August 27, 2012 - 22:09 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Official Ankara has voiced a “strong protest” against France’s decision to include a chapter about the Armenian Genocide in secondary school textbooks.
Turkey’s EU Minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bağış has urged Paris “against testing bilateral relations once again”, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
“I call on the French authorities to intensify efforts in resolving the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the framework of OSCE Minsk Group rather than distort the historical facts,” the statement reads.
He also urged the French authorities to “face own history rather than check-up fictitious facts.”
French President Francois Hollande's administration has included a chapter about the Armenian Genocide in secondary school textbooks, a move that could foil Turkey’s hopes for rebuilding relations with Paris.
According to Today’s Zaman, Turkish daily Sabah reported on Sunday, Aug 26, that the French Education Ministry has decided to include chapters about the Genocide in history and geography textbooks.
On January 23, 2012, the French Senate passed the bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. The bill envisaged imposing a 45,000 euro fine and a year in prison for anyone in France who denies this crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire.
Later, the French Constitutional Council ruled that the bill as anti-constitutional. In a statement the Council said the document represented an “unconstitutional breach of the practice of freedom of expression and communication.”
After election, President Holande pledged to introduce a similar bill that would go in line with the country’s constitution.
Turkish Education Ministry officials said they will first need to examine the book and see if it “includes phrases that incriminate Turkey and they will respond in line with international law through diplomatic channels.”