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Turkey threatens sanctions if France adopts Armenian genocide law

[JURIST] Turkey will impose trade sanctions on France if the French parliament adopts a bill that would criminalize the denial that the World War I-era massacre of Armenians [ATI backgrounder] in Turkey constitutes genocide, according to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile]. As many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the then-Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1917 in what Armenians consider a genocide; Turkey has insisted that the deaths do not constitute genocide [Turkish DC Embassy backgrounder].

The French National Assembly is slated to consider an opposition Socialist party-sponsored bill [National Assembly materials] this Thursday that would make denying the massacre was genocide illegal. Offenders could face a five-year jail sentence and fines up to $57,000. France already has a law on the books which recognizes the massacre as genocide. AFP has more.

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