GeriGündem Former French minister expresses regret over backing Armenian bill
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Former French minister expresses regret over backing Armenian bill

Former French minister expresses regret over backing Armenian bill
refid:10927181 ilişkili resim dosyası

ANKARA - A former French minister said he felt guilty and regretful for voting in favor of a law that recognized the 1915 incidents as "genocide" in 2001. His remarks incited fierce reactions among the Armenian diaspora in France.

"At that time I believed it was both a spiritual and historical correction. But I am not sure now if I would do the same," Jack Lang, France's former culture minister, told a conference organized by a website titled "Turquie Europeenne".  

 

The video of the conference containing Lang's remarks was only recently released in the country.

 

The issue of the 1915 incidents is highly sensitive for Turkey as well as Armenia. Around 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks, died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms, backed by Russia, for independence in eastern Anatolia.

 

However Armenia, with the backing of the diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. The issue remains unsolved as Armenia drags its feet in accepting Turkey's proposal of forming a commission to investigate the claims.

 

Lang said he had voted against a controversial bill adopted by the French parliament making it a crime to deny recognition of 1915 incidents as “genocide”, because the action was abused for election interests.

 

"The denial bill was passed with the aim of an election investment, not because they understood the pains of Armenians. Accordingly it is dangerous that history is made by politicians," he said.

Lang, 69, was one of the strongest supporters of 2001’s Armenian bill in French parliament, and as head of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission, he pressured the French Senate to pass the bill immediately. He ran to be the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate for the 2007 elections.

The Armenian diaspora in France directed fierce criticism at Lang over his recently published remarks. Armenian organizations in France sent letters of protest to several current and former leaders from the Socialist Party, and accused Lang of insulting France and humanitarian values.

 

 


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