According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.12.11), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey cancelled bilateral military and economic cooperation and suspended all bilateral political consultation with France in protest of a resolution penalizing denial of Armenian genocide which is approved by French parliament yesterday. Erdogan also described the French vote as doing politics via racism and xenophobia ahead of presidential elections.
Turkish private NTV television (22.12.11) broadcast the following:
“Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the law that was recently enacted in France envisaging penalties for anyone refuting claims of an Armenian genocide.
In remarks about the sanctions to be applied to [France], Erdogan said in brief:
‘This decision is particularly unfortunate from our perspective. It is even more unfortunate for France. It is entirely at odds with human rights. The bill was unfortunately approved despite our warnings and suggestions. It will open serious wounds that will be hard to remedy.
It is significant that the bill was approved with a quorum that did not exceed one-tenth the membership of the [French] parliament. It is hard to understand how such diluted voting can occur. This is an unfair and inappropriate step. We condemn this decision strongly on behalf of Turkey. Our relations go back more than a hundred years.
This is a step whereby Sarkozy has sacrificed [relations with Turkey] for the sake of getting re-elected. This vote is more unfair to the people of France than to Turkey. Is there freedom of thought and expression in France? There is not. [This decision] has removed the environment of free discourse.
Anti-Turkish hostility for personal ambitions is worrisome. This is a highly malicious decision with ulterior motives. We will not remain silent.
Our efforts to ensure that the French people see the truths will continue. We will explain this racist and discriminatory behaviour. There is no such thing in our history. We do not accept it. Those who do not know history talk about a genocide in my country. I advise them to read history better.
· We are reviewing our relations with France. We will activate our measures in stages depending on the posture of France.
· We are recalling our ambassador in France to Ankara for consultations.
· We are cancelling political, military, and economic visits.
· We will not cooperate with France in EU adaptation projects.
· We are halting all types of political consultations with France.
· We are cancelling bilateral military activities and joint exercises with immediate effect.
· We are turning down all requests for permission for [French] naval vessels to visit [Turkish] ports as of today.
· We will not hold the planned January 2012 meeting of Turkish-French Economic and Trade Partnership Committee, which would be co-chaired by the economy ministers of the two countries.
· We are cancelling the annual blanket permit for over flight and landing and take-off rights for military planes; we are adopting an arrangement whereby a separate permission will be required for each flight.
This is the first phase or stage. Additional measures will be discussed depending on how the law proceeds in France and we will implement these resolutely in a way that does not leave any room for doubt.
Everyone, friend or foe, should know that we are proud of our history. We face up to every development that has occurred in our history. History cannot be written through parliamentary votes. At best, such votes distort history. Neither history nor peoples will forgive those who distort history.’”PIO
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