March 1, 2012 - 14:16 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey needed a rally condemning Khojalu events which
escalated the hostile attitude towards Armenians to an unprecedented
level, Shahan Kandaharian, editor-in-chief of Beirut-based "Aztag
paper said.

A rally aiming to show Turkey's power to Armenians was organized
in Taksim square in Istanbul on the eve of consideration of the bill
criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial in the French Constitutional
Council. The topic of Khojalu was picked for intimidation, he told
a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

"The propaganda Ankara-Baku link organized a rally in Istanbul and
Baku targeting not only Khojalu. A black wreath was laid at the French
embassy, and Azeris living in Turkey called to equate Khojalu events to
the Armenian Genocide, focus being namely on Khojalu," the editor said.

As to the ruling of the French Constitutional Council, Kandaharian
believes denial of the Armenian Genocide and recognition of
Khojalu events is the policy pursued by official Ankara in favour
of Azerbaijan. "Contradictions within domestic policy in France
revealed by the political decision of the Constitutional Council
on the issue, must be mentioned again. Why the denial of Holocaust
should be criminalized, being in line with the constitution of France,
while the Genocide bill is unconstitutional?"

"All this is enough to understand that the decision was based not on
the constitution of the country but the political censorship. It is
painful for Armenians to realize that the Armenian Genocide became
another card in political games. This game implies revision of the
bill, its adoption and submittal to the Constitutional Council, i.e.

the same path will be repeated. The Armenian side should not yield to
emotions; it must pursue its policy in line with political realities.

Again, it became clear that legal judgments in France are being
passed by the Constitutional Council basing on current political
considerations," he emphasized.

The French Constitutional Council on Feb 28 ruled the bill
criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial adopted earlier by the
Senate of France as unconstitutional. The Council justified it by
the fact that the law "contradicts Article 33 of the Constitution of
France and the freedom of speech".

On January 23, the French Senate passed the bill with 127 votes for
and 86 against. If signed into law by the President, the bill would
impose a 45,000 euro fine and a year in prison for anyone in France
who denies this crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey reacted furiously when the Senate approved the law. Ankara
halted political and military cooperation with France and was
threatening to cut off economic and cultural ties if the law took