Turkey to watch French steps after Hollande’s reassurances over Armenian genocide bill

Turkey to watch French steps after Hollande’s reassurances over Armenian genocide bill

Photo: www.tccb.gov.tr

Turkey will watch France’s steps to see which direction they go as far as the renewed promise of Paris to draft a new legislation to penalize the denial of the Ottoman-era genocide of Armenians is concerned, according to officials in Ankara.

Over the weekend French President Francois Hollande reportedly reassured members of the influential Armenian community of France that he remained committed to his campaign pledge to have the legislation passed despite controversial comments made earlier by his foreign minister.

At a joint press conference with his visiting Turkish counterpart last Thursday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius indicated that the Constitutional Council’s ruling revoking the related law passed under the previous administration of President Nicolas Sarkozy would make it impossible to take up the issue again.

“We must find a path, a road that allows for a text that is consistent with the constitution,” President Hollande said, according to his office.

Much of the news was spread by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France, the representative body of the 500,000-strong French-Armenian community.

In response to the reports, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Monday that Turkey will not act based on “rumors coming from outside”.

“We will follow the development and will know what consequences it may lead to,” he said, according to Turkish press agency reports.

President Gul said that during his meeting with Hollande they had agreed to abandon misunderstanding and open a new chapter in Turkey-France relations. The same arrangement was reached during Hollande’s meeting with Premier Erdogan, he said.

Following the Hollande-Erdogan meeting as part of the G-20 summit in Mexico last month Ankara announced the lifting of all sanctions imposed on Paris earlier this year over the Armenian genocide-related bill.