December 26, 2011 - 20:07 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The French National Assembly passed a law on Dec 22 that makes denying the Turkish Genocide of Armenians in the early 20th century a criminal offence. Ankara promptly recalled its ambassador to Paris. Turkey is overreacting, some commentators write, while others criticise the law as electoral tactics on the part of the ruling conservatives, according to EuroTopics.
On the one hand Turkey is not ripe for EU membership, writes the left-liberal Süddeutsche Zeitung, but on the other hand it is calling on France to repeal the Genocide law: "Many Turks are ready to join the European Union. But Tayyip Erdoğan's government is not. Its excessive threats against France for making the denial of Genocide a punishable offence give an idea of the damage it could do in the EU. It would hold the Union hostage to its nationalism.
A country that suppresses its own history is a ticking bomb. But to criticise Turkey is not to praise France for its Genocide law. ... France legally recognised the Genocide of the Armenians back in 2001. That was good and it was enough. It is excessive for it to now threaten anyone who doubts the Genocide with prison. ... France should repeal its law - and Turkey should finally assume responsibility and accept the blame for its wrongs."
With the Genocide law France's conservative government is merely trying to win the votes of the country's Armenian population, writes the left-liberal daily Le Monde: "The law doesn't help to protect the memory of the Armenians living in France. But it does lead to a profound and enduring conflict with Ankara. Turkey is wrong not to face up to its past. ... It is reacting excessively to the French bill by threatening Paris with far-reaching political and economic countermeasures. But a power struggle with Ankara is absurd. Never has France had greater need of sound cooperation with Turkey - because of its Middle East policy and especially because of Syria. So why such a law? Because of the election, of course. ... But this is no way to secure due respect for a community's tragic past."