By Edmond Y. Azadian
Criminalizing the Genocide in France has touched off a political debate with international repercussions. The passage of the bill on December 22 in the French National Assembly has angered Turkish leaders, who are threatening France with a number of measures and decrying the “irreparable damage” to Franco-Turkish relations, should the bill be ratified by the French Senate before end of January, as predicted.
In the past, Ankara used to recall its ambassador for a period and gradually forget its threats of retaliation. This time around, it does not seem to be business as usual. Indeed the Turkish Ambassador to France Tahsin Burcuoglu has returned to Paris after consultations in Ankara and he has been assigned to lead the political campaign against the passage of the bill in the French Senate.
Instead of keeping the ambassador out of France, Turkey has threatened to discontinue discussions with Paris on the developments in Syria.
As has become common knowledge by now, Washington has begun using surrogates in the Middle East to topple regimes hostile to Israel, as was the case in Libya, rather than sacrificing 4,500 of its own military, as it happened in Iraq.
Syria is the next target in line, which compels cooperation between Paris and Ankara. Turkey is also threatening to revise its military and economic relations with France. France is Turkey’s fifth largest export market and sixth largest importer with bilateral trade worth $14 billion in 2011 and growing. France is also a contender to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey, which also has become a political hot potato in the current atmosphere of tension.