Turkey sends delegation to France to lobby against Armenian Genocide bill

Turkey sends delegation to France to lobby against Armenian Genocide bill

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish parliament and the Foreign Ministry sent a committee to France prior to the vote on the bill penalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, scheduled to appear on the French parliament’s agenda on May 4.

According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the committee consists of representatives specializing in foreign politics from political parties in parliament, headed by the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Düzce deputy Yaşar Yakış.

Osman Korutürk, who served as the Turkish Ambassador to France from 2005-2009 when the draft was first brought to the agenda, is part of the committee. He said that the Turkish committee “is conducting meetings in France regarding the bill in order to preserve Turkish-French relations.”

Yakış and Korutürk will be joined by AKP Istanbul deputy Nur Suna Memecan, Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Ankara deputy Tuğrul Türkeş, and Republican People’s Party, or CHP, deputy leader Gülsün Bilgehan.

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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