A war of words is heating up in a row between Paris and Ankara.
The Turkish prime minister has accused France of having carried out genocide in Algeria since 1945.
This a day after France’s lower house approved a draft law that will make it illegal to deny that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks was genocide.
Turkey has recalled its ambassador and cancelled bilateral political, economic and military activities.
One Istanbul resident said on euronews: “I don’t believe foreign governments have all the historical documentation they need to form an unbiased opinion on the Armenian issue. But I also think our government does not do enough to share our history with them.”
Another man condemned the vote, saying: “We have Armenians in this country and we’ve all been living peacefully side by side for years. But at the time, during wartime, a few events may have taken place.”
As the Turkish ambassador left Paris, Ankara slammed the draft law as xenophobic. It claims the bill, still to be approved by the French Senate, is aimed at winning votes among France’s Armenian community for President Sarkozy in elections next year.
Paris claims it has no power to stop a private members bill, even though the MP behind it is from the ruling party. It also says the bill covers all genocides.
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