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Turkey threatens legislative retaliation if France passes Armenian genocide law

[JURIST] The head of the justice committee that reviews draft legislation in Turkey's parliament [official website] warned in an interview published in a Turkish newspaper Saturday that if France attempts to make it a crime to deny that the Ottoman Empire's treatment of the Armenians in 1915-18 [ANI backgrounder] was genocide, Turkey [CIA factbook; JURIST news archive] could pass a law penalizing anyone who denies that the French treatment of Algerians under colonial rule [JURIST report] was similarly genocide. Koksal Toptan said three Turkish lawmakers had already put forward retaliatory proposals. A spokesman for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs meanwhile declared [Sabah report] that French passage of an Armenian genocide bill "will be difficult to compensate for. You could lose Turkey."

In May 2006, French lawmakers attempted to pass the same law [JURIST report] but parliamentary debate did not conclude before the legislative session ended. The issue had been dormant until just last week when French President Jacques Chirac said while visiting the Armenian capital that Turkey should admit the genocide [TurkishPress.com report] before joining the EU [JURIST news archive]. AFP has more.

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