EU says French law no threat to Turkey's EU bid

13th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

HELSINKI, Oct 13, 2006 (AFP) - The French parliament's adoption of a bill making it a crime to deny that the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks constituted genocide will not affect Turkey's EU membership bid, a senior EU official said Friday.

HELSINKI, Oct 13, 2006 (AFP) - The French parliament's adoption of a bill making it a crime to deny that the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks constituted genocide will not affect Turkey's EU membership bid, a senior EU official said Friday.

"One thing is what happens in France, (a) second thing is what we are doing as (the) European Union with a candidate country," External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner told Finnish television YLE.

"In France ... (the issue of the Armenian genocide) has come up from time to time because there is a strong community there that always very strongly comes up with this issue," she said.

The French parliament on Thursday approved a bill that would make it a crime to deny that the 1915-1917 massacres of Armenians was genocide.

The crime would carry a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to EUR 45,000.

The French vote provoked protests from Turkey and dissent from the European Union.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their ancestors were slaughtered in orchestrated killings that they say can only be seen as genocide, while Turkey says 300,000 Armenians died when the Ottoman Empire fell apart during World War I.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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