TURKISH FM BLASTS FRENCH LAWMAKERS

press tv
Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:52PM GMT

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Turkey's Foreign Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu has condemned French lawmakers for passing a bill
which bans denial of the disputed Armenian genocide during World War I.

On December 22, the French national Assembly voted to back a law
that would make it illegal for anyone in France to deny that the 1915
killings of Armenians during World War I amounted to genocide.

The law, which is awaiting a final approval at French Senate, will see
offenders face a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros (USD 58,000)
in France, where the 1915 killings of Armenians were recognized as
genocide in 2001.

"Do not build imperialist plans on others' pains," Davutoglu said at
a news conference in northwestern province of Edirne on Thursday.

The move sparked outrage in Turkey, and promoted Ankara to recall
its ambassador to France.

Ankara, which had already warned to serious consequences if France
pushed ahead to adopt the law, also suspended its political and
military cooperation with Paris after the vote.

Hours after the bill was passed, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan condemned the approval of the "racist" bill proposed by French
President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling party.

He said the decision had opened "very grave" and "irreparable" wounds
in Ankara-Paris relations.

He insisted that no genocide had ever happened the history of his
country, and accused the French ruling party of "using Turkophobia
and Islamophobia" to win the support of Armenians living in France
ahead of the 2012 presidential election.