ANKARA (Aysor)–Michel Jean Legrand, the French Oscar-winning composer, arranger, conductor, and pianist, famous for conducting the music for Umbrellas of Cherbourg, said on his tour to Russia’s Krasnodar region Friday that the Turkish government has denied his entry into the country.
Legrand, whose Armenian ancestors come from a village located within the borders of modern-day Turkey, said he wished to visit his family village. However, Turkey’s government rejected his visa application.
Turkey’s government said that Legrand can’t enter Turkey now; he may be allowed to visit Turkey later, but not now, Turkish officials said.
Legrand, however, said he was denied entry because of his Armenian roots and for criticizing Turkey in the past on its denial of the Armenian Genocide.
In an interview, Legran once said: “The 1915 mass killings of Armenian population in Turkey are terrible and devastating. And Turkey’s unwillingness to recognize Genocide means that Turkey will never join the European community. Now Turkey-Armenia relations are normalizing; it is good, but it would be better if Turkey returned Armenian territories which Turkey had stolen.”