Turks likely to become criminalised for genocide denial

France’s large Armenian community are likely to help push the law through, which makes the denial of genocides a criminal offence.

The French Senate has been asked to drop the proposed law by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Following last month’s passing of the law by the National Assembly, Turkey’s relations with France had ceased.

France’s ethnically Armenian population numbers at around half a million according to the BBC. Turkey speculates that the move to approve the controversial law is an attempt at gaining more votes.

The bill could mean that Turks in France may be forced to admit to the Armenian genocide due to fear of a 1-year imprisonment and hefty fines. The topic remains one of the most controversial topics in Turkey, which allegedly led to the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.

France’s move denotes a sense that not all European countries are keen on Turkey’s accession to the European Union. There remain three key factors that Turkey must improve upon, including admitting to the Armenian genocide, treating the Kurdish population equally and giving up Turkish Cyprus. If this new French law is passed, it will seem like Turkey’s European dream is getting further and further away.