TURKISH PM SLAMS FRANCE OVER APPROVAL OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL

Xinhua General News Service
January 30, 2012 Monday 4:25 PM EST
China

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday slammed France
for the approval of an Armenian " genocide" bill by its parliament,
saying that "France was forcing the door of a very dangerous process
by trying to write history at parliament."

The mission of parliaments was not to write history, Erdogan said
in an address to the nation, adding that Turkey is expecting French
people to raise their voices against this.

"Today, France is using the language of separatism, racism and clashes
and Sarkozy's France was based on dogmas, prejudices and delusions,"
said Erdogan.

Noting that Turkey made its warnings to France beforehand and Turkey
proposed to leave this issue to historians and scientists, but Sarkozy
did not hesitate to crush European values just to gain a few thousand
more votes in the upcoming elections, said Erdogan.

Again he said that this bill, which was adopted at French Parliament
and Senate, is null and void for Turkey.

"We pursue our initiatives for French senators to apply to French
Constitutional Council against the bill," added Erdogan.

Turkish government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc
said Monday that Turkey was following developments regarding the bill.

The French Senate voted last Monday 127 to 86 in favor of the draft
bill after hours of debate, making it illegal to deny as " genocide"
the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915. The bill, yet to
be signed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has been passed by the
French National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, on Dec. 22
last year.

In France, even if a bill has been approved by the Senate, it can
still be appealed to the constitutional court if a large number of
parliamentarians file for it. The decision lies with the court to
decide whether the bill is compatible with French law or not.