Turkish President Abdullah Gul has called on France to halt plans for a law criminalising the denial of the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide.
The French lower house of parliament is due to consider a
bill that proposes a one-year prison term and a heavy fine.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million people died during mass deportations. Turkey puts the figure at closer to 300,000.
In a statement, President Gul said the proposed legislation, set
to go before the National Assembly on Thursday, denied Turkey the freedom to reject unfair and groundless accusations . He also suggested that France was jeopardising centuries of friendship because of small political calculations .
Last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote to French President Nicolas Sarkozy warning him that bill was
hostile and directly targeted Turkey and Turks living in France. Such steps will have grave consequences for future relations between Turkey and France in political, economic, cultural and all areas, and the responsibility will rest with those
behind this initiative, the Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.
A delegation of Turkish MPs and businessmen has travelled to Paris to lobby against the bill and was due to meet Sarkozy's diplomatic adviser, Jean-David Levitte, and
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe.
23rd December 2011. See article from
The Turkish prime minister has announced measures against France after MPs passed a bill criminalising denial of the 1915-16 Armenian genocide .
Ankara is recalling its ambassador and freezing political visits as well as joint military
projects, including exercises, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
The bill was passed by the French National Assembly on Thursday and is due to go before the Senate next year.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has publicly opposed it.
Under the bill, those publicly denying genocide would face a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros.