‘CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL MAY REJECT DENIAL BILL’
Jan 24 2012
A bill passed by the French Senate on Monday night that makes denying
the Armenian genocide an imprisonable offence runs a chance of being
invalidated by the Constitutional Council, a Turkish-French relations
expert at the French Strategic and International Relations Institute
(IRIS) has said.
Contacted by Today’s Zaman prior to Monday’s late night Senate vote
on the bill, Didier Billion said the bill would only deepen the wounds
in bilateral relations between Turkey and France.
“Our hope is that, in the event of it passing through Senate, this
ridiculous and unreasonable bill will be returned by the Constitutional
Council,” Billion told Today’s Zaman, before the results of the vote
were publicized. Many in Turkey have expressed anger towards French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, who Billion accused of having anti-Turkish
“The bill not only aims to earn the votes of the Armenian diaspora in
France; it is also motivated by Sarkozy’s negative feelings towards
Turks,” Didier said, suggesting that there was a personal aspect to
the bill. Sarkozy also opposes Turkey’s entry into the EU.
Jean-Vincent Place, leader of the Green Party that opposed the bill,
made further claims that there had been serious pressure placed on
senators to vote in favor of the bill.