In Paris Turkish people from across Europe protested against the French Senate’s plans to vote on Monday on a bill making it illegal to deny the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
France’s lower house voted overwhelmingly last month in favour of a draft law. That prompted outrage from Ankara which cancelled all economic, political and military meetings with Paris.
President Sarkozy has been accused of using the bill to win election votes of half a million ethnic Armenians in France.
“The historians have to do research in the two countries, not just one. The member of parliament who proposed the bill went to Armenia, but why did she never go to Ankara to have a look at the Turkish archives?” asked one of the protestors Tadji, a French national of Turkish origin.
On a visit to South Korea Turkey’s foreign minister fired a warning to Paris. Ahmet Davutoglu called on the Senate to reject the bill or Turkey would take further action.
Ankara argues there was a heavy loss of life on both sides during fighting in the region.
A senate panel has said if the bill is passed it would violate statues including one of free speech. The law is expected to go through.