Armenian genocide bill 'betrays history': Turkish deputy PM

22nd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

A French bill making the denial of Armenian genocide a criminal offence was a "betrayal of history", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Thursday.

"I condemn the French parliament, which passed this bill meaning betrayal of history and historical truth," Arinc said on his Twitter account.

"The French parliament... dimmed out history and truth by approving the bill," he added.

Arinc accused the French lawmakers backing the bill of "bringing back the Inquisition", and he said the legislation was "evil-minded".

France's lower house of parliament approved the bill, which makes it a crime to deny that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians at the hands of Turkish Ottoman forces amounted to a genocide during World War I.

Turkey has recalled its ambassador from Paris in protest and about 30 people gathered outside the French consulate in Istanbul after the French lower house approved the bill.

"We have not committed genocide, we defended the homeland. Wait for us France, we will come," chanted protesters from the nationalist Worker's Party.

The draft law will now be considered by the French Senate and parliamentary committees, and may be enacted early next year, despite reported concerns from the foreign ministry about damage to France's ties with Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was expected to announce sanctions against Paris later Thursday.

© 2011 AFP

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