Turkish Press
Jan 24 2012

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday made a statement prior
to voting of the French bill criminalizing the denial of 1915 killings
of Armenians as genocide.

In reply to reporters' questions on the issue, Erdogan defined the
voting as a debate which is totally against freedom of expression,
as well as an investment in elections.

Considering tens of thousands of Turkish people who have come together
in Paris to raise their objections to the bill, Erdogan said that those
people showed that its repercussions will be evident in the future.

"This is against human rights and the universal declaration on human
rights. It also contradicts with the French-Turkish relationship,"
Erdogan said.

A day prior to Erdogan's remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc
rhetorically asked what French officials would do if Erdogan said,
"1915 is not genocide," during a visit to France.

In reply to a reporter's question about Arinc's remarks, Erdogan hinted
that he would avoid visiting France, in case the bill is adopted.