TURKISH ENVOY TRIES TO MOBILIZE FRENCH SENATORS FOR APPEAL
27 January 2012
Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoglu, summoned by Turkey after France accepted
the genocide bill, spoke to media members at Ä°stanbul Ataturk airport.
Turkey’s ambassador in Paris has initiated a campaign to see a French
bill that seeks to penalize the denial of “Armenian genocide” go to
the French constitutional court, by sending letters to senators who
opposed the bill and asking them to petition for an appeals case.
Turkey’s Ambassador to France Tahsin Burcuoglu has delivered letters to
the 86 French senators who voted against the controversial denial bill
in Monday’s senate vote, in hopes they will sign a petition to take
the bill to France’s superior court, on the grounds the bill violates
the French constitution and its founding base of freedom of expression.
Burcuoglu’s initiative follows Monday’s senate approval of the bill,
which passed through the senate through a narrower-than-expected
majority despite support from both the ruling and main opposition
parties. Despite the approval, French senators can take the bill to
the constitutional court, where it can be thrown out if the court
decides the bill is compromising French law. The appeals case needs
the signature of 60 lawmakers; currently the number of opponents who
have already signed the petition stands at 35.
However, Burcuoglu’s campaign might get stalled due to pressure from
the major parties, which have pressured their lawmakers not to sign the
petition. French senator Jacques MÃ©zard, however, noted it was the
first time a signature campaign against a bill has received support
from senators of six different blocs. Burcuoglu has until Tuesday to
convince more lawmakers, but his chances are believed to be very weak.
Meanwhile, a recent poll in France revealed that 93 percent of
the French nation was shocked by France’s making laws on other
countries, signaling a blowback on French President Nicolas Sarkozy,
who engineered the denial bill, allegedly to garner support from French
voters in the upcoming elections. Polls also show Sarkozy fell behind
his main rival, Socialist Francois Hollande, by a margin of 20 points.