No Christmas cheer between Turkey and France, whose controversial voting of a law criminalising genocide denial has angered Turks who feel it is targetting them and their treatment of the Armenians during World War I.
The vote triggered demonstrations in Paris from the Turkish community there, and now Turkey’s deputy prime minister has made a personal attack on President Nicolas Sarkozy.
“I myself witnessed a promise Sarkozy made to our prime minister and president that he would not let this bill pass through parliament. He said these sort of initiatives would never get through, but now I get news from his circle saying he has an election coming up, and not to bother him,” said Ali Babacan.
The French parliament passd the law on Thursday, but there was immediate criticism from some quarters that Sarkozy was pandering to the Armenian community to get their vote in the May presidential election. It will need ratification in the Senate, parliament’s upper house.
Yerevan claims a million and a half Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman empire.