Press TV
Feb 28 2012

Turks protesting the Armenian genocide bill.

The Constitutional Council of France has rejected a bill which aims
to set a punishment for the denial of an Armenian genocide carried
out by the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Press TV reports.

This is while the controversial bill was approved by the French Senate
last month.

The bill has received harsh criticism from Turkey who says the bill
is disrespectfull to all Turks.

Ankara has also threatened broader diplomatic and trade sanctions
against Paris as a result of the law.

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will redraft the
bill if it is rejected by France's top judicial body.

Sarkozy, whose right-wing UMP party introduced the bill, is accused
of using the bill to win the support of France's estimated 500,000
ethnic Armenians in the French presidential election, which will be
held in April.

Armenia claims that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed in an
act of genocide carried out by the forces of the Ottoman Empire in
1915 and 1916.

Ankara rejects the use of the word "genocide" and instead says that
only 500,000 Armenians died and they were casualties of World War I.

Paris formally recognized the killings of Armenians as genocide in
2001, but had imposed no penalty for anyone denying that genocide
had occurred.