TURKEY ANGERED BY FRENCH BILL ON ARMENIANS

United Press International
Oct 16 2006

The French parliament's decision to make it a crime to deny that
Armenians were victims of genocide by Turkey during World War I has
deeply upset Turks.

The parliament approved the measure last week. The bill now goes to
the Senate.

The Turkish resentment is so strong, says the International Herald
Tribune, it has dampened enthusiasm over the awarding of the Nobel
Prize for Literature to Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk.

Pamuk himself had gone on trial before the case was dismissed on
charges of "insulting Turkishness" for reportedly saying 1 million
Armenians died in Turkey during World War I.

Turkey accepts many Armenians died during the collapse of the Ottoman
Empire but rejects the genocide accusation.

The Nobel award comes at a time when most Turks would rather forget
the Armenian killings. Turkey is also currently involved in delicate
negotiations over its membership in the European Union, for which
there is already much opposition in France.

"The EU wants any excuse to keep out Muslim Turkey and the Armenia
issue is just the latest example," a social worker who took part
in a weekend protest in Istanbul against the French bill told the
Herald Tribune.