TURKISH FM WARNS FRENCH PRESIDENT NOT TO REPEAT DENIAL LAW

Anadolu Agency
Feb 29 2012
Turkey

ANKARA (A.A) -February 29, 2012 -Turkish foreign minister has urged
French president not to try to pass another legislation similar to one
which was annulled by France's top constitutional watchdog on Tuesday.

"Sarkozy had already pushed his chances too hard and if he tries that
again he would have started a war on French culture and the French
rule of law. It would be most unfortunate for him to challenge a ruling
passed by such a high level authority like the Constitutional Council,"
Ahmet Davutoglu told a televised interview on state-run broadcaster
TRT hours after the French Constitutional Council cancelled a law that
makes it a crime to deny Armenian allegations that the incidents of
1915 in the Ottoman Empire amounted to a "genocide."

The French council ruled that the law violated freedom of expression
and communication upon an appeal by a large number of French
senators and MPs for the annulment of the legislation. The law made
it punishable to deny the Armenian allegations with a prison term of
one-year and a fine of 45 thousand euros.

Davutoglu said relations between the two countries had weathered
"a turbulence," adding that Turkey needed to review the position
France would assume before lifting a series of measures Ankara had
taken after the approval of the denial law by the lower house of the
French parliament.

"We need to keep our channels open in the name of sharing a common
history [with Armenia]. And our common history should not be sacrificed
to the political ambitions of this or that leader," Davutoglu said.