Author Topic: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law  (Read 2948 times)

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Offline IncantatioN

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French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« on: January 24, 2012, 05:05:33 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16677986

Quote
The French Senate has approved a controversial bill that makes it a criminal offence to deny that genocide was committed by Ottoman Turks against Armenians during World War I. Armenia says up to 1.5 million people died in 1915-16 as the Ottoman empire split. Turkey rejects the term genocide and says the number was much smaller.

The measure will now be sent to President Sarkozy for final approval.

The bill's passage in the lower house caused major tensions with Turkey. Ankara froze ties with France after the vote last month and promised further measures if the Senate backed the proposal. In the event the Senate approved the bill by 127 votes to 86. The BBC's correspondent in Istanbul, Jonathan Head, says stronger Turkish measures could include the withdrawal of ambassadors and creating more barriers to French businesses in Turkey.

In the first reaction from Ankara, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin condemned the bill.

"The decision made by the Senate is a great injustice and shows total lack of respect for Turkey," he told the CNN-Turk television channel.

The Turkish embassy in Paris warned that if President Sarkozy approved the bill, the damage done to relations between the two countries would be permanent. "France is in the process of losing a strategic partner," Turkish embassy spokesman, Engin Solakoglu, told AFP news agency.

Armenia described the vote as "historic".

"This day will be written in gold not only in the history of friendship between the Armenian and French peoples, but also in the annals of the history of the protection of human rights worldwide," said Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, in a statement carried by AFP.

Free speech

The Turkish government argues that judging what happened to the Armenian community in eastern Turkey in 1915-16 should be left to historians, and that the French law will restrict freedom of speech. Turkish officials acknowledge that atrocities were committed but argue that there was no systematic attempt to destroy the Armenian people - and that many innocent Muslim Turks also died in the turmoil of the events, in the middle of World War I.

France formally recognised the killings as genocide in 2001, one of more than 20 countries which have done so. The current bill means that anyone denying the deaths were genocide would face a jail term and a fine of 45,000 euros (29,000; $58,000).

The bill was put forward by President Sarkozy's UMP party. France has half a million citizens of Armenian descent, and correspondents say their votes may be important in this year's presidential elections. Ahead of the vote, a spokesman for the French foreign ministry called for "calm," saying Turkey was a partner and a very important ally of France.

One of my colleagues at work is Armenian and was glad this was passed. My colleague indicated there was a systematic denial about the incident even by the US Government because of the incentive behind keeping Turkey happy. The genocide's recognized by a little more than 20 countries, but passing it as law is a bit tricky like the article mentions. If this passes, French-Turkish business/ trade relations will fall, setting their relationship back by decades. Plus, the issue of free speech since it's more than a formal acknowledgement.

What's your thought on this?
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 06:16:59 PM »
France has harsh laws against negationism because it was at the heart of World War II and so, just like Germany, doesn't look kindly on those matters. The same kind of laws already apply to the Shoah, and so it is only fair that they would also apply to the Armenian genocide. Turkey does whatever it wants on its own soil, and so does France. Turkey's attempts to pressure France into backing down are downright shameful as far as I'm concerned, and I personally don't think the votes of Armenian descendants in France's upcoming presidential elections were much of a consideration in this decision. This law has been in the works for a very long time now.

Now about freedom of speech. Are people allowed to kill others because they're free? Nope. Should they be allowed to advocate the killing of other people based on criteria such as "race", religion, or anything else because they're free? The take, in France, is that no, they shouldn't. As a French citizen I'm fine with that, and I don't think it impedes my freedom of speech in any way whatsoever. Furthermore, it's only ever applied to serious cases. No one's ever got into trouble for making a dumb Holocaust joke. Anti-negationism laws follow the same principle.

You can't have a group of people marching in the streets and shouting that the camps didn't exist. And the Westboro Baptist Church would never be able to pull their ridiculously insulting shit here. Does it prevent racism? No. But at least it discourages people from rubbing it in your face too blatantly.

Oh and needless to say it's a bogus argument from Turkey to begin with, a country that isn't in any position to give anybody lessons about freedom of speech. As for it being a matter best left to historians, it just so happens that all specialists pretty much agree on what happened at the time. The events were covered by the international press back then and all too, so really it's not like there's any doubts to be had.

Offline Johnstantine

Re: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 09:21:50 PM »
You can't have a group of people marching in the streets and shouting that the camps didn't exist. And the Westboro Baptist Church would never be able to pull their ridiculously insulting shit here. Does it prevent racism? No. But at least it discourages people from rubbing it in your face too blatantly.

Don't get me started with those idiotic cunts. I like in Oklahoma, so whenever OU has a big football game the WBC is always out to protest and say everyone is going to hell. For them to be around this long without someone outright killing them is the biggest shock for this planet. Had they gone to other countries to protest, I know for a fact they would have been murdered because of their enormous amount of disrespect towards everyone.

I'm an advocate of peace, but when it comes to them I wish someone would just wipe them off the map.

Offline Aphasia

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Re: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 07:01:03 PM »
I'm an advocate of peace, but when it comes to them I wish someone would just wipe them off the map.

You're not an advocate of peace if you don't advocate peace, even if they are dirtbags they don't deserve to die.

Offline Vampire_Hunter_Bob

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Re: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 03:41:24 PM »
I'm an advocate of peace, but when it comes to them I wish someone would just wipe them off the map.

The Westboro Baptist Church is harmless. Do they spread hate speech? Yes they do, specifically towards homosexuals, but keep in mind they are a group consisting almost entirely of Fred Phelp's immediate family. (They have also done a magnificent job making them selves illegitimate in the eyes of homophobic Christians by protesting the funerals of dead soldiers, not even homophobic Christians want to side with them because of their funeral protests.) Anyways their views aren't unique, it's held by just about every Christian group in the U.S., that isn't traditionally liberal (e.g. Unitarians and Episcopalians).

Offline Johnstantine

Re: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 06:37:54 PM »
You're not an advocate of peace if you don't advocate peace, even if they are dirtbags they don't deserve to die.

I'm an advocate of subjective peace.

Offline Groovy Metal Fist

Re: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 06:44:43 PM »
I'm an advocate of subjective peace.

Wait, what?  :???:

Is that like due process without judicial process or something?

Offline Johnstantine

Re: French Senate passes Armenian genocide law
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2012, 04:02:22 AM »
Wait, what?  :???:

Is that like due process without judicial process or something?

Sure, why not.