News / Europe

Turkey Slams France Over 'Genocide' Bill, Armenia Hails Vote

Activists of an Armenian youth group gather at the French Embassy in Yerevan to express their gratitude to France's parliament for passing a bill that outlaws denial of Armenian genocide, in Yerevan, Armenia, January 24, 2012
Activists of an Armenian youth group gather at the French Embassy in Yerevan to express their gratitude to France's parliament for passing a bill that outlaws denial of Armenian genocide, in Yerevan, Armenia, January 24, 2012
TEXT SIZE - +

An aide to French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the president will sign the Armenian genocide bill into law within two weeks, despite the threat of Turkish sanctions.

The French Senate passed the bill Monday making it a crime to deny that the mass killings of Armenians by Turks nearly 100 years ago was genocide. The lower house passed it last month.

A furious Turkey condemns the bill as discriminatory and racist. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday said Turkey will impose sanctions against France "step by step." He did not say what those sanctions will be.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan says France has reaffirmed its devotion to universal human values. He called it a historic day for Armenians all over the world, and praised Mr. Sarkozy for his personal commitment to the bill.

The human rights group Amnesty International says the new law would have a "chilling effect" on public debate and freedom of expression in France.

Under the bill, anyone who says the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks is not genocide faces a $60,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

Armenia says 1.5 million Armenians were killed during World War I by troops of Turkey's Ottoman Empire. Turkey says Armenians were killed as part of a civil war and says the death toll is exaggerated. It says the deaths do not constitute genocide.

Turkey briefly recalled its ambassador to France when the lower house passed the bill in December. It also banned the French navy from using its territorial waters and restricted French military jets from using its airspace. The French Foreign Ministry calls on Turkey not to overreact, saying France considers Turkey a "very important ally."

Prime Minister Erdogan says France committed genocide in Algeria more than 60 years ago, murdering 15 percent of Algeria's population from 1945 until Algeria became independent in 1962. He also accuses Mr. Sarkozy of pandering to the hundreds of thousands of French voters of Armenian descent because he plans to run for re-election this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid