The French presidency said a newly-passed law on rejecting the questioning of alleged “Armenian genocide” of 1915 would take effect in 15 days.
“The President of the Republic” will ratify the law, passed by the Senate yesterday and enforce stiff penalties on anyone questioning reality of the alleged genocide, during 15 days, the presidency said in a statement.
The Senate passed the bill, backed by the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Party, in a 127-86 vote last night.
The law states that anyone who casts doubt on the “Armenian genocide” could face a year in jail and a close to USD 60,000 fine.
A law recognizing the “genocide” was passed here in 2001, but 10 years later lawmakers, inspired by President Nicolas Sarkozy, have gone one step further and criminalised negation of the event, which Turkey disputes.
Ankara says that around 300,000-500,000 Armenians indeed perished during the World War I period, but Turks maintain they either died from famine or in combat against Turkish military forces.
Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Paris in December and brought an abrupt halt to bilateral visits and military cooperation. French naval vessels are also forbidden to call at Turkish ports, even though the two nations are in the NATO organisation and are also fighting on the same side in the war in Afghanistan.