AKP Debates Turkish Response to French Bill on Armenian Genocide

Article Summary
As the French Senate approved a draft bill criminalizing denial of Armenian genocide, the Central Council of Turkey’s ruling AK Party discussed what form Turkey’s response would take. Some members called for lowering diplomatic ties with France to a minimum, while others called for economic sanctions. Abdullah Karakus reports.

Yesterday [January 23, 2011], as the French Senate debated the controversial bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide, Turkish Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan called on the [Justice and Development Party’s] Central Council to follow the developments. Foreign Minister [Ahmet] Davutoglu briefed the Council on the latest developments [in France], and what [kinds of events] might transpire from now on [between Turkey and France].

Davutoglu mentioned that  attendance to the Senate [session] was very low. "Only those in support of the draft bill are present, as happened with the Parliamentary debate. This means the draft bill will be passed,” he noted. [It was passed later that day]. Davutoglu then took part in a one and a half hour meeting with Erdogan to review the situation.

Erdogan told the Council that he might not return to France should Sarkozy be reelected. Council members called for harsh reactions and permanent sanctions against France

The measures debated yesterday included:

  1. Mobilizing all possible international legal channels.
  2. Imposing permanent, not temporary, sanctions.
  3. Recalling the Turkish ambassador for a long period of time, as opposed to the short period for which he was recalled following the initial vote [in the lower house of the French parliament].
  4. Reducing diplomatic ties to a minimum, as was done with Israel [following the Israeli boarding of the Turkish sponsored flotilla to Gaza in 2010].
  5. Banning French companies from bidding on public projects.
  6. Recalling the Turkish military attaché from France and canceling the accreditation of the French military attaché in Ankara.
  7. Closing Turkish air space to French military planes.
  8. Closing Turkish territorial waters to French military vessels.
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