GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Turkish government has reacted angrily to a vote by the French Senate Monday in favour of a proposal to punish those who don’t recognize genocide, including the killing of Armenians in Turkey in 1915. Turkey has long opposed international and internal efforts to label the deaths genocide, although it admits half a million Armenians were killed, while Armenians, who use the term genocide for the events, claim there were 1.5 million deaths. France in 2001 recognized the Armenian claims but the new measure would put offenders at risk for a one-year prison sentence or fine of euros 45,000.
Both the government and its opposition in Ankara condemned the French move as an attack on Turkish honour. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested last week that if the Senate vote passed he might never visit France again.