Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked French President Nicolas Sarkozy to block legislation criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide in 1915, according to state-run Anatolia news agency.
Passage of the measure would have “perilous” results for the two countries’ political, economic and cultural ties, Erdogan wrote in a letter to Sarkozy, according to the news agency. Erdogan said he hopes Sarkozy will stand by promises to prevent the bill from becoming law, the agency said.
The French parliament will vote Dec. 22 on a measure that would punish people saying that the events of 1915 aren’t genocide by a year in prison and a 45,000 euro fine ($59,000), the agency reported yesterday.
The Turkish government denies that any genocide occurred, saying tens of thousands of ethnic Turks and Armenians died in clashes during World War I under the Ottoman Empire after Armenian groups sided with Russia.