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Monday, December 18, 2006

Turkish MFA condemns passage of Argentina Armenian genocide bill
Jeannie Shawl at 9:13 AM ET

[JURIST] The Turkish government has condemned the passage [JURIST report] of legislation in Argentina which refers to the mass killings of Armenians [BBC Q/A] in Turkey around the time of World War I as genocide and establishes a day of annual commemoration on April 24. In a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Turkey said the bill "is an example of falsification of history." The Argentinean bill must still be signed by the president and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan [official profile; BBC profile] has already urged the president not to do so, saying the bill is in violation of international law [Turkish Daily News report; JURIST report]. PanARMENIAN.Net has more.

The Argentinean bill follows closely on the heels of controversial French legislation touching on the same issue. In October, the French National Assembly approved a bill [JURIST report] criminalizing any refusal to characterize the Armenian as genocide, but it still needs approval by the French Senate and President Jacques Chirac [official profile, in French] to become national law. Many believe that will never happen, however, as both Chirac and the European Union have separately and publicly denounced the bill, and many French observers view it as a direct violation of the nation's tradition of free speech. Chirac has already offered an apology [JURIST report] over the bill to Erdogan.






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