France asks Turkey to admit genocide

Expatica, Netherlands
Dec 13 2004

France asks Turkey to admit genocide

BRUSSELS, Dec 13 (AFP) – France wants Turkey to acknowledge the World
War One massacre of Armenians during negotiations on its membership
of the European Union, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Monday.

“It is a request that France will make, to recognise the tragedy from
the start of the century …. Turkey must carry out this task as a
memorial,” he told reporters after talks with his EU counterparts in

France’s Armenian community has vowed to press President Jacques
Chirac to prevent negotiations on Turkish membership of the European
Union until Turkey acknowledged responsibility for the massacre.

EU leaders are expected to give Turkey a conditional green light at a
summit this week to start membership talks with the block, while
setting a series of strict conditions and warning the whole process
could take at least a decade.

The Armenian massacre has been a bone of contention for nearly nine
decades, with Turkey consistently refusing to acknowledge that
genocide in 1915-1917, when up to 1.5 million Armenians died.

Turkey says that between 250,000 and 500,000 Armenians and thousands
of Turks were killed in civil strife during World War One, when the
Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers.

The French parliament passed legislation in 2001 stating that
genocide had occurred, thereby causing hard feelings in relations
with Turkey.