Turkish MPs drop proposed 'Algeria genocide' law

11th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

ANKARA, Oct 11, 2006 (AFP) - Turkish legislators Wednesday dropped proposals to brand as genocide the killings of Algerians under French colonial rule, parliamentary sources said.

ANKARA, Oct 11, 2006 (AFP) - Turkish legislators Wednesday dropped proposals to brand as genocide the killings of Algerians under French colonial rule, parliamentary sources said.

The drafts had been submitted in retaliation to a French bill that, if accepted, would provide jail terms for those who deny that Turks committed genocide against Armenians during World War I.

After a three-hour debate on several draft laws, members of the parliament's justice commission voted to refer the proposals to a sub-committee for further discussion, a move that effectively freezes the proposals.

The justice commission is the first instance where bills are debated before being sent to a vote at the general assembly.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had urged legislators Tuesday to refrain from any retaliatory action, saying, "we do not clean filth with filth."

The French draft, to be debated and voted at the National Assembly on Thursday, foresees for one year in prison and a 45,000-euro (57,000-dollar) fine for denying that Armenians were victims of genocide during World War I.

Infuriated by the move, Ankara has warned that bilateral ties will suffer and French companies will be barred from major economic projects in Turkey, if the bill is adopted.

Two of the three drafts that the justice commission examined Wednesday call for the recognition of the killings of Algerians under French colonial rule as genocide.

The third draft called for the imprisonment of those who assert Armenians were victims of genocide under the Ottoman Empire.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings between 1915 and 1917.

Turkey rejects the genocide label, arguing that 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with invading Russian troops as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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