How much France will pay for genocide21.12.2011 | 22:06
Turkish Ambassador to France Tahsin Burcuoglu is packing his suitcase to take the nearest plane to Ankara. Relationship between the two countries have been most strained since it became known that the French Senate is going to pass a law criminalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. The news could be left without attention by neither Armenia, where Paris' decisions are regarded as own victory, nor Azerbaijan being Turkey's permanent ally. GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked journalists from these countries to comment on the coming event.
Life may soon become hard for the Turks living in France. Public denial of the Armenian genocide in the Turkish Empire will be punished with a prison term and a 45 000-euro fine. In this way, France is going to rank the events of 1915 among the gravest crimes against humanity in the world history.
Ankara has more than once warned Paris of inadmissibility of such step but the upcoming presidential elections are much more meaningful for the French authorities than relationship with Turkey. Armenian diaspora in France is numerous and influential; in fact, it could provide half a million votes to the government.
Ankara is not going to confine itself to diplomatic measures of pressing upon Paris. It has already got a vengeance plan similar to the one realized during the aggravation of relations with Israel. Any contacts with France will be frozen at all levels. The Turkish ambassador's return home won't distress the French much but the sanctions against the French companies working in Turkey might cost the country's economy a packet.
French policy will possibly cost over thirteen billion euros - that is the income brought by the goods turnover between the countries. There are about one thousand French companies in Turkey including 30 leading companies realizing large-scale projects in various branches, from insurance sector to cars and aircraft industry. There is a plan on constructing an atomic power station in the Black Sea province of Sinop, the project being estimated at 20 billion dollars. Airbus Company is one of the major bus suppliers to Turkey.
However, we might present a similar long list of the Turkish economic interests in France, so Paris will have something to respond with to the economic blockade.
One cannot say Paris news created a furor in Yerevan. Still, Yerevan regards the current events as its own victory. "I can't see anyone streaming French flags in the streets but it is success, nevertheless. Perhaps, it will become another step to make Turkey rewrite the official historical version, for the position of France blocks Turkey's way to the European Union", - a Yerevan newspaper reporter told GTimes.
The neighbouring Azerbaijan sympathizes with Turkey much. Non-recognition of the Armenian genocide is the principal and rigid position for the official Baku. Head of Moscow office of SalamNews portal Roman Agayev is telling us about the contribution Azerbaijan could make to the fight with France.
"France is a co-chairman in the OSCE Minsk Group. Its former chairman has recently held meetings in Baku but was replaced by another one.
What can Azerbaijan do? It can take part in the Turkish demarche, recall the envoy, but that's not the point. Azerbaijan can raise the issue of France being prejudiced in the process of Karabakh settlement. OSCE Minsk Group is already discussing the issue of replacing the third observer, France, by European Union. This issue should be intensified and Paris should be removed from negotiations", - Roman Agayev says.
Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan had come down on France criticizing it for the possible passage of a draft law criminalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide. "No historian or politician can see any genocide in our history. And those who want to find genocide should turn back and look at their own bloody and tainted history", - Erdogan said at a joint press-conference with Chairman of the National Transitional Council of Libya Mustafa Abdul Jalil on December 17.
Erdogan also remarked of a well-known fact that France is accountable for the death of 45 thousand people of Algeria in 1945 and for slaughtering 800 thousand people in Ruanda in 1994: "National Assembly of France must shed light on the events in Algeria and Ruanda as well".
"I hope the French parliament will step back from an error distorting the history and the punishment of those denying a historical lie. Turkey is going to come out against this purposeful, wicked, unjust and illegal attempt using all diplomatic means", - the Turkish PM pointed out.