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Turkish broadcasters urge boycott of French programs to protest genocide bill

[JURIST] Turkey's broadcasting watchdog urged a boycott Wednesday of French television programs and movies to protest the French parliament's approval [JURIST report] of a bill [legislative materials, in French] that criminalizes denial of an Armenian genocide [ANI backgrounder]. The board of directors of RTUK [media website] unanimously recommended the boycott after the French National Assembly [official website, in French] passed the bill last week. The French measure was approved despite Turkey's threat of trade sanctions [JURIST report] and the proposal of a similar bill against France [JURIST report] that would label as genocide the French colonial killings of Algerians [JURIST report].

Turkey [CIA factbook; JURIST news archive] is currently trying to join the European Union [official website], and the EU has expressed concern [JURIST report] over the timing of the French bill. It is unlikely to become law because French President Jacques Chirac [official profile, in French; BBC profile] and the French Senate oppose the measure. Turkey has admitted that many Armenians died during a period of removal in 1915-23, but denies that the deaths amounted to genocide [JURIST comment]. Reuters has more.

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