At a protest outside the French consulate in Istanbul, Turkish people unhappy at the passing of the French ‘genocide bill’ vented their anger. One banner called the Armenian genocide a French imperial lie.
National newspapers condemned the law that will make it illegal to deny the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks was genocide.
There are around 70,000 ethnic Armenians living in Turkey. Their reactions have been more muted than those seen on the streets of Yerevan.
The Armenians living in Turkey have bigger concerns, according to Ara Kochunyan, a journalist who works for Armenian-language newspaper Jamanak.
“The importance of France or the importance of this decision doesn’t change a single fact in this matter. The law being passed by the French Senate doesn’t directly affect what is important – the relationship between Turkey and Armenia. This is a bilateral question between Turks and Armenians and it should be resolved accordingly,” said Kochunyan.
Meanwhile, riot police stood by while the radical right-wing Felicity Party made a statement outside the French embassy in Ankara, reiterating a familiar message coming from Turkey – that France has supplanted historians by deciding what happened to the Armenians was genocide.