TURKISH PM URGES SARKOZY TO BLOCK GENOCIDE BILL
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appealed Friday to French President Nicolas Sarkozy to block an Armenian genocide bill and warned of "serious consequences" if it passes.
The legislation before the French parliament would criminalize the denial of the killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide, a move long resisted by Ankara, AFP reports.
"This bill directly targets the Turkish Republic, the Turkish nation and the Turkish community living in France, and it is hostile," Erdogan said in a letter sent to Sarkozy.
Erdogan warns of "irreparable" damage the bill, if passed, would do to Franco-Turkish relations, in the letter quoted by the Anatolia news agency.
If the bill passes, there will be "serious consequences regarding political, economic and cultural... ties between Turkey and France," Erdogan warned.
According to the news agency, the issue is "sensitive" and "the demands of third parties should not hold captive the ties" between the two countries, Erdogan said in a reference to Armenia, which uses diplomatic channels to pressure Turkey about genocide.
- 1920 The Revolutionary Committee of the Armenian SSR decrees the nationalization of all cultural and educational institutions.
- 1947 Death of Goorgen Alemshah. He was born in 1907.