French Genocide Bill Angers Turkey

French Genocide Bill Angers Turkey

By SONJA DECHIAN | Published: DECEMBER 20, 2011

A bill due to go before the French parliament on Thursday would make it illegal to deny the 1915 Armenian genocide. The draft law proposes a one year prison sentence and 45,000 euro fine for anyone guilty of denying the killings constitute genocide.

In a press conference last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned France to examine its own ‘dirty and bloody history’ before making laws regarding Turkish history.

‘Let it go to the trouble of highlighting and looking at what happened in Africa, in Rwanda and Algeria,’ Erdogan said. He suggested the bill was aimed at pleasing the 500,000 French voters of Armenian descent.

France officially recognized the Armenian genocide in 2001. French President Nicholas Sarkozy has previously urged Turkey to recognize the killings as genocide, but the Turkish government maintains the events of 1915 do  not fit the definition of genocide.

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