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Turkish FM voices concern over French ban on denial of Armenian genocide

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (L), speaks during a joint news conference with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. (AFP Photo)
France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (L), speaks during a joint news conference with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. (AFP Photo)

Turkish foreign minister voiced concern Monday over the French senate's recent adoption of an amendment that bans the denial of the Armenian genocide.

Speaking at a joint press conference in the capital Ankara alongside his visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the recent ban was limiting the freedom of expression.

"The voting shows us that our concern is shared by many French lawmakers and senators as it was adopted by a little difference in votes," Çavuşoğlu said.

"The core values of the European Council such as the freedom of expression and the superiority of law is binding for all European countries. We hope that the French constitutional council overturns the law," the top diplomat added.

Turkey denies the alleged Armenian "genocide", but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events during World War I.

In Turkey's view, the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.

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