IF THIS PROPOSAL IS LEGISLATED, FRANCE WILL PIONEER THE RETURN OF A MIDDLE AGES MINDSET TO EUROPE: AHMET DAVUTOĞLU
Turkey's Foreign Minister has blasted France for promulgating a "Middle Ages" mentality ahead of a French Parliament debate on a proposal to criminalize the denial of the .
"If this proposal is legislated, France will pioneer the return of a Middle Ages mindset to Europe," Ahmet Davutoğlu told the Turkish parliament late Wednesday.
France's move would "create a new dogma about understanding history, to forbid alternative thoughts. This is the mentality of the Middle Ages. The adoption of this mindset in France is the greatest danger for Europe," Davutoğlu said.
Later, a Turkish Parliamentary delegation left for Paris in an attempt to prevent the passage of a proposed resolution criminalizing the rejection of the .
"We are here to tell French officials about the negative effects the resolution would have on Turkish-French relations if it is enacted," delegation head Volkan Bozkır told reporters.
Trade volume between the two countries was close to 13.5 billion euros per year, Bozkır said, adding that French investments in Turkey had reached 6.5 billion euros and that nearly 2,000 French companies were doing business in Turkey.
Bozkır also said 1 million French tourists visited Turkey every year.
An "uneasy" period will begin in Turkish-French relations if the resolution is adopted, Bozkır said. Cooperation between the two countries, which has had a considerable effect on fostering peace and stability in the region and in the world, would be significantly harmed, he added, according to Anatolia news agency.
The French parliament will decide on Dec. 22 whether to adopt the resolution, which calls for a one-year jail term and a 45,000-euro fine to anyone denying the .
To recall, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on Turkey to recognize the and promised his country's large Armenian community to support a law criminalizing the denial of a the Genocide.
- 1808 Birth of Mser Mseryants (public figure and philologist) in Smyrna. He died in 1873 in Moscow (Russia).
- 1883 Spandar Spandarian publishes the "Nor Dar" newspaper in Tbilissi (Georgia).
- 1885 Birth of Askanaz Mravyan (bolshevik politician). He was murdered by Soviet Police in 1929.
- 1912 The tsarist government promulgates a law on farmers' rights in the regions of Tbilissi, Kutais, Yerevan, Elizavetpol, and Baku provinces. Their servitude is abolished and they are allowed to buy back their land with state support.