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Sarkozy moves on Armenian genocide bill

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Sarkozy moves on Armenian genocide bill

Postby joe » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:09 pm

Sarkozy moves on Armenian genocide bill

October 09 2006 at 12:45PM

By Swaha Pattanaik

Paris - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday set three conditions for Turkey to avoid a vote by French deputies on a bill making it a crime to deny Armenians suffered genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks.

Parliament, dominated by the Union for a Popular Movement that Sarkozy leads, is due on Thursday to discuss an opposition Socialist bill on Armenian deaths during World War One.

Turkey strongly denies the 1,5 million deaths constitute genocide

Though the conservative majority in parliament opposes the bill, Turkey fears many opponents will vote for the bill for fear of upsetting France's 400 000-strong Armenian diaspora ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

Sarkozy, conservative frontrunner for the presidential race and a long-standing opponent of Turkey's EU entry, said he had set out conditions for avoiding a vote in a telephone call with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

"The first is that there is a bilateral commission between Armenia and Turkey which has equal representation, so that these two countries can conduct the work of acknowledging history," he told France Inter radio.

"The second condition is that Turkey reopen its borders with Armenia. And the third condition is that Turkey gives up its penal law which forbids people speaking of the genocide in Turkey

He said he was not sure whether he had convinced Erdogan but added that the Turkish premier had taken note of them.

Erdogan on Sunday criticised the bill and Turkish lawmakers warned last week that illegal Armenian immigrants in Turkey may be expelled and French trade hurt if the measure were passed.

Ankara strongly denies estimates that 1,5 million Armenians perished at the hands of Ottoman Turks in a systematic genocide, saying large numbers of both Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks died in a partisan conflict raging at that time.

Sarkozy also said Turkey was not guaranteed EU entry even if it accepted calls for it to admit Armenians suffered genocide.

President Jacques Chirac has suggested recognition of the Armenian "genocide" should be a condition of Turkish EU entry, but Sarkozy said this would not be a sufficient condition.

"For me it is not a precondition to enter Europe. Because, to enter Europe, the fact that a country has a duty to acknowledge its history, as Germany did, is the minimum," Sarkozy told France Inter radio.

"But it is not because one does one's duty of acknowledging one's history that one has the right to enter Europe."

Sarkozy, who says the European Union cannot expand indefinitely and must have fixed borders, again criticised Ankara for failing to properly recognise EU member Cyprus because of a dispute over the divided island.

Turkey began its EU entry talks last year, though is not expected to join for many years.
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Postby Sotos » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:59 pm

If denying a crime is another crime then Turks should be jailed for life :lol: Since France can have such a law for the Armenians shouldn't we also have a similar law for anybody that denies the crimes of Turkey in Cyprus?
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Postby Issy1956 » Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:00 pm

I agree we should have such laws. And while we are at it we can have a similar law for people denying the crimes of the GC's and Greece against the Turkish Cypriots. If we did we Tassos could lead the way and put himself in prison. What a good idea.
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Postby cypezokyli » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:59 pm

Sotos wrote:If denying a crime is another crime then Turks should be jailed for life :lol: Since France can have such a law for the Armenians shouldn't we also have a similar law for anybody that denies the crimes of Turkey in Cyprus?

absolutely not.
i thought we were democratic :wink:
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Postby elko » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:27 pm

What a pitiful position for the ancestors of Voltaire. Talk about freedom of speech. Was is not Voltaire who said that I may not agree with you but I am ready to die for your right to speak.
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