Expert on Genocide bill: France decided against impairing ties with Turkey

Expert on Genocide bill: France decided against impairing ties with Turkey

PanARMENIAN.Net - Recently, the relations between Turkey and France were rather strained. The adoption of a bill criminalizing the denial of Armenian Genocide would further exacerbate them, according to a Turkish Studies expert.

Commenting on the French Senate’s non-adoption of the bill in a conversation with a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter, Ruben Melkonyannoted, “with Turkey’s increasing presence in the international scene, many countries, including France, have to reckon with it. Recent international situation does not favor adoption of Genocide resolutions or similar draft laws,” he said.

The expert noted with regret that the Genocide issue was turned into a bargain between the states.

Dwelling on the response of France’s Armenian community, the expert noted, “I expect the reaction will be sharp, yet I’m more interested in the response of Charles Aznavour, who earlier said he’d undertake drastic steps were the bill not adopted.”

The French Senate on Wednesday, May 4 rejected a bill penalizing the denial of Armenian Genocide.

The bill, which was recently rejected by the French Senate Constitution Commission, envisioned five years in prison and a fine of up to 45,000 euros for people on French soil who deny Armenian Genocide. The bill was not endorsed by the French government either.

Earlier, the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France called on Armenian community representatives to gather in front of the Senate during the discussion of the bill to be presented by Serge Lagauche at 2:30 pm Paris time.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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