TURKISH PARLIAMENT SPEAKER WARNS FRANCE ABOUT RESOLUTION ON ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONS ON 1915 INCIDENTS

Anadolu Agency
Dec 19 2011
Turkey

Ankara: Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek said regarding a French
resolution which criminalizes the rejection of Armenian allegations
on 1915 incidents that if the resolution was adopted, France would
pay its cost high.

Cicek told reporters on Monday that he sent a letter to his French
counterpart last week which conveyed Turkey's concerns about the
issue and also condemned the stance of France.

He added that a Turkish Parliamentary delegation had been in France
since yesterday regarding this issue.

Noting that Turkey had comprehensive relations which were rooted in
the past with France, Cicek said that attempts to adopt resolutions on
parliamentary level regarding historical matters were only exploitation
by domestic politics.

It is necessary to avoid such attempts only to gain a few more votes
in the elections, he added.

Turkey's European Union Minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bagis
on Monday met with Danish Ambassador in Ankara Ruben Madsen.

Bagis expressed hope during the meeting that Danish courts would
give ruling which would halt Denmark-based broadcast of Roj TV,
which Turkey says is a mouthpiece of the terrorist organization of PKK.

"Roj TV casts a shadow on our bilateral relations with Denmark. We
are looking forward to hearing a ruling that would end this negative
aspect," Bagis said.

Responding to a question over a French bill that makes denying of
Ottoman-era incidents of 1915 punishable with a one year prison term
and a fine of 45,000 euros, Bagis said the bill was problematic in
the sense that it limited freedom of expression.

"The French Revolution was made to secure freedom of expression and
now they are set to debate a bill that bans expressing one's opinions.

There is no sense in this," Bagis said.

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said regarding French
resolution criminalizing the rejection of Armenian allegations on
1915 incidents that if the resolution was adopted, Joint Economic
Committee meeting in France on January 24 would not be held.

A Turkish Parliamentary delegation is holding talks in Paris to
convince French officials not to adopt a resolution criminalizing
the rejection of Armenian allegations on 1915 incidents.

Turkish parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Volkan Bozkir
told reporters on Monday that the resolution was against basic rights
and freedoms.

We are here to tell French officials the harms of the resolution on
Turkish-French relations, said Bozkir.

Noting that trade volume between the two countries was nearly 13.5bn
euros, Bozkir said that investments of France in Turkey reached
6.5bn euros, and nearly 2,000 French companies were making business
with Turkey. He added that one million French tourists were visiting
Turkey every year.

Bozkir said that if the resolution was adopted, an uneasy period
would begin in Turkish-French relations.

The cooperation between Turkey and France, which made important
contributions in peace and stability in the region and the world, will
be harmed significantly, if the resolution is adopted, said Bozkir.

He noted that history was written by historians, not parliaments.

Also, deputy Osman Koruturk of Republican Poeple's Party (CHP) in
the delegation said that the resolution was an attempt to have some
political gain.

Koruturk said that the resolution was also against French constitution.

The delegations will continue talks in France today and Tuesday.

The resolution will be voted on 22 December at general assembly in
French Parliament.

In January 2001, French Parliament adopted a law recognizing so-called
Armenian genocide in 1915.

The resolution punishes people who reject 1915 incidents with one-year
imprisonment and 45,000-euro fine.