Today's Zaman
Nov 20 2008

A report drawn up by a committee of academics has concluded that the
French legislature should not make decisions concerning historical
issues or the content of history textbooks, Turkey's NTV news channel
said yesterday.

The committee was established in March by the French National Assembly,
the lower house of the French Parliament, which in October 2006 adopted
a bill that made it a crime to deny that Ottoman Turks committed
"genocide" against Anatolian Armenians during World War I, despite
Ankara's protests and a warning that this would "poison" the deeply
rooted relations between the two countries.

Having been approved by the national assembly, the genocide bill
is still pending before the senate, the upper house of the French

The report said if the parliament needed to make decisions on
historical issues, then these decisions should only be binding for
the parliament itself, not for the state. However, the report also
advised that previously adopted laws on historical subjects be left
as they are.

The bill adopted in 2006 mandates up to three years in jail for
those who dispute claims that Armenians were subjected to genocide
during World War I. It has angered Turkey, which categorically denies
the genocide charges and says the killings came when the Armenians
revolted against the Ottoman Empire in collaboration with the invading
Russian army.