TURKEY WELCOMES FRENCH ANNULMENT OF "GENOCIDE" BILL

EastDay
http://english.eastday.com/e/120229/u1a6392596.html
Feb 29 2012

ANKARA, Feb. 28-- Turkey on Tuesday welcomed the annulment by the
Constitutional Council of France of a law that would incriminate people
who deny the mass killing of the Armenians in 1915 was "genocide."

"We consider the annulment of the law as a step in line with
freedom of expression and research, rule of law and the principles
of international law and against the politicization of history in
France," said the statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

It went on to say that the Turkish government is "glad to note that
a grave error was corrected by the most competent judicial authority
in France."

"It is preferable that, on controversial historical issues, third
countries adopt an impartial approach encouraging dialogue and
resolution between the concerned parties, rather than make imprudent
and prejudicial interventions," said the statement.

"We hope that, from now on, France will adopt a constructive approach
so that this controversy between Turkey and Armenia is addressed on
a just and scholarly basis," said the statement, adding that "such
an approach will contribute to the development of the Turkish-French
relationship in the direction it deserves and in all fields."

French parliament passed the bill last month, which would impose
a 60,530-U.S.-dollar fine and a year in prison on those who deny
that the deaths of over one million Armenians under the Ottoman rule
amounted to "genocide."

Tensions tainted relations between Paris and Ankara, which rejects
the term "genocide," insisting that the killed Armenians were victims
of widespread chaos and governmental breakdown as the Ottoman Empire
collapsed before modern Turkey was created.