Turkey's ambassador will return to Paris: sources

3rd January 2012, Comments 0 comments

Turkey's ambassador to Paris will soon return to France after he was recalled as French lawmakers approved a bill criminalising denial of the Armenian genocide, Turkish diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoglu, who was recalled to Turkey for consultations on December 23, will resume his work in Paris to try to prevent the French Senate from approving the bill, they said.

"I do not rule out (the possibility) that he is going back. He was recalled for consultations and it was not expected that he would stay in Turkey forever," a diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Another diplomatic source said Burcuoglu planned to be back to Paris next week.

French lawmakers last month voted to jail and fine anyone in France who denies that the 1915 killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire amounted to genocide, prompting Turkey to suspend political and military cooperation with Paris.

Turkey also threatened a new round of retaliations if the French Senate passes the bill, a process which could take months.

In 1915 and 1916, during World War I many Armenians died in Ottoman Turkey. Armenia says 1.5 million were killed in a genocide. Turkey says around 500,000 died in fighting after Armenians sided with Russian invaders.

© 2012 AFP

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