliament is thus not completed, and it is thus advisable to extend the provisions of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press relating to the negation of the crimes against humanity to the Armenian genocide recognized by the law n° 2001-70 of July 29, 2001.

With this intention, it is necessary to amend the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, is by extending the field of application of its article 24 (a) resulting from the law n° 90-615 of July 13, 1990 known as “law Gayssot� and applicable until now to Shoah, that is to say by creating an autonomous article punishing of the same sorrows the negation of the Armenian genocide of 1915 now recognized by the law.

Initially, the Socialists chose the first way concretized in their private bill n° 1643, recorded on June 8, 2004. It appeared at the same time simpler thereafter and just to devote an article suitable for the Armenian genocide of 1915 whose negation is punished same sorrows as the negation of Shoah.

It is thus this revised version which it is proposed to adopt by supplementing the law n° 2001-70 of January 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide.

PRIVATE BILL

Single Article

The law n° 2001-70 of January 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915 is supplemented by an article thus written:

“Art 2. - As indicated in article 24 (a) of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press will be punished those which will have disputed, by one of the average statements in article 23 of the aforesaid the law, the existence of the Armenian genocide of 1915.�

Composed and printed for the French National Assembly by JOUVE 11, data base of Sébastopol, 75001 PARIS

Selling price: 0,75 € ISBN: 2-11-121105-2 ISSN: 1240 - 8468

On sale with the Shop of the French National Assembly 4, street Aristide Briand - 75007 Paris - Tel.: 01 40 63 61 21

N° 3030 - Private bill supplementing the law n° 2001-70 of July 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915 (Mr. Didier Migaud) 1 () This group is composed of: Mrs. Patricia Adam, Sylvie Andrieux, Misters Jean-Marie Aubron, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Jean-Paul Bacquet, Jean-Pierre Balligand, Gerard Bapt, Claude Bartolone, Jacques Bascou, Christian Bataille, Jean-Claude Bateux, Jean-Claude Beauchaud, Éric Besson, Jean-Louis Bianco, Jean-Pierre Blazy, Serge Blisko, Patrick Bloche, Jean-Claude Bois, Daniel Boisserie, Maxime Bono, Augustin Bonrepaux, Jean-Michel Boucheron, Pierre Bourguignon, Mrs. Danielle Bousquet, Misters François Brottes, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, Thierry Carcenac, Christophe Caresche, Mrs. Martine Carrillon-Roofer, Misters Laurent Cathala, Jean-Paul Chanteguet, Michel Charzat, Alain Claeys, Mrs. Marie-Francoise Clergeau, Misters Gilles Cocquempot, Pierre Cohen, Mrs. Claude Darciaux, Mr. Michel Dasseux, Mrs. Martine David, Misters Marcel Dehoux, Michel Delebarre, Jean Delobel, Bernard Derosier, Michel Destot, Marc Pare, François Dosé, Rene Dosière, Julien Dray, Tony Dreyfus, Pierre Ducout, Jean-Pierre Dufau, William Dumas, Jean-Louis Dumont, Jean-Paul Dupre, Yves Durand, Mrs. Odette Duriez, Misters Henri Emmanuelli, Claude Evin, Laurent Fabius, Albert Facon, Jacques Le Floch, Pierre Forgues, Michel Françaix, Mrs. Genevieve Gaillard, Mr. Jean Gaubert, Mrs. Nathalie Gautier, Catherine Génisson, Misters Jean Glavany, Gaëtan Gorce, Alain Gouriou, Mrs. Élisabeth Guigou, Paulette Guinchard, Mr. David Habib, Mrs. Daniele Hoffman-Rispal, Misters François Holland, Jean-Louis Idiart, Mrs. Francoise Imbert, Misters Éric Jalton, Serge Janquin, Armand Jung, Jean-Pierre Kucheida, Mrs. Conchita Lacuey, Misters Jerome Lambert, François Lamy, Lang Jack, Jean Launay, Jean-Yves Bouillonnec, Mrs. Marylise Lebranchu, Misters Gilbert Breaking, Jean-Yves Déaut, Jean-Yves Drian, Michel Lefait, Jean Garrec, Jean-Marie Guen, Patrick Lemasle, Guy Lengagne, Mrs. Annick Lepetit, Misters Bruno the Russet-red one, Jean-Claude Leroy, Michel Liebgott, Mrs. Martine Lignières-Cassou, Misters François Loncle, Victorin Lurel, Bernard Madrelle, Louis-Joseph Manscour, Philippe Martin (Gers), Christophe Masse, Didier Mathus, Kléber Mesquida, Jean Michel, Didier Migaud, Mrs. Helene Mignon, Misters Arnaud Montebourg, Henri Nayrou, Alain Néri, Mrs. Marie-Renee Oget, Misters Michel Pajon, Christian Paul, Christophe Payet, Germinal Peiro, Jean-Claude Perez, Mrs. Marie-Francoise Pérol-Dumont, Queyranne Misters Jean-Jack, Paul Quilès, Alain Rodet, Bernard Roman, Rene Rouquet, Patrick Roy, Mrs. Ségolène Royal, Mr. Michel Sainte-Marie, Mrs. Odile Saugues, Misters Henri Sicre, Domenica Strauss-Kahn, Pascal Terrasse, Philippe Tourtelier, Daniel Vaillant, André Vallini, Manuel Valls, Michel Vergnier, Alain Vidalies, Jean-Claude Viollet, Philippe Vuilque.

Source: http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr...


Armenian "genocide" bill rejected by the French Law Commission but . . .

(Rough Machine Translation from French):
The Commission of the Laws of the French National Assembly rejected today the bill of the Socialist Party aiming at penalizing the dispute public of the thesis Armenian of “genocide”.

Unanimously of its members, the commission refused to examine the single Article (see hereafter) this private bill, which should nevertheless be submitted to the Parliament next on May 18 at the time of a parliamentary niche.

At the time of the layout of text before the Commission of the Laws, Alain Marsaud (UMP) expressed his opposition. “Let us avoid making the history, to make stories”, has it says, while Michel Piron (UMP) prevented: “when the history is made by the law, it is the official history”.

This private bill divides the deputies right now, beyond political cleavages. Whereas voices rise within the Socialist Party to underline the dangers of the text, the parliamentary group UMP openly declared its hostility, without however giving of instruction of vote the deputies.

The exit of the vote of May 18 thus seems dubious and will depend on the number of deputies present at the time of the debate and the degree of their mobilization in favour or against this proposal.

N° 3030

NATIONAL PARLIAMENT

CONSTITUTION OF October 4, 1958

TWELFTH LEGISLATURE

Recorded with the Presidency of the French National Assembly on April 12, 2006.

PRIVATE BILL

supplementing the law n° 2001-70 of July 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915,

(Returned to the commission of the constitutional laws, the legislation and the general administration of the Republic, in the absence of constitution of a special subcommittee in the intended deadlines by articles 30 and 31 of the Payment.)

PRESENTED

by Mr. Didier MIGAUD, Mrs. Martine DAVID, Misters Rene ROUQUET, Jean-Yves the BOUILLONNEC, Jacques BASCOU, Christophe MASSES, Jean-Paul BACQUET, Bruno LE ROUX, Laurent CATHALA, Mrs. Sylvie ANDRIEUX, Misters Jean-Marc AYRAULT, François HOLLAND, Mrs. Patricia ADAM, Misters Jean-Marie AUBRON, Jean-Claude BATEUX, Jean-Claude BEAUCHAUD, Jean-Pierre BLAZY, Patrick BLOCHE, Jean-Claude DRINK, Daniel BOISSERIE, Pierre BURGUNDIAN, Mrs. Danielle BOUSQUET, Misters François BROTTES, Thierry CARCENAC, Mrs. Martine CARRILLON-COUVREUR, Marie-Francoise CLERGEAU, Misters Pierre COHEN, Michel DASSEUX, Jean DELOBEL, Michel DESTOT, François PROPORTIONED, Julien DRAY, Jean-Pierre DUFAU, William DUMAS, Jean-Louis DUMONT, Jean-Paul DUPRE, Yves DURAND, Mrs. Odette LASTED, Misters Albert WAY, Pierre FORGUES, Michel FRANÇAIX, Mrs. Genevieve STRAPPING MAN, Misters Joel GIRAUD, Alain GOURIOU, David HABIB, Mrs. Danièle HOFFMAN-RISPAL, Francoise IMBERT, Mr. Serge JANQUIN, Mrs. Conchita LACUEY, Misters Jean LAUNAY, Jean-Yves the DÉAUT, Jean the GARREC, Mrs. Marylise LEBRANCHU, Mr. Patrick LEMASLE, Mrs. Annick LEPETIT, Misters Michel LIEBGOTT, Bernard MADRELLE, Henri NAYROU, Alain NÉRI, Mrs. Marie-Renee OGET, Misters Michel PAJON, Jean-Claude PEREZ, Mrs. Marie-Francoise PÉROL-DUMONT, Misters ROMANCE Bernard, Roger-Gerard SCHWARTZENBERG, Pascal TERRACE, Daniel VALIANT, André VALLINI, Michel VERGNIER

and members of the socialist group (1) and related (2)

Deputies.

EXPOSED REASONS

Ladies, Sirs,

On May 29, 1998, the French National Assembly adopted unanimously a private bill, deposited by the socialist group, including/understanding one article, that only one sentence. A sentence whose simplicity badly testified to the horror of the drama that it evoked and of the difficulties which had had to be overcome to arrive at this stage of the recognition, but whose significance was large.

Thus, this day of May 1998, “France publicly recognizes the Armenian genocide of 1915.”. The emotion is palpable in the hemicycle of the French National Assembly. The members of Parliament have this day the impression to free themselves from what one could call the reason of State, while returning its dignity with the Armenian people finally. Because to deny the genocide whose were victim the Armenian people amounts denying the existence even EC people, which were however exterminated for what it was.

Since, after some adventures, this sentence became a law of the Republic, the law n° 2001-70 of January 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

While recognizing the existence of this genocide, the first of the XXe century, the French Republic thus symbolically returned to the Armenian people the share of itself which it lost there is more than 80 years.

For much, this recognition could be regarded as an achievement, as well it is true as the obstacles set with this recognition by the law had been numerous.

The elected officials of the Nation could thus be tempted to yield to the temptation of the feeling of the accomplished duty. There would be nothing worse!

Indeed, an important legislative work remains to be achieved to draw all the conclusions from the law carrying recognition of the Armenian genocide. It is in particular advisable to integrate the negation of this crime against the humanity which the Armenian genocide of 1915 in our criminal law constitutes.

It is what had done the law Gayssot of 1990 in connection with the dispute of the crimes against humanity defined in appendix in the agreement of London of August 8, 1945.

This dispute is punished five years of imprisonment and 45.000 € of fine, in accordance with the provisions of article 24 (a) the law of 1881 relating to the freedom of the press, in its bearing chapter IV on the crimes and offences made by the way of the press or of any other means of publication.

By definition, the law of 1990 could not integrate the Armenian genocide, which did not have, at the time, is the subject of an official recognition.

Since this genocide was officially recognized by a law of the Republic, it is necessary to supplement the provisions of the law of 1881 so that the negation of the Armenian genocide is punished as it should be.

Such was the object of an amendment deposited, on November 26, 2003, by the members of the socialist group of the French National Assembly.

It acted, neither more nor less, to draw in the penal plan the conclusions from the entry into force from the law recognizing the Armenian genocide.

Consequently, the examination of the bill carrying adaptation of justice to the evolutions of criminality and reforming the penal code was the unhoped-for occasion to carry out without delay the necessary adaptation of the law of 1881.

But, according to the Minister of Justice of the time, the existing legislation makes it possible to continue the people who make themselves guilty of apology for crimes against humanity. The current right would allow thus, according to him, to continue any person defending the Armenian genocide. This analysis is certainly interesting, but it appears, with the reflexion, insufficient and in shift with the problem arising.

Indeed, the problems of the Armenian genocide are singular. The reality of Shoah, for example, was not only denied by those which one calls the revisionists, but it also was the subject of apology. It is thus desirable to condemn the two facets of the same unbearable attitude: the apology and negation. The Armenian genocide, until now at least, to our knowledge never was the subject of any apology. On the contrary, it is its existence even which is denied.

The need for sanctioning penally not only the apology, which according to the minister is possible with the existing right, but more especially the negation of the Armenian genocide, which is not possible in the state of the right, is thus obvious.

The work of the members of Parliament is thus not completed, and it is thus advisable to extend the provisions of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press relating to the negation of the crimes against humanity to the Armenian genocide recognized by the law n° 2001-70 of July 29, 2001.

With this intention, it is necessary to amend the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, is by extending the field of application of its article 24 (a) resulting from the law n° 90-615 of July 13, 1990 known as “law Gayssot” and applicable until now to Shoah, that is to say by creating an autonomous article punishing of the same sorrows the negation of the Armenian genocide of 1915 now recognized by the law.

Initially, the Socialists chose the first way concretized in their private bill n° 1643, recorded on June 8, 2004. It appeared at the same time simpler thereafter and just to devote an article suitable for the Armenian genocide of 1915 whose negation is punished same sorrows as the negation of Shoah.

It is thus this revised version which it is proposed to adopt by supplementing the law n° 2001-70 of January 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide.

PRIVATE BILL

Single Article

The law n° 2001-70 of January 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915 is supplemented by an article thus written:

“Art 2. - As indicated in article 24 (a) of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press will be punished those which will have disputed, by one of the average statements in article 23 of the aforesaid the law, the existence of the Armenian genocide of 1915.”

Composed and printed for the French National Assembly by JOUVE 11, data base of Sébastopol, 75001 PARIS

Selling price: 0,75 € ISBN: 2-11-121105-2 ISSN: 1240 - 8468

On sale with the Shop of the French National Assembly 4, street Aristide Briand - 75007 Paris - Tel.: 01 40 63 61 21

N° 3030 - Private bill supplementing the law n° 2001-70 of July 29, 2001 relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915 (Mr. Didier Migaud) 1 () This group is composed of: Mrs. Patricia Adam, Sylvie Andrieux, Misters Jean-Marie Aubron, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Jean-Paul Bacquet, Jean-Pierre Balligand, Gerard Bapt, Claude Bartolone, Jacques Bascou, Christian Bataille, Jean-Claude Bateux, Jean-Claude Beauchaud, Éric Besson, Jean-Louis Bianco, Jean-Pierre Blazy, Serge Blisko, Patrick Bloche, Jean-Claude Bois, Daniel Boisserie, Maxime Bono, Augustin Bonrepaux, Jean-Michel Boucheron, Pierre Bourguignon, Mrs. Danielle Bousquet, Misters François Brottes, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, Thierry Carcenac, Christophe Caresche, Mrs. Martine Carrillon-Roofer, Misters Laurent Cathala, Jean-Paul Chanteguet, Michel Charzat, Alain Claeys, Mrs. Marie-Francoise Clergeau, Misters Gilles Cocquempot, Pierre Cohen, Mrs. Claude Darciaux, Mr. Michel Dasseux, Mrs. Martine David, Misters Marcel Dehoux, Michel Delebarre, Jean Delobel, Bernard Derosier, Michel Destot, Marc Pare, François Dosé, Rene Dosière, Julien Dray, Tony Dreyfus, Pierre Ducout, Jean-Pierre Dufau, William Dumas, Jean-Louis Dumont, Jean-Paul Dupre, Yves Durand, Mrs. Odette Duriez, Misters Henri Emmanuelli, Claude Evin, Laurent Fabius, Albert Facon, Jacques Le Floch, Pierre Forgues, Michel Françaix, Mrs. Genevieve Gaillard, Mr. Jean Gaubert, Mrs. Nathalie Gautier, Catherine Génisson, Misters Jean Glavany, Gaëtan Gorce, Alain Gouriou, Mrs. Élisabeth Guigou, Paulette Guinchard, Mr. David Habib, Mrs. Daniele Hoffman-Rispal, Misters François Holland, Jean-Louis Idiart, Mrs. Francoise Imbert, Misters Éric Jalton, Serge Janquin, Armand Jung, Jean-Pierre Kucheida, Mrs. Conchita Lacuey, Misters Jerome Lambert, François Lamy, Lang Jack, Jean Launay, Jean-Yves Bouillonnec, Mrs. Marylise Lebranchu, Misters Gilbert Breaking, Jean-Yves Déaut, Jean-Yves Drian, Michel Lefait, Jean Garrec, Jean-Marie Guen, Patrick Lemasle, Guy Lengagne, Mrs. Annick Lepetit, Misters Bruno the Russet-red one, Jean-Claude Leroy, Michel Liebgott, Mrs. Martine Lignières-Cassou, Misters François Loncle, Victorin Lurel, Bernard Madrelle, Louis-Joseph Manscour, Philippe Martin (Gers), Christophe Masse, Didier Mathus, Kléber Mesquida, Jean Michel, Didier Migaud, Mrs. Helene Mignon, Misters Arnaud Montebourg, Henri Nayrou, Alain Néri, Mrs. Marie-Renee Oget, Misters Michel Pajon, Christian Paul, Christophe Payet, Germinal Peiro, Jean-Claude Perez, Mrs. Marie-Francoise Pérol-Dumont, Queyranne Misters Jean-Jack, Paul Quilès, Alain Rodet, Bernard Roman, Rene Rouquet, Patrick Roy, Mrs. Ségolène Royal, Mr. Michel Sainte-Marie, Mrs. Odile Saugues, Misters Henri Sicre, Domenica Strauss-Kahn, Pascal Terrasse, Philippe Tourtelier, Daniel Vaillant, André Vallini, Manuel Valls, Michel Vergnier, Alain Vidalies, Jean-Claude Viollet, Philippe Vuilque.

(10.05.06)

Source: http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr...


Turks publish open letter in French Papers against "genocide" bill

Several Turkish organizations published an open letter in leading French newspapers on Friday calling on top-level French politicians not to back a bill that criminalizes any denial of an alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

Proposed by members of the opposition Socialist Party (PS), the bill, expected to be voted on later this month, has a first reading before the Parliament on May 18. It contains one year's imprisonment and a 45,000 euro ($57,000) fine for denying that Armenians were victims of genocide. If adopted, it will follow a 2001 French decision that infuriated Turkey by acknowledging that mass killings during World War I amounted to genocide.

Representatives of the Turkish organizations emphasized in their letter that history cannot be rewritten through laws.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings between 1915 and 1917. Turkey categorically rejects the claims, saying 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with Russian troops invading Ottoman soil.

Referring to a proposal by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo�an for the formation of a joint research commission between Turkish and Armenian historians, the Turks said that the proposal supported by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and Parliament were still on the table.

Facing a mounting Armenian campaign to win international recognition for the alleged genocide, Turkey called for a joint committee of Turkish and Armenian experts last year to study the allegations. Erdo�an sent a letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian proposing the establishment of such a committee. However, Erdo�an's proposal was turned down by Kocharian, who instead offered an intergovernmental commission that would study ways of resolving problems between the two neighboring countries. “Turkey believes that peace and reconciliation are only possible through dialogue and that the steps to be taken in that regard will contribute to the normalization of relations with neighboring Armenia,” the Turks said.

In another move against the alleged genocide bill in France, Turkish associations in that country launched a petition campaign. Representatives from the Turkish associations will also send letters to the French president and senior French politicians as part of their campaign.

“The adoption of the bill will lead to irreparable problems between Turkey and Armenia and between Turkey and France,” Demir F�rat Önger, head of the Anatolian Culture Center, was quoted as saying.

Relations with France suffered a major blow when the French Parliament accepted the so-called genocide in 2001, and the bill penalizing its denial may spark a new crisis in ties if it is passed. Turkey warned France earlier this week that bilateral ties could suffer if the French Parliament adopts it.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42680


French businessmen should spring into action

There are 120 French companies that invest in Turkey. These 120 companies manage billions of euros in investment. If the Armenian bill is passed, both sides will suffer. French businessmen should panic. Only 14 days remain before the vote.

Turkish and French businessmen are very nervous these days. However, I am wondering about what they are doing about it. Are they just bystanders, or have they taken the initiative and asked officials in Paris, “What are you doing?”

They should be shouting at the top of their lungs to warn the parliamentarians, and especially the socialists among them, about what they are doing.

The reason is simple.

The trade volume between France and Turkey is close to 10 billion euros. France sells Turkey 6.3 billion euros worth of goods, while Turkey's sales total 3.7 billion euros.

In terms of approved foreign investment in Turkey, France is at the top of the list.

The only thing the Armenian diaspora will get is self-satisfaction. France will show that in reality it has no respect for freedom of expression, and if this bill, which would create havoc within the French judiciary, becomes law, Turkey's path to European Union membership will be severed. Moreover, France will lose its strongest ally in the region.

The Turkish public will boycott anything French. The doors will be slammed shut by both sides for a considerable period of time. The losses will amount to billions of euros. Turkey, Turkish companies and Turkish workers will suffer, too.

However, French politicians could not care less.

Is it worth it?

Is such madness necessary just to please the French Armenians?


Roadmap of the Armenian bill:

The bill sets one year's imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros for those who say or write that there was no genocide. The best development would be that the bill is not voted on May 18 and is sent to a parliamentary committee for further assessment.

If that can't be accomplished and parliament approves it on May 18, the bill will be sent to the senate.

First the relevant senate committee will assess the bill and then the Senate's General Assembly will vote on it.

No one thinks the Senate will put up much of a fight against the bill. If it approves it, too, it will be sent to the Elysee Palace for President Jacques Chirac's approval. He needs to approve or reject it within two weeks after it has been submitted to him.

Chirac, while he doesn't want to, is not expected to resist the pressure applied by the 400,000 Armenian votes. One possibillity is for him to approve it before sending it to the Constitutional Court.

In summary, nothing ends on May 18. A new and long period that will damage the relations considerably will start. As one must expect, there will be mutual recriminations and tension.

This period will further damage bilateral relations.

I would like to ask again.

Is it worth it?

Is so much damage worth it to placate the Armenian diaspora?

Friday, May 5, 2006
Mehmet Ali Birand
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42583

France is solving the Armenian question

France, which is going through a period of “end of rule,” seems like a floundering ship. No one knows who is at the helm, and it is very hard to predict where it will bump next.

The Socialist Party, which may take the reins next year in France, suddenly decided to reopen the Armenian case file. On May 18, it will submit to Parliament a bill that criminalizes negation of the “Armenian genocide.” If the bill becomes law with the approval of Parliament, the Senate and the president, negation of genocide will carry substantial fines and prison terms.

The French socialists have always had an “Armenian genocide” policy. One of the former defense ministers, Charles Hernu, was a fervent supporter of the matter. The Socialist Party, still considering the Armenian Dashnak Party as a fellow socialist movement, always entertained good relations with it. Today this relationship together with the naive approach of François Hollande, first secretary of the Socialist Party, kept the matter on the agenda of the socialists.

If the bill becomes law, France will have solved its Armenian issue. But this move may even be beneficial to the overall debate.

The self-confident Armenian diaspora exploited and is exploiting pretty successfully the humanitarian compassion of the Western countries they reside in, the feeling of guilt that resulted from the Holocaust and the anti-Turkish sentiments. Their distance from the time and place where this tragedy happened has become a part of their identity and is directly affecting their attitudes. It is indeed difficult to expect a constructive approach from them or to discuss the current state of the issue in connection with the real protagonists living in this region. If this matter is solved one day, it will be solved between Turkish Armenians, Armenia and Turkey. Not in France, Switzerland or the United States.

Thus, with France now banning any further discussion on the Armenian issue, we will be forever freed from this never-ending and unproductive debate that is taking place in France.



But France cannot solve the Algerian question:

For some time, France has been trying to mend its relations with oil-rich Algiers. It is trying to balance its present policy of supporting Morocco against Algeria. It wants to base its relations on a solid foundation, namely a “Friendship Treaty.” Their foreign minister even approached Algiers with a sort of special relation, this time an “exceptional partnership,” but as empty as the “privileged relationship” which we were presented with.

However, a new era is only possible with the questioning of the old one. France's social memory carries a lot of mixed feelings and memories about Algeria: The very harsh colonial period that started with the occupation in 1830; French Minister Adolphe Crémieux's decision to grant Algerian Jews French citizenship, which ruined the social cohesion of the land once and for all; the civil war that started in 1954 which was full of pain and bloodshed and only ended in 1961 with independence, with around a million people mainly composed of “pieds-noir” colonials but also “harki” Arabs who had fought for France, departing for France.

France, just like Turkey, is refusing to question this hurtful era. Whenever an Algerian official or a French intellectual utters a word contrary to the official position, condemnation follows. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, only recently, said: “You carried out an identity genocide on us between 1830 and 1962. We can't tell whether we are Arabs, Berbers, Europeans or French,” creating uproar in France.

Let's ignore the sound comparison of social memory. France, on Feb. 23, 2005, passed a bill that noted the positive aspects of colonialism. Even though there was considerable criticism, Parliament refused to amend the controversial article.

French philosopher Voltaire, who said, "I don't agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to express it,” must be turning in his grave.

May 5, 2006
Cengiz Aktar
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42571

Armenian Historian Advises France to Start First with Algeria and Rwanda

Armenian-origin British historian Ara Sarafian, criticising the French draft law that will punish the deniers of the Armenian “genocide,” said France should first start with its role in Algeria and Rwanda. Sarafian, the Director of the Gomidas Institute in London, the publisher of many western primary sources on the Armenian “Genocide”, as well as the editor of the critical edition of the 1916 British Parliamentary Blue Book, is vehemently against the French draft. Despite the fact that he subscribes to the Armenian “Genocide” thesis; Sarafian thinks the draft law may halt the blossoming debate in Turkey on what happened in 1915.

Sarafian, who attended the recent Istanbul University Symposium on the future of Turkish Armenian relations despite the stern warnings of the Armenian Diaspora, had worked in the Turkish archives only to be expelled. He has now once again received permission “without any preconditions” to study the Turkish archives.

The following is the full text of his remarks in response to our questions about the proposed draft law:

The Armenian issue has become a political issue between two contending camps, Turkish nationalists (and successive Turkish governments) on the one hand, and Armenian nationalists on the other. Because Turkish governments have until recently denied that there was an Armenian issue to be addressed, or explained that the issue was the product of "Armenian terrorism" (1970s and 80s), or unfortunate events of mutual communal carnage, they also set the ground rules of how this issue would be addressed i.e. in terms of power politics. They thus nurtured and empowered the radical Armenian nationalist camps we see today.

Armenian nationalists are now playing the game by the same rules, and they have recently found themselves in a powerful position because of Turkey's accession talks for EU membership. They have aligned the Armenian issue in two somewhat contradictory camps, where the Armenian issue is used as a yardstick to measure Turkey's ability to come to terms with its past, and in doing so, its ability to adopt a new political trajectory that reflects core values adopted by the European Union; and at the same time, the Armenian issue is used to give substance to racists, xenophobes and anti-Islamicists who do not want Turkey to enter the European Union.

The prospective French law is part of an unfortunate power dynamic, and whether it passes or not, the final outcome will be the result of power politics. It is ironic that the French legislature, with its own past in Algeria and Rwanda, is willing to go down this path.

Perhaps the real tragedy is that the current Turkish government has taken important steps to resolve the Armenian issue. After all, it has "uncensored" the Armenian debate in Turkey by allowing it to be discussed openly, letting Turkish nationalist institutions, such as the Turkish Historical Society, to fend for themselves in the open arena. It is true that the debate is unequal. There are still draconian laws that are invoked against dissidents, and most TV stations still espouse the anti-Armenian line, but there is still a significant shift towards open debate. Not all TV stations programmes espouse the state perspective, many newspapers and publications discuss the Armenian issue more openly, and many court cases against dissenters are quashed within Turkish legal system.

There are already many Turks and Kurds who have entered this debate in a critical manner, and they have critical audiences who want to know the truth. All of this is to Turkey's credit and there is every prospect that the Armenian issue will be resolved in a peaceful manner in the near future.

It is unfortunate that, if the prospective French law is passed, it could lead to a souring of relations between Turkey and the EU, as well as a right-wing backlash within Turkey and its own democratization process. Such a scenario will suit the interest of the two nationalist camps, which will remain part of the problem and not the solution.

I hope, irrespective of what happens in Paris in the next few weeks, we do not lose the perspective of what is important. Today we have the opportunity of resolving the Armenian issue in a peaceful and meaningful fashion, based on the truth, and the dignity of the descendants of the people concerned. Europeans should help and judge Turkey and Armenians on how they progress down this road. The current proposed legislation in Paris is a detraction at best, and a hindrance at worse.

By Selcuk Gultasli, Brussels
May 11, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060511&hn=33039

It is about French-Turkish relations, not the Armenian issue & Belgium is next!

It is impossible to explain away the attitude of France towards the Armenian issue by saying, “This is the work of politicians who are trying to attract the votes of 280,000 French-Armenians in next year's elections.” If we assume every French citizen of Armenian extraction is a voter, they don't even constitute 1 percent of the 41-million-strong French electorate.Moreover, French-Armenians don't vote for a single party. Mass votes for a single party is something that happens more in the United States.

I believe it would be more appropriate to assess the bill that will be discussed at the French National Assembly in terms of relations between France and Turkey, rather than the Armenian issue.


Schizophrenic relations:

Schizophrenia governs the relations between France and Turkey. In the economic arena, French companies are investing in almost all Turkish sectors. Banking partnerships, purchases and new investments follow one another. Especially in Istanbul, there are a considerable number of French professionals who work. In education, there are many century-old schools. There are many joint projects in arts and culture while new ones are planned everyday. There are many French institutions that conduct important scientific studies on history, archeology and city planning. The number of French tourists is always high.

There is also a relatively unproblematic Turkish population of about 340,000 in France. Among them there are many renowned figures in the worlds of art, literature and science.

Despite all this, the political relations between the two countries cannot be worse. French politicians, since the 1970s, have been taking initiatives on the Armenian issue that are contrary to Turkey's official stance or at least they are supporting such initiatives. Even though they did not directly support the terrorist acts committed by ASALA in 1970s, their attitude implied that ASALA's cause was just. There was also an unproductive Kurdish policy supported by former French President François Mitterand. The perception of Turkey's political problems by French politicians and public has always been over the minorities and were limited to sympathizing with them. Problems experienced by the general population, for example the totalitarian environment that resulted from the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup, never stirred emotions in France. It didn't create empathy.

Top French politicians always found it hard to visit Turkey. Apart from Charles de Gaulle in 1968 and François Mitterrand in 1992, towards the end of his term, there was no other official visit. More recently, there have been no positive developments in the relations apart from the constructive role French President Jacques Chirac played in the 1999 Helsinki decision that approved our European Union candidacy. Indeed the vast majority of French politicians are against Turkey's membership. This attitude, which was formulated and solidified from the beginning of 2004, has now become a factor that affects Turkey's relations with the European Union. In the past seven months in Brussels, the French bureaucracy continued the initiatives that translated France's opposition into concrete impediments.

However, this policy is so imprudent because it ignores that fact that the reason why French companies are investing in Turkey is due to the stability facilitated by the EU membership perspective. If the opposition led by France succeeds in derailing Turkey's EU process, it will harm the investing French companies. The other country that is opposed to Turkey's membership, Austria, doesn't have any investments here and consequently has nothing to lose in the short term. Austria, in a sense, has a rationale but France acts illogically.

On this end, Turkey, when French initiatives or laws on Kurdish or Armenian issues are on the agenda, makes very harsh statements. The statements and threats made when the bill to recognize the Armenian genocide was approved by the French Parliament in 2001 are the same as the ones we hear today. It is not easy for such statements to go beyond rhetoric and damage relations in the long term. However, it is not easy to continue these schizophrenic relations forever either.

This is why forming new and joint platforms at political, bureaucratic, business and civil society levels to deepen Turkish-French relations and to develop long-term partnerships and policies seem more important then ever.

May 12, 2006
Cengiz Aktar
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=43220



Ambassadors return to French, Canadian posts over 'genocide' tension

Turkey's ambassadors in Paris and Ottawa departed yesterday for their French and Canadian posts a few days after they were recalled for consultations amid political tension with the two countries over the alleged Armenian genocide.

Ambassador to France Osman Korutürk and Ambassador to Canada Aydemir Erman were summoned to Ankara after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a statement last month recognizing the Armenian allegations of genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the last century and amid strong Turkish unease over a French bill intended to penalize denial of the so-called genocide.

The envoys had talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo�an earlier this week.

Their return is apparently a sign of Turkish willingness to prevent tension from escalating further ahead of May 18, when the French National Assembly will start debating the highly controversial and politically divisive bill which envisages imprisonment and fines for those who deny there was an Armenian genocide.

On Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nam�k Tan expressed appreciation of the French administration's “sensitive” stance on the matter and called for a cool-headed reaction.

Turkey has warned relations with France would suffer if the bill is passed and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo�an expressed hope that French parliamentarians would act with prudence.

“I believe the French parliament will probably not introduce the so-called Armenian genocide like a virus between two countries that have such important ties. I believe common sense will prevail,” Erdo�an told reporters on Wednesday.

He was expected to discuss the matter with French President Jacques Chirac on the sidelines of a European Union and Latin American summit in Vienna, Austria. Sezer has also sent a letter to Chirac, telling him that Turkish-French ties should not be allowed to suffer because of the bill and that its passage would be against free speech.

Turkey categorically denies allegations of genocide and says the World War I killings of Armenians came during civil unrest sparked when they took up arms against the Ottoman Empire and sided with the Russian army invading the Ottoman soil.


French politics divided:
The bill has been proposed by the opposition Socialists but many deputies in the ruling Popular Movement Union (UMP) object to it.

“Parliaments cannot make decisions on historical facts,” Herve de Charrette, deputy head of the French Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission from the UMP, told the Anatolia news agency yesterday. “Historical events should be left to researchers and historians.”

Charrette said the UMP, as a matter of philosophy, was also against parliaments' deciding on matters of history.

The French Parliament's Law Commission rejected the bill after a debate on it on Wednesday. Socialist Party deputy Christophe Masse said a demonstration to denounce genocide allegations by Turks in Lyon, France two months ago was a justification why the bill should be passed, according to minutes of the session released yesterday.

UMP deputy Xavier de Roux said on the other hand, parliamentarians should not attempt to conclude a historical debate and added that Armenia was a sovereign nation and it could take its genocide claims to the International Court of Justice.

A delegation of Turkish parliamentarians is lobbying against the bill in talks with French parliamentarians in Paris. Onur Öymen, a deputy from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said they have been telling their French counterparts that passage of the bill would do serious harm to bilateral relations.

“We don't think this bill is ethical. Turkish-French ties have already been damaged even if this bill is rejected,” said Bilgehan Toker, another CHP deputy in the Turkish delegation.


Boycott calls:
Turkey and France have firm business ties and the bill threatens to harm them too. Erdo�an met with senior French businessmen earlier this week in Ankara to discuss the possible consequences if the bill is passed.

In a letter to heads of French commerce and industry chambers, Sinan Aygün, chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO), said several ATO member companies demanded a boycott of French goods but that the chamber had no intention to lead such a boycott since it believed the French Parliament would withdraw the bill.


Crisis with Belgium?
Meanwhile, a similar bill intended to make it a crime to deny the alleged genocide has been introduced to the Belgian Parliament, a year after it was shelved.

Two deputies from the Belgian ruling party, apparently inspired by the French move, presented the bill seeking one-year imprisonment and a 5,000-euro fine to parliament. The Turkish Embassy in Belgium has contacted Belgian authorities to prevent the progress of the bill and ties with Belgium, already tense over the escape of Fehriye Erdal, a suspect in the murder of a leading Turkish businessman, after her conviction by a Belgian court, may suffer a new blow if it is passed.

May 12, 2006
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=43218



Belgium follows in French footsteps

Members of the Belgian Liberal Party (MR) are planning to bring a bill stipulating prison terms for questioning the Armenian genocide claims before the Belgian Parliament, a move similar to that of the French socialists.

The bill, drawn up by MR Senators Francois Roelands du Vivier and Christine Defraigne, aims to impose prison terms of up to a year and up to 5,000 euros in fines to those questioning the events of 1915.

Belgian Parliament last June shelved a similar bill after heated debate and criticism from Turks living in Belgium. The Parliament, while not approving the Armenian bill last year, decided not to abandon another decision on the controversial case, such as the recognition of genocide claims.

The latest bill is the expanded version of a law enacted by Belgian Parliament in March, 1995 which considers the Jewish Holocaust a crime.

While the Parliament is expected to begin debates on the bill this month, sources told The New Anatolian that they might be postponed so as to avoid sparking criticism from Turks in the country ahead of local elections set for Oct. 8.

Turkey pulls out military exercise in Canada

Turkey pulled out of a military exercise in Canada, a Foreign Ministry official said Thursday, further expressing Turkey's displeasure with its NATO ally for saying Turks committed "genocide" against Armenians during World War I.

The refusal to send Turkish F-16s and officers comes in a week of tense diplomacy for Turkey.

The Foreign Ministry official spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with government rules. He said the military exercise in Canada isn't a NATO exercise, but was open to other allied countries and that Turkey had planned to send six or seven F-16s and pilots.

The New Anatolian / Brussels
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6626.html



French Companies Worried About Boycott Threats & Socialists insist on bringing Armenian bill

French Socialist Party (PS) Secretary-General Francois Hollande yesterday expressed his party's insistence on bringing a bill stipulating prison terms for questioning the Armenian genocide claims to the French Parliament's floor. Hollande's remarks came in response to a call from French scholars and intellectuals urging Parliament to remove the Armenian bill from the Parliament's agenda at next Thursday's gathering, underling that history should be left to historians.

"I understand historians' criticism but to debate history is also the duty of parliaments," said Hollande, stressing that approval of the bill by Parliament won't block historians' debates on the Armenian genocide claims.

Urging Turkey to recognize the controversial Armenian events, Hollande also claimed that one of the requirements for Ankara to become a member of the European Union is recognition of the genocide claims.

French historians, in a joint statement on Tuesday, expressed strong opposition to the PS' move to bring the Armenian bill to French Parliament for approval, warning that history teachers will become "prisoners" if the bill is approved.

The same historians in a joint declaration four months ago called on Parliament to annual its recognition of the Armenian genocide claims -- taken in 2001 -- underlining that parliaments cannot write history.

Turkish ambassadors return to posts

The Turkish ambassadors to France and Canada, who were recalled to Turkey for consultations, left Turkey yesterday to return to their posts.

Turkish Ambassador to France Osman Koruturk and Ambassador to Canada Aydemir Erman were recalled this week for "a short time" for consultations, announced the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Namik Tan stated that while Ambassador Koruturk was recalled for consultations concerning the French Parliament's possible approval of the Armenian bill, Ambassador Erman was recalled over Canada's move to recognize the 1915 events as "genocide." "It's anticipated that the ambassadors will return to their posts after the consultations," Tan also said on Monday.

Sezer urges Chirac to block Armenian bill

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer this week sent a letter to his French counterpart Jacques Chirac urging him to block the possible approval of the Armenian bill, underling that it would be to the advantage of neither country.

Calling on his French counterpart not to take any action that would to ruin or upset cooperation and friendship between Turkey and France, Sezer also stressed that approval of the controversial bill would deal a serious blow to freedom of expression and thought, two aspects of life that reminded Chirac are important to the French way of life.

Sezer's letter followed a similar one from Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc to his French counterpart in which Arinc warned French Parliament not to take a decision that would undermine bilateral relations between the two countries and efforts towards a normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia.

In related news, Ankara Chamber of Trade and Commerce (ATO) Chair Sinan Aygun yesterday sent a letter to its French counterpart calling on the withdrawal of the Armenian bill, stressing that such a political move would damage commercial and economic relations between the two countries as Turkish companies and the Turkish public are preparing to boycott French goods and services.

Also yesterday Turkish Parliament's European Union Harmonization Commission head Yasar Yakis dismissed the consequences of a possible approval of the Armenian bill, saying that the move won't affect Turkey's EU accession process. "Turkey doesn't have to do what each European state wants," he added.

The New Anatolian / Paris
http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6625.html



French Companies Worried About Boycott Threats

While debates over the bill to criminalize the denial of the so-called Armenian genocide continue in France, French companies worry about a possible boycott threat from Turkey, officials said.

French businessmen regard the proposed bill proposal as the "irresponsibility of politicians,” wrote the French daily Le Monde. "This crisis could be worse than the crisis that occurred between the two countries when France officially recognized the so-called genocide in 2001," commented reporters, while boycott calls on French goods in Turkey received wide coverage in the news.

Meanwhile, "The Defense Committee for Armenian Case" (CCAF) in France reacted to the rejection of the bill at the Parliament Law Affairs Commission in yesterday's session.

The CCAF disclosed that the bill was rejected upon the request of President Jacques Chirac.

Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission Vice President Herve de Charrette; however, pronounced his objection to the bill and said that the bill would most probably be rejected in the General Assembly.

By AA, Paris
May 12, 2006

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060512&hn=33051


French Businesses In Turkey Oppose French Armenia Genocide Bill
ANKARA, May 9, 2006 (AFP) - The French Chamber of Commerce in Ankara said Tuesday it has asked President Jacques Chirac to block a French bill that would make it a punishable offence to deny the existence of the 1915 Armenian genocide.

The organisation, which counts some 430 French companies as members, said in a letter sent Monday to Chirac, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, that the proposed legislation "would be perceived by the entire Turkish nation as an unacceptable and hostile act" that could "cause irremediable harm" to relations between the two countries.

Turkey and Armenia disagree about whether massacres of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire should be termed genocide.

Representatives of 22 French companies with operations in Turkey met Tuesday with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who encouraged them to express their opposition to the bill, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Last week, Turkey warned France that bilateral ties would suffer "incalculable damage" if the National Assembly passed the bill. The Turkish ambassador to Paris was withdrawn "for consultations" this week.

If approved, the bill would provide for one year in prison and a 45,000-euro (57,000-dollar) fine for any person who denied that the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenians were genocide.
The bill, which follows a 2001 French law officially recognising the massacres as genocide, was proposed by members of the opposition Socialist Party (PS) and will have its first reading before the Assembly on May 18.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings between 1915 and 1917, as the Ottoman Empire, modern Turkey's predecessor, was falling apart.

Turkey categorically rejects the claims, saying 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with Russian troops invading Ottoman soil.




French Products & Companies List to be boycotted

A Turkish civil group began to boycott French products and services in Turkey yesterday in a move to encourage rejection of a bill prescribing prison terms and fines for people who question Armenian genocide claims. The boycott was launched ahead of the French Parliament gathering on May 18 to debate the bill, which calls for prison terms of up to one year and fines of up to 45,000 euros for deniers of the so-called Armenian genocide.

With its slogan, "It's time to move," the group aims to raise public awareness in Turkey through their Internet site (http://simdihareketzamani.tripod.com). The campaign comes just ahead of France's critical decision, which, according to political analysts, would undermine reconciliation efforts between Turks and Armenians, the normalization of relations between the two countries and further damage relations between Turkey and France.

According to the group, the ailing French economy was hurt even more when the government was forced to withdraw the proposed labor bill as a result of a month-long protest by French youth to block the implementation of the bill. Underlining that a Turkish boycott will further damage the French economy in its fragile condition, the group also seeks to spark reaction and criticism by the French public against the Armenian bill.

Apart from winning public support, the civil society group also seeks to gain the support of the Turkish government and Parliament for the boycott.

French goods and services and companies that are being targeted by the boycott include, among others, Total, Elf, Carrefour, Gima, Dia Endi, ChampionSA, Air France, BIC, Sheaffer, Danone, Evian, Tefal, Michelin, Uniroyal, Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, AXA, Peugot, Lacoste, Givenchy, L'Oreal, Studio Line, Lancome, Clarins, Bledina, Mellin, Majorette, Biotherm, Christian Dior, Drakkar Noir, Fahrenheit, Alcatel, Lafarge, Societe General Bank, Servier, Fournier, Guerbet, and Pierre Fabre.

Economic relations and cooperation between Turkey and France have quickly reached a significant level, especially after Turkey's accession to the Customs Union. Turkey is France's sixth-largest export market, and sectoral performance analysts say that the French has played an important role in development and growth of the Turkish economy.

Armenian organizations in France announced last week that a bill stipulating prison sentences for Armenian genocide deniers would be brought for debate to the floor of the French Parliament by the Socialist Party (PS). Later last week, the bill won the support of 100 government deputies, which increased the chances of the Parliament's approval of the bill.

The Armenian diaspora accuses the Ottoman Empire of deliberately massacring up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1919. Turkey stresses that these figures are inflated and says that far fewer Armenians died, due to civil unrest under the conditions of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey also claims that during the ethnic conflict, thousands of Turks were also killed by Armenian militants.

Ankara rejects France's 'double standards'

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Namik Tan stated yesterday that it is impossible for Turkey to accept France's contradictory manner and double standards towards Turkey, underlining that approval of the Armenian bill would wreak irreversible damage in Turkish-French ties.

Tan called on French officials to show common sense regarding the controversial Armenian issue, just as they have towards their own history.

Other initiatives to block Armenian bill

Other members of the Turkish civil society have also launched a campaign to convince French deputies that it would be an enormous mistake to pass the Armenian bill.

Representatives of Turkish businessmen, scholars and parliamentarians will visit Paris in the coming weeks to convey messages from the Turks to their French counterparts.

Turkish diplomats told The New Anatolian that if the French Parliament passes the bill it would be a much more serious decision against Turkey than the Parliament's recognition of the Armenian genocide claims in 2001. They said that Ankara is considering taking a tougher stance than it did in 2001, and that among several other, tougher options, it could withdraw the Turkish ambassador to France.

Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc sent a letter to his French counterpart on Monday asking him not to take sides in the controversial matter of the Armenian genocide. Underlining that judging history should be left to historians, not Parliaments, Arinc said that the French bill, which stipulates punishment for those who deny the Armenian genocide claims, is both anti-freedom of expression and anti-freedom of thought. He referred to the leading role played by France in the implementation of basic human rights in the international arena..
The New Anatolian / Ankara
******************************************************************************

Here is a list of French Products and Companies to be boycotted starting immediately:

Any Imported French Products Barcodes start with between 30 and 37 and the following Products:

Elf
Carrefour
Gima
Dia Endi
ChampionSA
Air France
Fransa'da tatil
Berluti
Christian Lacroix
Fred Joaillier
Givenchy
Louis Vuitton Malletier
Thierry Mugler
Lacoste
Valeo
Peugeot
Renault
Citroen
Lafarge
Sanofi (Aventis&Synthelabo&Pasteur)
Servier
Fournier
Guerbet
Pierre Fabre Medicament
Allegra Antihistamine
Benzac
Benzagel
Benzamycin
Nicoderm
Novahistine
Novalgin
Stimate
Ceva

Groupe Schneider

(Telemecanique + Merlin Gerin + Square D)

Metesan
Legrand
Helita Pulsar
Abb Grup
Duval Messien Satelit
Leutron
Franklin France
Merlin Gerin
Arcelor
Bledina
Mellin
Mahou
Nastro Azzurro
Athlon
Janeiro Fruit Drink
Orangina
Seagram's
Peugot
RCA
AquaPenn
Castle Rock
Culligan
Dannon
Evian
Font Vella
Great American
Labrador
Lanjaron
Mont Dore
Pure American
Sparkletts
Wild Turkey
Dorville Brendi
Mouquin
Pro Wonder
RCA
Small Wonder
RCA Video Camera
La Pie qui Chante
RCA
Canard-Duchene
Krug
Mercier
Moet And Chandon
Piper Heidsieck
Rozes
Veuve Clicquot
Arpin
Bel Paese
Belle Des Champs
Boisange
Chamois D'or
Entremont
Etorki
Fine Bouche
Fromageries Riches Monts
Geramont
Gerard
Gervais
Jockey
Lepetit
Montagnard
Montrachet
Mountain Farms
New Holland
Precious
Santa Lucia
Sorrento
St. Albray
Taillefine
Tourtrain
Hine Konyak
Mumm Vsop
T-Fal
Tefal
Accentous
Biotherm
Christian Dior
Clarins
Daniel Jouvance
Dr. Pierre Ricaud
Dulcia
Fresh Lash
Galerie Noemie
Great Lash
Guerlain
Kiotis
Lancome
Le Crayon Glace
Le Monde en Parfum
Les Meteorites
Long Wearing Lipstick
Long Wearing Makeup
Long Wearing Nail Polish
L'Oreal
Miami Chill
Moisture Whip
No Problem
Orlane
Phas
Pierre Fabre
Rene Furtherer
Revitalizing
Roc
Shades of You
Sheer Essentials
Shine Free
Summer Sensations
Belin
Jacob's
Hermes
Bridel
Bridelice
Lactel
President
Societe
RCA
Square D
Hermes
John Lobb
Anais Anais
Azzaro
Azzura
Cacharel
Chanel
Christian Dior
Clarins
Dioressence
Diorissimo
Drakkar Noir
Eau Sauvage
Fahrenheit
Feuille d'Herbe
Gardens of L'Occitane
Gio De Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani
Gloria Vanderbilt
Guerlain
Guy Laroche
Heritage
Hermes
Lancome
Lavendar Harvest
L'Heure Bleu
L'Occitane
Lou Lou
Miss Dior
Nahema
Orlane
Paloma Picasso
Poison
Samsara
Shalimar
Tresor
Tupic
Verbena Harvest
Vol De Nuit
La Cocinera
Top Hat
Amora
Amoy Chinese Sauces
Belin
Gayelord Hauser
Grand'italia
Iris
Jacob's
Lea & Perrins
Peek Freans Biscuits
Starlux
Table Queen
Black Jack

Cin
Cork Dry Gin
Larios
Seagram's
Amplify
Casting
Excellence
Garnier
Kerastase
L'Oreal
Optimum
Permavive Technicare
Preference
Studio Line
Trix
Motel 6 Otel
Novotel Otel
Red Roof Inn Otel
Sofitel Otel
Studio 6 Otel
Bear-Tex
Gold Crest
AXA Insurance
Equitable Life Insurance
Bushmills
Jameson Whisky
Paddy Whisky
Powers Gold Label Whisky
La Cidraie Cider
Raison Cider
Berluti
Fred Joaillier
Givency
Hermes
Louis Vuitton Malletier
BIC
Alaska Vodka
Amaro Ramazotti Liquer Vodka
Ambassadeur Aperitif Vodka
Americano 505 Aperitif Vodka
Bartissol Apertif Vodka
Byrrh Apertif Vodka
Dita Vodka
Eoliki Vodka
Fior Di Vite Apertif Vodka
Galliano Liquer Vodka
Millwood
Ruavieja
Soho
Zoco
Zoco Apertif
Maison Francaise
American Way
Car & Driver
Celebrated Living
Elle
Elle Décor
Elle Girl
Home
Maxim
Metropolitan Home
Premiere
Road & Track
Shop Mag
Sound and Vision
Sport Bild
Travel Holiday
Woman's Day
World Traveler
Maille
Amora
Alliance Capital
Airwear
Crizal
Essilor
Varilux
Niteline
Agnesi
Birkel
Festaiola
La Familia
Panzani
Ponte
BIC
Sheaffer
Frontline
BIC
Athlete's Foot
Spencer Gifts
Havana Club

Rom
Montilla Rom
Mount Gay Rom
Lea & Perrins
100 Pipers Whisky
Aberlour Whisky
Chivas Regal Whisky
Clan Campbell Whisky
Glen Grant Whisky
Passport Whisky
Royal Salute Whisky
Something Special Whisky
The Glenlivet Whisky
The Heritage Selection Whisky
Aromachologie Sampuan
Biolage Sampuan
Celsene Sampuan
Lancome Sampuan
Lavendar Harvest Sampuan
Logics Sampuan
L'Oreal Sampuan
Matrix Sampuan
Redken Sampuan
Sleek.look Sampuan
Studio Line Daily Express Sampuan
Vavoom Sampuan
Clarins
Hydra Dior
Kiehl's
Lavender Harvest
Orlane
Plenitude
Secret D' Angel
Shea Butter
Krups
T-Fal
Tefal
Belin
ETA
Twiglets
Pursoup
Cointreau
Passoa Liqueur
Pommery
Cleveland Golf
Dynastar Alpine Skis
Lange Ski Boots
Rossignol Skis
Seaquest
Rowenta
Tefal
T-Fal
Daddy
Saint Louis
Cusenier
Proscan TV
Thomson TV
Olmeca
Tequila Yacatan
Viuda de Romero
Universal Studios
Michelin
Uniroyal
Rowenta Home Appliances
T-Fal Home Appliances
Facon Tools
SK Tools
Mack Truck/TIR
RCA
Altai Vodka
Grey Goose
Huzzar Vodka
Lodowa Vodka
Orloff Vodka
Premium Vodka
Wyborowa Vodka
Zubrowka Vodka
Hermes Watch
U.S. Filter
Natu Nobilis Whisky
Dunbar Whisky
Royal Stag Whisky
Blenders Pride Whisky
Royal Canadian Whisky
Alexis Lichine Wine
Antinori Wine
Blanc De Fruit Wine
Café De Paris Wine
Canei Wine
Carrington Wine
Coolabah Wine
Cruse Wine
Dom Perignon Wine
Dragon Seal Wine
Etchart Wine
F.O.V. Wine
Feist Wine
Hennessy Wine
Hine Wine
Jacob's Creek Wine
Jacob's Creek Pinot Noir Wine
Kijafa Wine
Krug Wine
Long Mountain Wine
Palacio de la Vega Wine
Pasquier des Vignes Wine
Piper Sonoma Wine
Pommery Wine
San Pedro Wine
Trapiche Wine
Veuve Cliquot Wine
Wyndham Estate Wine
Seagram's Wine Cooler
Dannon Yogurt
Delisle Yogurt
Sprinkl'ins Yogurt

15 days to huge crisis - If French politicians don’t wake up
If French politicians don’t wake up to what they’re doing and approve the genocide bill just for 400,000 Armenian votes, a huge crisis will erupt between Turkey and France..

I can't believe what's happening.

France risks alienating Turkey just for a few votes, but no one in Paris seems to be conscious of the seriousness of the threat. No one seems to care. French firms with investments in Turkey and French officials who watch Turkey closely are up in arms. The French Embassy in Ankara is secretly warning Paris. However, 400,000 votes coming from the Armenians in France is more attractive right now to French politicians.

Can you just imagine it? If the French Parliament approves the much-talked-about bill on May 18, all those who say “The Armenian genocide did not happen” will face one year's imprisonment and a 45,000 euro fine.

To tell you the truth, I still can't believe it as I'm writing these lines. Still, the danger is approaching. If no one in Paris says “stop” to this a dangerous escalation, Turkey and France will suffer a head-on crash.

The French Socialist Party is trying to secure at least a part of the 400,000 Armenian votes as the 2007 presidential elections approach, while no one else cares about what's happening.

We usually criticize our politicians for their lack of vision. It appears they are head and shoulders above their French counterparts. In the words of a French parliamentarian, “There are no leaders in France. There are only narrow-minded politicians who are solely interested in small benefits.”

Actually, the Armenian diaspora's timing was perfect. They are exploiting the elections and the movements against EU expansion and Islam.

Those who prevent Turkey's progress on the route to European Union membership and especially those who want to get on the anti-Islam bandwagon support the bill. In summary, the wind is blowing in the Armenians' favor.

It appears no one cares about relations with Turkey or the economic and political repercussions of the bill.

French politics is going through a disappointing era.

It seems confused.

The lack of leadership has never been felt more.

I wonder if those who govern France are really oblivious of the dangers or don't care about the deterioration of relations with Turkey.



‘We won't leave the border with Iraq':

Statements made by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül on Kanal D news on Tuesday shed some light on Turkey's medium-term policies concerning northern Iraq.

In summary, Gül's main point was: “Turkey has deployed troops to the border with Iraq. They will remain there until infiltrations by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) end. We are in agreement with the Iraqi government on this issue.”

This statement is an indication that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will remain deployed along the border with Iraq in the short and medium term. Whether it enters Iraq or how many kilometers it enters is irrelevant. It appears Ankara received the necessary message from Washington and reached an understanding with Iraq.

Ankara's reaching an understanding with the Iraqi government is very important. Entering Iraqi territory by a few hundred meters is not a problem. The TSK, in one way, is performing the Iraqis' duties. Iraqis also don't want the border to remain so porous.

This clears up the matter.

The Turkish-Iraqi border is under the control of around 30,000 troops and apart from limited incursions, the TSK will not undertake any deep operations in northern Iraq. Additionally, its 1,000-strong force in northern Iraq will remain where they are.

This is the latest situation.

Let's stop pursuing needless speculation on “operations.”

Mehmet Ali Birand
Thursday, May 4, 2006
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42471

What a waste of time in the French Parliament

The world of the Armenian diaspora has a tendency to analyze Turkey's long years of silence on many issues as representative of many differing reactions. I have heard some calling it defiance, some anger, still others guilt. They could not have been further from the truth, but that's not the point

The silent reaction of this motionless giant in the face of many deliberations, untrue claims of wrongdoing, distorted gossip of childhood bedtime stories and thereby the inevitable hallucination of umpteen generations who wallow in these evil-infested dreams, which have almost become the reason for their existence, was a new and different issue for some European parliaments.

In the face and feeding of all this, they saw no reason why they, likewise, could not raise their voices higher and higher with every passing day, sticking their thorny sticks in the ribs, feet, palms, eyelashes and neck of the silent giant in every which way. Now everyone watched for a reaction, a movement, some sign that would question them or break down or even collapse, but alas, the giant continued on in silence.

They then found partners within the Turkish community to push and shove along with them. They scrutinized, philosophized and subsidized every issue fed to them, this time by their Turkish men and women on the spot, still to no avail. They overlooked and forgave those who shot diplomats in cold blood. They looked the other way when a toad entered their waters when he should have been allowed to enter legally as a frog. They covered their ears to the voices of world-renowned historians and scholars who told them the truth was purposefully being distorted and that they were being fooled. They would have none of it. It almost evolved into a frenzy.

They criticized this. They criticized that. They demanded this. They demanded that. They became the judge. They became the prosecutor. Yet they still could not understand it. The giant continued on in silence. All this extraordinary effort was leading them nowhere. They became frustrated. Then they thought that if this could be a worldwide effort, surely they could budge the giant. So, they locked their hands together and began building monuments, signing papers and agreeing to declarations.

In step with the Swiss, we understand France will attempt to pass a law on May 18 that will sentence anyone who claims Turkey did not commit genocide on the Armenians to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.

Shame on all of you for being so shallow, so unreasonably cruel and so hopelessly infantile. What with the unrest and unhappiness the world recently witnessed in your country, it is not comprehensible that you should take time out from such necessary and immediate public needs to fill your parliament's agenda with such inaccurate historical matters.

May 4, 2006

ayse ozgun
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/editorial.php?ed=ayse_ozgun


Turkey Warns France Not to Make Denial of Armenian Genocide a Criminal Act

Turkey has warned France that ties between the two countries will suffer what it called "irreparable damage" if French lawmakers approve a measure making denial of the Armenian genocide 90 years ago a criminal offense.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, Namik Tan, told reporters in Ankara his country's views on the issue are being conveyed to French officials. The proposed bill would provide fines and imprisonment for denying that Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were victims of genocide during World War One

If adopted, the bill would follow a 2001 French parliament decision that the deaths of one and a half million Armenians amounted to genocide.

That vote infuriated Turkey, which acknowledges the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians but insists that as many Turks also died in civil strife and a Russian-backed Armenian uprising against Ottoman rule.

By VOA News
03 May 2006

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Turkey warns France ties could be hit by alleged genocide bill

Turkey warned France yesterday that bilateral ties could suffer if the French parliament adopts a bill that would criminalize any denial of the alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire last century.

“In our meetings (with French officials), we stress that adoption of the bill could lead to irreparable damage in long-standing Turkish-French ties and this should not be allowed,� Foreign Ministry spokesman Namık Tan told reporters during a weekly press conference.

Tan said Ankara is doing everything it can to block the bill, adding that the French government is doing the same.

The bill, expected to be voted on later this month, contains one year's imprisonment and a 45,000 euro ($57,000) fine for denying that Armenians were victims of genocide, according to Turkish press reports.

If adopted, it will follow a 2001 French decision that infuriated Turkey by acknowledging that the mass killings during World War I amounted to genocide.

Relations suffered a major blow when the French parliament accepted the so-called genocide in 2001, and the bill penalizing its denial may spark a new crisis in ties if it is passed.

During an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia last week, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül raised concerns over the bill when he personally contacted his French counterpart, Philippe Douste-Blazy, on the issue, according to Turkish news reports.

Gül reportedly asked his French counterpart whether he or the Turkish president would be imprisoned if they denied the alleged genocide at a press conference during their visit to France.

“Would this really suit France, a country that champions free speech and freedom of thought throughout Europe? On the one hand, you are giving people the right to do as they wish and on the other, you are denying the people's right to defend themselves against false accusations. This goes against the values of Europe,� he was quoted as telling Douste-Blazy.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings between 1915 and 1917 by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey.

Turkey categorically rejects the claims, saying 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when the Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with Russian troops invading Ottoman soil.

May 4, 2006
ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42488




Turkey, France and revisionism - New bill on the Armenian "genocide"

Turkey and France have had a long history of intense and turbulent relations for the last six centuries. This has, not surprisingly, included times of cooperation, strategic balancing, intense trade and cultural exchange and war..
There have been moments, such as on the eve and in the wake of the 1997 Luxembourg summit of the European Council, that Turkey regarded France as one of its key partners in its drive towards the European Union. There have been others, as we've heard lately, before Sept 3, 2005, when France appeared to be an obstacle to Turkey's EU ambitions, both in terms of accession and Cyprus.

For a few months, Turkey has been living through a French spring in the field of culture, but alas not in politics.

While art lovers are enjoying performances in Ankara, Istanbul and around Turkey by French masters of their art, diplomatic and political circles are deeply pensive about the possible damage that would be inflicted on relations if France passes a new bill on the Armenian "genocide" this month.

The French socialists will almost certainly bring a new bill proposing penalties to those who question the so-called Armenian genocide to the floor of the French National Assembly this month during a "window session."

Armenians in France have already welcomed the law, which will come to the floor for debate on May 18, one of the limited times when the opposition is allowed to propose laws.

If accepted then it would be a crime -- punishable for up to five years in prison -- to "deny that the Armenian genocide" took place.

This will be the second time that a debate in the French Parliament on the Armenian "genocide" has poisoned Turco-French ties. The French Parliament adopted a controversial law in 2001, which says, in a single line, that "France publicly recognizes the Armenian genocide of 1915."

When this law, penned by the Socialist Party (PS), was first discussed in 1997, there were various proposals: Some groups suggested that a clause on revisionism be added to the law, while others wanted to change the date to 1915-1921, when the modern Turkish state was also established.

Then, after three years of being buried in the Senate, the law was finally passed and signed by President Jacques Chirac. Both French diplomatic and political circles quickly verified the law didn't contain "revisionism."

The text, said Parisian policy-makers, diplomats and academics, was greatly different from that of the Loi Gayssot, which made denial of the Holocaust punishable under the law.

The Turks were unpersuaded. Ankara was certain that once this first law was passed, a negationism clause would follow sooner or later.

Time, it seems, has proved Ankara right.

In the wake of the conflict around monuments that aimed to "honor" victims of the Armenian genocide claims dedicated in the French cities of Lyon and Marseille, the fertile atmosphere for that new law was created.

Many French politicians have judged the graffiti scribbled on the monument to be a mere act of vandalism, which fed pressure from the strong and well-organized Armenian lobby on French politicians to "do something."

I'm reluctant to get into a debate on how and under which conditions historical revisionism (or "negationism") can be reconciled with freedom of expression, if at all. To me, any negationism reminds me of its most famous example in literature, George Orwell's "1984."

Nor will I discuss the differences between what constitutes a "genocide" and what constitutes a "massacre" or wonder out loud whether the international tendency to shout "genocide" is a factor that, in fact, diminishes the gravity of other crimes against humanity.

Looking at the situation between Turkey and France, it seems highly probable that the law will be passed. Take the existing sympathies in the country toward the Armenian diaspora, the well-organized Armenian lobby and its power, and all the negative factors against Turkey. Add to this the dialogue of the deaf between Ankara and Paris on this issue. No Turkish diplomat can be sufficiently convincing for the French audience on the Armenian question, no matter what they say, and, vice versa, no French diplomat can explain and make Turks "understand" the French dilemma on the Armenian question. The civil societies of both countries don't have a sufficiently developed relationship with each other to be a serious element in the equation. One hopes, however, that credible and nonpartisan groups on both sides will come together and discuss the issue in the coming days.

What makes one uneasy is think that French lawmakers will vote for the new law without fully realizing what it means. They will know, of course, that opposing it may border on political suicide. Most will surely think of the Armenian question itself and conclude, easily and without much of a dilemma of the conscience, that since France passed a law recognizing genocide five years ago, why not add another one on revisionism? After all, they might ask, do we want graffiti on monuments?

Will any of them see the inconsistency when their country's foreign minister asked Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika not to "overuse" the term genocide in regards to France's former role as a colonial power in his country? Will he remember remarks uttered by ex-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, who in 2001 rejected a proposal to investigate French "massacres" in Algeria, saying they should leave judgements on the issue to historians?

Will the same deputies also think that by passing this law, France -- which was considered an intellectual and academic capital -- can no longer play a meaningful role on any Turkish-Armenian platform to build a relationship? Would the same country be better off supporting joint academic studies or a "Truth" commission on the same question?

A senior diplomat maintained that Turco-French ties, which have been intense for centuries, will withstand it, but he added, "I'd be sorry to see them deteriorate in my time."

Hopefully, he won't be the only one to think that, neither in Ankara nor in Paris, and particularly not in the National Assembly.

Nazlan Ertan

nazlanertan@thenewanatolian.com
02 May 2006



French denial?

A short while ago it was reported that France's Armenian lobby, with the help of the Socialist Party, was stepping up efforts to pass a law that would punish genocide deniers with time in prison.. I previously thought about touching on this highly controversial move by our French friends and question their stance on the Armenian allegations, but then I simply gave up. Turkey and Turkey-related issues, its bid for European Union membership in particular, have become so intertwined with French domestic politics that I thought commenting on the subject would only be writing on water.

Sometimes, however, events speak for themselves. The remarks made by French politicians, first and foremost those by Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy in response to accusations from Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, precisely exemplify this phenomenon.

Although subsequently repealed by President Jacques Chirac, the French National Assembly's approval last year of a law claiming French colonialism played a positive role has been responsible for substantial tension between Paris and Algiers. The Algerian government officially called on France to apologize for crimes committed during its colonial rule. On the 60th anniversary of the massacres, Bouteflika not only condemned the French Army's attack on the cities of Setif and Guelma in May 1945, which claimed the lives of 45,000 Algerians, but also called on Paris to act responsibly. The most interesting remarks, however, came from Amar Bakhouche, the Algerian Senate speaker. Speaking to AB Haber.com at the time, Bakhouche complained about Western impositions on less developed or developing countries and urged France to clean up its own backyard before getting involved in the Armenian allegations. He then criticized the French standpoint on Turkey's EU membership bid, arguing that a Muslim population is undesired in the European Union.

Since then various French politicians have made statements that add a great deal of weight to the widely expressed view that "history should be left to historians." Then French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, for instance, stated that historians from both Algeria and France had to be encouraged to work together. But the same Barnier reminded Turkey of its duty to come to terms with its past and urged it to recognize the Armenian "genocide." He underlined that France didn't consider Turkish acknowledgement of that a precondition for EU entry, but insisted his country would raise the issue once talks opened.

Two weeks ago, to set a new course in turbulent Franco-Algerian relations, Douste-Blazy made an official visit to Algeria. Signing a delayed friendship accord between the two countries that, according to analysts, resembled the 1963 Franco-German reconciliation treaty, was to be the most crucial undertaking on Douste-Blazy's trip. For the French government such a treaty would have been a move to patch up relations. Yet the treaty wasn't signed, on the pretext that both parties needed more time to strike a deal. More importantly, a week after the French foreign minister's visit, Bouteflika accused France of having committed genocide during its occupation of Algeria which lasted for 132 years. According to the Algerian president, this genocide "was not only against the Algerian people but also against Algerian identity."

The remarks of Bouteflika, who subsequent to his speech went to France for medical treatment at a military hospital, stirred up substantial discontent in French domestic politics. Far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, himself with a dubious record of service in the Algerian War, argued that accusing France of having committed genocide of Algerian identity not only had no historical meaning but was also an unfounded insult aimed at the country. Right-wing nationalist Movement of France leader Philippe de Villiers attacked the French government for what he described as its cowardice for refusing to comment on Bouteflika's remarks. Last, but not least, Lionnel Luca, a deputy from the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Party, portrayed Bouteflika's visit as "indecent," adding that it wasn't the first time the Algerian president had insulted France.

Douste-Blazy, too, wasn't late in responding. He accused the Algerian president of engaging in polemics. According to the French foreign minister, colonialism had had a positive role as well. Supposedly, the much-complained horrors took place only at the beginning of the conquest. He then concluded that the recently-invented term "genocide," as taught by philosophers and intellectuals such as Primo Levi, should never be "overused."

Well, what do you all think? Is this also a denial by the French?

Cem Oguz
ccem@bilkent.edu.tr
27 April 2006

http://www.thenewanatolian.com/opinion-5617.html

Hypocrisy is France's greatest legacy

The following is a tough and rough commentary. But those who are offended can take it as reflection of the growing sentiment in this country concerning France. Besides, if the French are allowed to have “tough and rough” views about the Turks, surely Turks are allowed the same about them.

The French have given the world many good things such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” (which nevertheless failed to save thousands from the guillotine), Ravel and Matisse, a fine cuisine and, of course, haute couture -- to name but a few.

They have also left many bad things such as Reynaud de Chatillon, the Osama bin Laden of Christendom, (a milder embodiment of which today is represented by the likes of Holocaust belittler Jean-Marie le Pen, who almost won the presidency, and the right-wing politician Phillipe de Villier).

They have also left lasting memories with their “mission civilisatrice, ” which caused suffering among millions of people from Southeast Asia to North Africa. Their legacy in addition includes anti-Semitism and Vichy fascism. Some of the principal ideologues of anti-Semitism and fascism – like Maurice Barres and Charles Maurras – were, after all, French.

But the one legacy that stands out above all is hypocrisy, which puts the French in the worst light possible and should be considered a national embarrassment, although it rarely is. Take the high-profile commemorations in France of the alleged Armenian genocide.

I say “alleged” because that is what it is. “Genocide” is a legal term, and the fact of an “Armenian genocide” has not been proven in a court of law, so that I can justifiably use that term.

Neither is there unanimity among historians as to whether the tragedy of the Armenians was premeditated genocide or the inevitable outcome of dynamics set in motion in the lead-up to World War I by imperial powers – dynamics which also caused millions of deaths in Europe.

None of this means that I do not abhor the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in Anatolia -- an indigenous and ancient people who contributed vastly to Ottoman art, culture and architecture and also produced some of the most competent and devoted civil servants of the empire.

I believe their sad departure has greatly impoverished these lands and would welcome them back as citizens of this country any time.

They were not, however, the exclusive sufferers in what was then the Ottoman Empire, where 3 to 4 million people died in the brutal environment of World War I -- due also, of course, to the policies of the first fascist government in Europe, i.e., the “Ittihadist Triumvirate” in Istanbul.

The French, however, have accepted the unproven Armenian genocide by law and now want to criminalize its denial. This is precisely where French hypocrisy rears its head.

Not only do they vehemently deny any claim that their country committed genocide in Algeria, even though tens of millions of Arabs believe this to be an incontrovertible fact, they also have the audacity to introduce a law that says schools have to teach French colonial history, especially in North Africa, in the most positive light – no doubt due to “pied noir” pressure.

So, the same France that calls on Turkey to face up to its history is not only denying its own past crimes but is also introducing legislation to consolidate this denial. The debate flared up again a few days ago when Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said “[French] colonization brought the genocide of our identity, of our history and of our language.”

Other Algerian politicians have said that 1.5 million Algerians died as a result of French colonialism, and this, for them, amounts to “genocide” for which Paris should pay compensation. The icing on the cake of French hypocrisy was, however, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy's response to Bouteflika.

“Instead of quibbling over such words [i.e., genocide], it is important for Algeria as well as France to look forward and build a positive relationship,” he said.

Close your eyes and you might be listening to the Turkish foreign minister responding to the genocide claims of Armenian President Robert Kocharian. How the French fail to see this contradiction is beyond comprehension. One explanation is that they see it but could not care less.

The simple fact is that an increasingly Islamophobic France is using the Armenian issue to keep Turkey at arm's length from Europe. Otherwise, anyone with a bit of historic knowledge knows that the French are serial betrayers of the Armenians.

First they incited them “to rise against the unspeakable Turk” – by even establishing Armenian legions in Hatay – only going on to leave them in the lurch by being the first to contact the Ankara government after World War I, once it became clear who was going to be the “Master of Anatolia,” to use Toynbee's words.

Then they refused to lift a finger for the Armenians during the Lausanne Treaty talks and thus, for all their supposed efforts on behalf of this nation during the Paris peace talks in 1919, dumped the Armenians again.

Then they dealt the final blow by returning Hatay – under French mandate -- to Turkey in 1939 and caused the final exodus of Armenians from Anatolia. Intelligent Armenians know all this, too, although Dashnak intimidation does not allow them to speak out.

Put another way, if we are talking about history, there is much to baffle your average Frenchman or woman who has been brought up -- whether by force of legislation or tradition -- on a tales of “French glory.”

Some time ago, when I mentioned how the French were the first to contact the Kemalists after 1919, a French journalist who had strong and unsavory opinions about Turkey disputed me strongly – and, of course, arrogantly -- only to be corrected by a better informed French colleague.

“Are you sure, are you really sure?” he kept asking his colleague in disbelief, having been embarrassed in front of a Turk.

It is clear that time will drown France in its own contradictions. The latest development pointing to such an outcome is the case of leading French historians who came out after the controversial “Teach our kids how well we treated the Algerians” legislation was introduced.

Realizing the embarrassment this represents for intelligent people, these historians called on politicians to “keep their hands off of history.” This harks back to the good side of France, and there are few who can dispute this justified judgment of “real” historians, as opposed to “history legislators.”

One can, however, bemoan the fact that these historians did not have the moral courage to come around to this view after the “Armenian Genocide Law” was passed in the French Parliament, or when the highly respected historian Bernard Lewis was found guilty by a Paris court, after a private lawsuit, for “denying the Armenian genocide.”

Having said all this, though, I am actually looking forward to the criminalization of “Armenian genocide denial” in France because I can already see the kind of ridiculous situations this will land Paris in the future.

April 27, 2006
Semih Idiz
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=41871

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France Refers Genocide Allegations to Historians to Rescue Itself

France, ignoring Turkey's proposal to “ask the historians� when passing the so-called genocide law five years ago, has in the face of accusations of genocide from Algeria turned to historians for help.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, responding to the accusations made by Algerian President Abdelaziz Buteflika last week that France committed genocide in Algeria, said politicians cannot write history and asked the issue to be left to the historians.

In response to claims of "Buteflika spoke of genocide and insulted France," Douste-Blazy in an interview on French radio said: "Studies of past recollections cannot be made by politicians. This is the job of neither government deputies nor senators. Such studies can only be carried out by historians and researchers."

The French minister speaking out against Buteflika, who since last year frequently invited France to admit to the "genocide" it conducted in Algeria, said: "Genocide is a word philosophers and intellectuals taught us, and such expressions must never be corrupted or disrespected."

Douste-Blazy, reminding that history is “not simple, but is very complex,� asserted he does not want to enter into a feud over the issue, adding that Algeria and France cannot have "a common future" regardless of the outcome of the study to be conducted by historians.

The French minister noted he will "remind" of a point in Buteflika's statements accusing France of genocide. "I see that Buteflika loves French hospitals and doctors, this pleases me both as a doctor and as head of the French diplomacy," in reference to the Algerian president seeking medical treatment in France.

In a speech the Algerian president delivered in Constantine before coming to France, he claimed France "conducted genocide against the Algerian identity" between 1830 and 1962.

Buteflika's visit to France following these statements sparked widespread debate in the country.

Responding to the widespread reactions to a law passed last year to only teach the positive aspects of the French colonial history in schools, President Jacques Chirac announced, "Writing history is not the business of the law makers, but the job of historians."

With regard to the so-called Armenian genocide, these same French lawmakers punish those objecting to these genocide allegations, rather than consulting with the historians. The French courts, which removed Turkey’s point of view from books and encyclopedias, had tried and sentenced famous historians, including Bernard Lewis, for questioning the Armenian genocide allegations.

By Ali Ihsan Aydin, Paris
April 25, 2006
http://www.zaman.com/?hn=32459&bl=international




The French Parliament is preparing to pass a new bill next month under which people who question the Armenian genocide claims would face up to five years behind bars.

The French parliamentarians' controversial move coincides with a warning from Foreign Minister Douste-Blazy to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika not to "overuse" the term genocide in regards to France's former role as a colonial power in his country..
Last Monday, two days before arriving in France for a medical visit, Bouteflika said the French colonization was a form of "genocide" for Algeria's identity and traditions. The Algerian government claims that the 1954-62 war of independence cost the lives of 1.5 million Algerians.

The French Parliament adopted a controversial motion in 2001 recognizing the Armenian genocide claims, resulting in a major political crisis between France and Turkey.

The Armenian diaspora accuses the Ottoman Empire of deliberately massacring up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1919. Turkey stresses that these figures are inflated and says that far fewer Armenians died, due to civil unrest under the conditions of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey also claims that during the ethnic conflict, thousands of Turks were also killed by Armenian militants.

Late last year a group of prominent French academics asked politicians leave history to scholars, and to avoid making decisions about history at Parliament.

Parliament to discuss 'genocide' denials next month

Armenian organizations in France announced on Monday that a new bill proposing prison time for those who question the so-called Armenian genocide will be brought by the Socialist Party to Parliament's floor for debate on May 18.

In accordance with the French Parliament's 2001 recognition of Armenian genocide claims, the law could punish those who question the claims with up to five years behind bars.

According to the French Constitution, the government is responsible for the preparation of laws, but political parties can make limited suggestions during special gatherings a few times a year. On May 18 it will be the Socialist Party's turn to outline the agenda of gathering. These special gatherings are also called window meetings.

The Socialist Party has reportedly assured the Armenian lobby that it will bring the issue up for debate during its window gathering.

President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, whose images are tattered following riots against controversial labor law reforms, are not expected to take a firm stance on the bill, which may boost its chance of being passed.

Diplomatic sources told The New Anatolian that Turkish Foreign Ministry officials are warning their French counterparts that passage of the bill would seriously damage bilateral relations. Turkish officials argue that writing history should be left to the historians and that Ankara's recent efforts to normalize relations with Armenia shouldn't be undermined.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year sent a letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian suggesting the establishment of a committee of Turkish and Armenian historians to study the claims. But Kocharian refused Erdogan's proposal, saying that the two countries must first establish diplomatic relations and that committees could be formed only within the process of normalizing relations.

'Genocide' monuments in Lyon, Marseille

Monuments to honor victims of the Armenian genocide claims were inaugurated in the French cities of Lyon and Marseille on Monday.

French Transportation Minister Dominique Perben, the socialist mayors of Lyon and Marseille and socialist Senator Gerarad Collomb participated in the inauguration ceremony along with Armenians.

Security was tight during the ceremonies to prevent provocation after the monument in Lyon was spray painted with graffiti last week. The graffiti said, "There was no genocide."

ABHaber 26.04.2006 thenewanatolian.com


Armenian Diaspora blackmails France: 'Whoever supports the bill will get our vote.'

The genocide bill crisis in France is just a political game. The Armenian diaspora is blackmailing the presidential candidates, telling them, 'Whoever supports the bill will get our vote.'

On May 18 the French parliament will vote on a bill. If accepted, whoever says “There was no genocide” will face either one year's imprisonment or a fine of up to 45,000 euros..

There is no such law in any other country.

France is the most important European stronghold for the Armenian diaspora. There are around 500,000 Armenians in France. They occupy some of the highest posts in the country. They are very influential in politics, the arts and the media. French Armenians were the first who kicked off the genocide campaign 50 years ago. Their biggest leverage is the 400,000 votes they have, which they exploit in every election. In other words, they influence France with both their political power and their social status. In recent years competition between political parties has become tight, increasing the importance of the Armenian vote. The presidential election four years ago was just such a case in point.

Jacques Chirac won the presidential elections by receiving 120,000 votes more than the extremist Jean-Marie LePen. You can imagine the importance of the Armenian vote in such a tight race.

Before every election, the Armenian diaspora with support of the Socialist Party starts a bidding war.

This is exactly what we are facing this year.

France has declared 2006 and 2007 the Year of the Armenians just for 400,000 Armenian votes because the presidential elections are in 2007.

France is stuck between Turkey and 400,000 Armenian votes.



Lelouche: It won't be easy to pass this law:

One of the most important politicians in France, Pierre Lelouche, was in Istanbul to attend the NATO parliamentarians meeting in Istanbul. He worked as Chirac's advisor for a long time and now is one of the closest associates of Nicolas Sarkozy, who is favored to win the 2007 presidential elections. He also supports our European Union membership and knows how important Turkey is. We discussed the bill with Lelouche.

He was very annoyed.

He noted the approaching crisis and said: “It is very dangerous. I don't think it will be easy to pass this bill, but it is important to be very careful.”

So, how can we be more careful?

At a time the Turkish-French relations are improving, a huge pro-France campaign in on its way, the first Cannes-Istanbul Yacht race is scheduled for this summer and French investment is approaching record levels, we are faced with a trap laid by the French socialists.

Lelouche says this development should not be seen as a reflection of anti-Turkey or anti-Turkish sentiment in France. No one should ignore the fact that Lelouche is a parliamentarian. There are Armenians among his constituents. Despite this, he didn't try to hide the fact that the Socialist Party and the Armenians were behind this bill to exploit the approaching elections.

Those who rule France know this bill will seriously harm Turkish-French relations; however, there is also a fact we can't ignore.

Lelouche believes the biggest danger is the escalation of reciprocal blackmail. If there is an escalation, it will get out of hand, he fears.

Will this bill be passed?

Lelouche did not want to speculate. “Compared to the other one, this bill is more damaging. That's why people will have to think twice before voting for it.”

In summary, election objectives are battling with long-term bilateral interests.



Does France know the cost of this crisis?

I wonder why France, which is being led by the Armenian diaspora, is trying to ruin an important relationship built up over the years with the serious effort of both sides.

There is no logic to it. It is hard to find any other reason apart from short-term political interests. I wonder if French leaders are aware of the damage this bill will cause both to their country and to Turkey. Don't they realize they are pushing the relations towards a crisis?

If parliament approves the bill, reactions from the Turkish public and boycotts will hurt both sides.

The figures are there for all to see.

France is the seventh largest investor in the country, with 220 French companies investing billions of euros in Turkey. It is a win-win situation. Some 40,000 Turks are employed by French companies in Turkey. The bilateral trade volume is 9 billion euros. Moreover, France wants to be involved in huge projects planned in Turkey.

Is all this trouble worth it just for a bill that seems impossible to implement and which will only give emotional satisfaction to the Armenian diaspora while alienating Turkey?

May 3, 2006
Mehmet Ali Birand
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=42368


France Includes Genocide Allegations Even in Medical Books

In France, allegations on the so-called Armenian genocide have made their way into medical books. It has been revealed that the so-called genocide-advocate Armenian lobby holds the copyright.. of some books used in French medical faculties.
In the prefaces of Axel Balian’s books, a book students must buy, genocide allegations are included. In the book, the European Union’s starting negotiations with Turkey is also criticized. The whole income of Armenian Balian’s seven books is transferred to the Armenian associations. Especially Turkish students studying in medicine faculty have concerns over their money being transferred to the Armenian lobby.

In France, which officially recognized the so-called Armenian genocide in 2001, doctors joined the debates over “genocide” after politicians and historians. In Balian’s “Hepato-Gastro-Enterologie,” book, which is used for stomach-intestine specialization, the European countries, which started full membership negotiations with Ankara, are criticized.

There are some striking remarks in the preface: “The income of this book will be transferred to the associations, which are trying to evoke the ‘genocide’ took place in 1915. Few people remember the 1.5 million Armenians that lost their lives while fleeing and in the camps. This book is prepared in the hope that those who seem ready to make a ‘denying country member of the EU’, should also remember the genocide.” The Armenian doctor has seven books on the same subject.

All of the books refer to the so called Armenian Genocide and the Copyrights of the books were transferred to Armenian Foundations. Turkish students, who are obliged to buy these books at medical faculties, are unhappy because their money is transferred to “genocide” foundations. Straoussgbourg Pasteur University Freshman student Fatih Akin said: “We have to buy this book to pass the course; however, we are not comfortable as our money is sent to the foundations making genocide propaganda.” Akin also said it is interesting a medicine book gives place to a political issue like this in its preface session.

Hosting about 500,000 Armenian immigrants France had passed a law recognizing the so called Armenian Genocide in 2001. Armenians are quite influential in France, which hosts the biggest number of Armenians in Europe. Tension increases every year on April 24 in France, the Genocide commemoration day, and 450,000 Turks in France become offended by these genocide discussions. Recently the Turks living in Lyon had organized a protest march against the second genocide statue in the city. Some events had taken place after Armenians attacked Turks during the demonstrations and Lyon Governorship explained it would not longer tolerate demonstrations against the Armenian Genocide.

Armenian Diaspora defends the number of Armenians that died between 1915 and 1916, when the Emigration Law was implemented in the Ottoman Empire, reaches 1,500,000. The Armenian Genocide claims have been accepted by the parliaments of 15 countries so far.

By Emre Demir, Strasbourg
March 26, 2006
zaman.com



Victims of the Armenian Gangs accuse French Parliament of hypocrisy / Parliamentarians warn French counterparts

The Federation of Associations of Victims who Suffered From Massacres by Armenian Gangs said that they sent a letter to French Parliament yesterday accusing French parliamentarians of hypocrisy. . .

The letter is protesting a French bill proposing sentences and fines for those who deny the Armenian genocide claims. It said that the bill contradicts historical fact, democracy, freedom of expression and human rights. The federation also wrote that if the bill passes, it would seriously harm Turkish-French relations, and cause irreparable wounds. They called the bill a product of a racist political understanding.

"But we know that the French Parliament won't pass this unscholarly and unlawful bill," said the letter, "because historical fact can't be changed or rewritten with laws. The fact that those who expect more human rights and freedom of expression at every step of the European Union accession process are implementing and passing racist laws, contrary to human rights and freedoms and hindering freedom of expression, shows a double standard and is hypocritical."

The letter carries some 23,000 signatures and said that the Armenian people, with the help of certain Western countries, are trying to reap political and economic gains from their embarrassment and historical mistake.

The New Anatolian / Ankara

http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6846.html



Parliamentarians warn French counterparts against passing 'genocide' bill
Turkish Parliamentarians Union head Hasan Korkmazcan said yesterday that a bill about the so-called Armenian genocide facing the French Parliament this week will set a historical test for bilateral relations, while French Ambassador to Ankara Paul Poudade asserted that the French government opposes the bill.

The debates about the bill proposing prison terms and fines to those who question the claims are mounting as the date for debates of the bill looms.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament yesterday, Korkmazcan said that all the propaganda steps taken regarding the so-called Armenian genocide are aiding and abetting terrorism.

Underlining that some politicians who have been trapped by the web of the Armenian lobby in France, which has a limited political influence, accepted the Armenian genocide claims, Korkmazcan said that the real leaders of the slander campaign in France are the underground forces behind the terrorist Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).

Calling propaganda over the so-called Armenian genocide a crime against humanity, Korkmazcan said that this crime has been committed by many Western countries since 1974.

"The bill set to be debated on Thursday extinguishes the human struggle for the establishment of scholarly research and freedom of expression," said Korkmazcan, adding that the Turkish Parliament will take steps to effectively respond if the bill is passed.

In related news, French Ambassador to Ankara Paul Poudade said yesterday that the French government opposes the bill. Poudade also expressed hope that the bill won't be passed and Turkish-French relations won't be harmed.

The New Anatolian / Ankara

http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-6845.html

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