Turkey warns France of more action over genocide bill

By REUTERS
December 28, 2011 23:54

ANKARA - Turkey on Wednesday warned France it would take further action against Paris should the French senate pass a bill making it a crime to deny the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey constituted genocide.

Ankara reacted furiously when the lower house of the French parliament last week approved the bill, recalling its ambassador from Paris, banning French military aircraft and warships from landing and docking in Turkey and freezing political and economic meetings.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan slammed the bill as "politics based on racism, discrimination and xenophobia" and turned his anger on French President Nicolas Sarkozy, accusing France of colonial massacres in Algeria.

In a statement, the National Security Council, the top state body for security matters, said it hoped "common sense" would prevail in France and that Paris would give up on its "mistake".

France is Turkey's fifth biggest export market and the sixth biggest source of its imports, with bilateral trade worth $14 billion in the first 10 months of 2011.


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