France's Hollande expected to meet Dink widow in Turkey

France's Hollande expected to meet Dink widow in Turkey

PanARMENIAN.Net - French President François Hollande, who will visit to Turkey next week, is expected to meet with Rakel Dink, the widow of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated seven years ago, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

On January 23, 2012 the French Senate passed the bill criminalizing 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 a bill adopted by the French Senate making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide was anti-constitutional.

Hollande confirmed plans for a new law criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide with representatives of the Armenian community.

Hollande will try “to prevent the genocide issue from overshadowing his efforts to improve ties with Ankara,” the HDN says. In this respect, he is expected to give messages of reconciliation “as the Turkish government is also keen on mending fences with Armenia, with which it has no diplomatic relations.” Hollande’s meeting with Dink’s widow, who is currently the head of the Hrant Dink Foundation, is a part of that policy, it says.

Hollande will become the first French president to pay a state visit to Turkey in 22 years. Following his official talks in Ankara, he will hold several meetings in Istanbul.

He is also expected to deliver a speech at Galatasaray University, and bestow a French state award on Candan Erçetin, a singer and deputy chair of the Galatasaray sports club, the HDN says.

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