PARIS—French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday renewed calls on Turkey to face its history by recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
Speaking at an annual dinner of the Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), Sarkozy said that France, which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, faced that period in history. Confronting history can be a source of pride for Turkey as well, referring to that country’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, reported ntvmsnbc.com.
In December the lower house of France’s parliament passed a measure criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide. In January, the French Senate filed suit. However, thereafter, some lawmakers appealed the bill, which is awaiting a ruling by France’s Constitutional Council.
Last week Sarkozy vowed to redraft a law that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian Genocide, if the country’s highest judicial body finds an earlier version unconstitutional. While making the statement, Sarkozy reportedly criticized those in cabinet who had opposed the bill, saying they “did not see past the ends of their noses.”
He also said a rejection of the bill by the Constitutional Council could open the door to questioning a law that penalizes denial of the Holocaust.
Sarkozy’s calls on Turkey to come to terms with its history were first heard in October, when during a visit to Dzidzernagapert he declared that “the Armenian Genocide is a historical reality… Turkey, which is a great country, would honor itself to revisit its history like other great countries in the world have done.”
While in Armenia, he vowed that if Turkey did not address its past, other measures would be taken to rectify the wrong Turkey has carried out for almost a century.
France officially recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2001.