Turkey cuts ties with France

2011-12-23 08:10

Ankara - Turkey announced on Thursday the suspension of political and military co-operation with France after French lawmakers approved a bill making it a crime to deny Armenian genocide.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan said Turkey will recall its ambassador from Paris and suspend mutual political visits as well as joint military projects, including joint exercises.

He said the bill would open "very grave" and "irreparable" wounds in ties with leading EU member and fellow Nato member France.

"From now on we are revising our relations with France," he said.

Most of the sanctions imposed on France will be in the military sphere.


But Erdogan said Ankara will also halt political consultations with Paris. Both countries were engaged in intensive dialogue over the latest developments in the Middle East including the crisis in Syria.

Turkey will now decide on a case-by-case on every military demand made by EU member France to use Turkish airspace and military bases, Erdogan said, and will from now on reject any French demand for its military vessels to dock at Turkish ports.

He said Turkey would boycott a joint economic committee meeting in Paris in January and would not take part in twinning projects with France.

France's lower house of parliament approved the bill, which makes it a crime to deny that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians at the hands of Turkish Ottoman forces amounted to a genocide during World War I.

Erdogan accused French lawmakers who backed the bill of making political decisions on the basis of "racism, discrimination and xenophobia".

"There is no genocide committed in our history. We do not accept it," said Erdogan.

He also lashed out at French President Nicolas Sarkozy, accusing him of electioneering ahead of next year's presidential election to win the votes of 500 000 Armenians living in France.

"History and people will never forgive those exploiting historical facts to achieve political ends," said Erdogan.

Turkey and France have enjoyed close ties since Ottoman Empire times, coupled with strong economic links, but relations took a downturn after Sarkozy became president in 2007 and raised vocal objections to Turkey's EU accession.

Erdogan said the law was against freedom of expression.

"Is there freedom of thought and freedom of expression in France?" he said. "Let me give the answer: 'No'."

He said the French parliament had trampled on freedom, equality and fraternity, the symbols of the French revolution.

  • BA - 2011-12-23 08:44

    Oh please - the Turks are such a bunch of hypocrits. Even now they are committing gross human rights violations against the Kurds, having killed tens of thousands over the years and denying them freedom, and yet they have the nerve to criticize France for racism, discrimination and xenophobia, and Israel because a bunch of Turkish islamist fanatics tried to break a legal naval blockade, kill Israeli soldiers, and then a handfull were killed in self-defence. Typical double-standards and stinking hypocrisy.

      Waleed - 2011-12-23 10:26

      "...Turkish islamist fanatics ..." buddy, there were two holocaust survivors on the flotilla, aswell as numerous priests and Rabbi's.

      BA - 2011-12-23 11:34

      I'm definitely not your buddy. And if you were not so ignorant, you would know that the ship in question (not the flotilla) are hardcore, militant islamists, according to their own website, so don't come with this rubbish about rabbis.

  • Eugene - 2011-12-23 08:55

    It won't help Turkey much in its bid to become an EU member... That said, I find the French law utterly absurd. It's not the state's business to prescribe what people should or should not have the right to believe or say.

      BA - 2011-12-23 11:43

      There is no absolute right to say anything you want in any constitutional democracy, much less any of the arabic or muslim countries.

      Eugene - 2011-12-23 17:46

      Indeed - shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre end so on. But prescribing what people are allowed to believe? What will get banned next? Religions that cannot prove all their articles of faith? Art that doesn't accurately represent the real world? There is a thin line between a nanny state and a police state, and in western Europe they are increasingly crossing it.

  • Angus - 2011-12-23 09:09

    Similar to Apartheid. Decades after the fact, people are trying to make thew past, the present and recreate tensions and friction. The people of the Ottoman time should have sorted each other out and no amount of finger pointing now is going to make any positive contribution whatsoever! Seems like Islamic countries are desperately trying to show the world how hate-filled they are and how little they value negotiation and democracy. They all seem to be at war with themselves and everyone around them.

  • Habib - 2011-12-23 09:32

    Turkey doesn't need them anyway, France and EU is almost bankrupt , who wants to join a club that has no money. France and EU has to resort in overthrowing regimes to keep their economies afloat.(libya)

      BA - 2011-12-23 11:38

      Complete ignorance and rubbish Habib. The Libyan people overthrew Gadaffi's regime - or are you one of those idiots who would prefer a situation like Syria, where thousands and thousands and thousands of civilians are murdered by Bashir's regime but that's ok so long as "the West" doesn't interfere? What a perverted logic you have.

      spartanx93 - 2011-12-23 11:46

      @BA - buddy, shutup. You are just forum raging today. Its almost Christmas so be a bit jolly.

      BA - 2011-12-23 12:22

      Spartan - I am not your buddy and I am not interested in taking instructions from you about anything.

  • Craig - 2011-12-23 10:25

    Strange that the French are discussing genocide laws against the Turks in WW1, but not the genocide committed by Vichy France, German Occupied France, Belgium and Holland, the last 2 managed to remove every signal Jew in their country, the Jews were rounded up by Belgium and Dutch troups and police and sent off to extermination camps with direct help of the Belgium and Dutch government, close on 75% of all Jews in Occupied France were sent of to extermination camps, again with direct held of the French "government" and the French people, Vichy France murdered even more, Petain and his Nazi mates remove virtually all traces of the Jews, packed them like sardines onto cattle truck and sent them off to death camps all over Europe, if I was a Turk I make a law that states any denial of the massive genocide committed by Western European states like France, Belgium and Holland should be illegal, I'd also have the EU ratify the law as well.

      Craig - 2011-12-23 10:27

      "single" dyslectic with a spelling proble.

      BA - 2011-12-23 11:42

      I have to agree Craig, but I don't think the French, Belgiums or Dutch try to deny the actions of their respective governments during that period, and in fact in Germany it is a crime to deny the holocaust. In France, I think that it is a crime to celebrate the nazi actions.

  • Deon - 2011-12-23 10:41

    Classic case of France - in thinking that it's a regional superpower - trying to beat another state into submission. The so-called genocide happened almost 100 years ago and had nothing to do with France, so why are the frogs making it their business? Get over it! Same applies to all other such instances throughout history. How's the world meant to move forward if we're constantly going to harp on the past??

      BA - 2011-12-23 11:40

      So you would rather people deny history to suit their agendas Deon?

      spartanx93 - 2011-12-23 11:48

      to much focus on the past and to little focus on the future at hand.

      Deon - 2011-12-23 12:02

      No-where did I say that history should be denied. It can't be - it happened and it's recorded in books, on film, etc. But that's where it should stay and shouldn't be brought out as ammunition every time nations, societies and cultures decide that they need to sling mud at one another.

      BA - 2011-12-23 12:26

      Spartan it is "too" and not "to".

  • toibry - 2011-12-23 20:13

    Why do the nations rage and the people's plot in vain?

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