PanARMENIAN.Net

The history of France's recognition of the Armenian
Genocide traces back to 1915

It would be incorrect to explain the disposition of
the French government regarding the Armenian Genocide
only through the powerful Armenian Diaspora, in spite
of the assertions of Turkish and Azeri historians.
29.05.2008 GMT+04:00

10 years ago, on May 29, 1998, the National Assembly
of France passed the bill on the recognition of the
Armenian Genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire in
1915 with the first reading. -France officially
recognizes the Armenian Genocide of 1915,- says the
law, signed by the President of the National Assembly
Laurent Fabius. On November 7, 2000, a similar law was
passed in the Senate of France. And on January, 2001,
President of France Jacque Chirac signed a law which
stipulated that France recognizes the Armenian
Genocide on all official levels.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ On October 12, 2006, the Lower House
of the French Parliament passed a bill, according to
which the denial of the Armenian Genocide committed in
the Ottoman Empire in 1915 is criminal offence. The
document stipulates that the denial of mass killings
of the Armenian people will be punished by one year
imprisonment and a fine of 45.000 Euros ($ 56.4
thousand).

The history of France's recognition of the Armenian
Genocide traces back to 1915, immediately after the
slaughters had begun. On May 29, 1915 the Ambassadors
of France, Great Britain and Russia to Constantinople
sent a telegram to the US Department of States with
the following content: -One month ago the Turks and
the Kurds, living in the Western Armenia, with the
support and cooperation of the Ottoman authorities,
started the mass killing of the peaceful Armenian
population of Erzrum, Van, Sasun, Bitlis, Cilicia, and
Mush. At the very same time Armenian intellectuals
were killed in Constantinople by the Young Turks. We
call all the countries of the Entente to interfere and
put an end to this brutal policy.-

The Armenians living in Constantinople were in close
relationship with France: many Armenian companies had
their branches in Paris, the children of the Armenians
studied in the University of Sorbonne, and maybe this
was the reason why France became one of the first
countries where the Armenian people started to move
after having survived the Genocide. The Armenian
Diaspora in France has more than half million and is
very organized both in the political and social
aspect. However it would be incorrect to explain the
disposition of the French government regarding the
Armenian Genocide only through the powerful Armenian
Diaspora, in spite of the assertions of Turkish and
Azeri historians. It is true, that Armenian Diaspora
is very large in number, but it does not have enough
influence to have the Parliament and President
recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The Turkish
Diaspora in Western Europe is the largest and the
richest one, but it can do nothing to fight injustice.
The Turkish Diaspora only manages the showing the
ruined memorials and the cemeteries for the victims of
the Armenian Genocide.

The uncompromising attitude of France in this issue
showed the entire world and first of all the USA and
the Great Britain, that the policy of blackmail and
intimidation carried out by Turkey regarding Paris
does not work. And by the way, after having passed the
bill about the criminal offence for denying the
Armenian Genocide, the relations between Paris and
Ankara even improved, in any case, regarding
trade-economic relations.

Meanwhile, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Turkey Ali Babacan in representing Turkey in 2006
during the negotiations in the EU announced that the
French law violates one of the most basic principles
of the EU, i.e. the freedom of opinion. -Leave the
history to the historians,- he said. The whole thing
is that the Armenian Genocide is a historical fact and
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in this case
is simply taking the desired for the reality.

By the way, the bill on the criminal offence for the
denial of the Armenian Genocide will be passed by the
Parliament of Slovakia by the end of 2008 and will
come into effect in January - February 2009. -In
Slovakia whose Parliament recognized the Armenian
Genocide in 2004, there was a law about criminal
liability for the denial of the Holocaust. With
amendments we widen the frames of the law and expend
its influence on all genocides, and in particular, on
the Armenian Genocide,- said the Minister of Justice,
Vice-Prime Minister of Slovakia Stephan Kharapin.
«PanARMENIAN.Net» analytical department