TURKISH FM PRAISES FRENCH ANNULMENT OF "GENOCIDE" BILL

Xinhua General News Service
February 28, 2012 Tuesday 1:15 AM EST

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday praised 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."

"The French Constitutional Council has passed a ruling that is in line
with the French Constitution's notion of universal human rights and
European values which we all defend," Davutoglu was quoted as saying
by the semi-official Anatolia news agency.

Davutoglu expressed gratitude for French lawmakers who had appealed
to the constitutional council for the annulment of the denial law
and for their "principled stance on human rights."

"This ruling avoided a split between Turkish and French people
and intellectuals, and the Constitutional Council has made a great
contribution to the continuation of our traditional friendship in
the right course," Davutoglu said.

"We hope that this ruling will be a lesson to those who attempt to
forge a political leverage over histories of societies," the foreign
minister said.

He added that the ruling also contributed to the establishment of an
open platform where historical issues could be discussed more freely,
noting that it would also help relations between Turkey and Armenia.

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.




From: A. Papazian