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

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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs