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Turkish veterans to sue France over World War I killings

[JURIST] A Turkish veterans association has announced that it will bring lawsuits before the European Court of Human Rights [official website] on behalf of 6,317 Turks allegedly killed in the southern province of Gaziantep [Wikipedia backgrounder] by French and Armenian troops when France occupied the territory during World War I. Turkish National Power Veterans Association leader Sevret Saltan says that suits are a response to a highly-controversial French bill [legislative materials, in French] that would impose penalties on anyone denying that Turkey committed genocide in Armenia [ANI backgrounder] during the war. The bill passed the lower house of the French parliament [JURIST report] last week but must also be approved by the Senate and the President before it becomes law. French President Jacques Chirac [official profile, in French] apologized to Turkey for the bill [JURIST report], leading many to believe that it will not succeed. Nevertheless, the Turkish parliament has passed a resolution condemning the bill and has even considered its own retaliatory bill [JURIST reports] accusing the French of genocide in Algeria during the colonial period.

Saltan claims to have documents that evidence the mass killings of Turkish people by French forces, and the Gaziantep Bar Association has expressed support for the suit. TurksUS has more.

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