August 31, 2012 - 13:48 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış’ response to France’s decision to include a chapter about the Armenian Genocide in secondary school textbooks proves Turkish government’s intention to continue denial policy, head of Co-ordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) said.
As Mourad Papazian told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter, Turkey will run counter to France at international level, if President Francois Hollande signs the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial.
“Turkish threats against France are unacceptable. We take steps that will counter mean tricks to deny the Genocide. We launch campaigns to unmask Turkey, which perpetrated the arrest of hundreds of journalists, lawyers, trade unionists and students. Truth will win in the end,” Mr. Papazian said.
Official Ankara has voiced a “strong protest” against France’s decision to include a chapter about the Armenian Genocide in secondary school textbooks.
Turkey’s EU Minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bağış has urged Paris “against testing bilateral relations once again”.
“I call on the French authorities to intensify efforts in resolving the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the framework of OSCE Minsk Group rather than distort the historical facts,” he said.
He also urged the French authorities to “face own history rather than check-up fictitious facts.”
According to earlier Turkish media reports, the French Education Ministry has decided to include chapters about the Genocide in history and geography textbooks by order of President Hollande.
On January 23, 2012, the French Senate passed the bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. The bill envisaged imposing 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.
Later, the French Constitutional Council ruled that the bill as anti-constitutional. In a statement the Council said the document represented an “unconstitutional breach of the practice of freedom of expression and communication.”
After election, President Holande pledged to introduce a similar bill that would go in line with the country’s constitution.
Turkish Education Ministry officials said they will first need to examine the book and see if it “includes phrases that incriminate Turkey and they will respond in line with international law through diplomatic channels.”