PARIS (AFP) — French senators have passed a bill outlawing the denial of the Armenian Genocide in 1915, with a seething Turkey slamming the move and warning of consequences while Armenia hailed a day “written in gold.”
The French Senate on Monday, January 23, approved, by 127 votes to 86, the measure which threatens with jail anyone in France who denies that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turk forces amounted to genocide.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose right-wing UMP party put forward the bill, must now sign the bill for it to become law.
Turkey furiously denounced the move, with Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin telling CNN-Turk television that it was “a great injustice and shows a total lack of respect for Turkey.”
“We strongly condemn this decision which is… an example of irresponsibility,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a written statement, adding that the government would not hesitate to swiftly implement retaliatory measures.”
When France’s lower house passed the bill last month, Ankara froze political and military ties with Paris.