Armenian 'genocide' dispute: Readers react
- 24 January 2012
- From the section Europe
The Turkish prime minister has said a bill passed by the French parliament on the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman rule is "racist".
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of February.
Armenia says that up to 1.5 million people died when they were forcibly deported to the Syrian desert by Ottoman Turks in 1915-16.
Turkey, which rejects the term "genocide", has said the number of deaths was closer to 300,000.
Defenders of the bill point out that it covers all acts of genocide.
BBC News website readers in France, Turkey and Armenia have written in with their reactions to the bill.
When someone points the finger and says you are guilty you probably ask why and want some proof. But when we ask for proof of genocide, every time they say "everything is clear enough". Obviously not. I understand that in 1915 something terrible happened in eastern Anatolia. We are sorry about that. But almost every village in this region has bad memories about the Armenian attacks and killings [of]innocent people. Why does no one ever speak about the Turkish loss? In the last years of the Ottoman Empire, France and Armenian forces attacked and killed people in southern and southeastern Anatolia. Nearly a hundred years later France decided to pass this law, not for Armenian votes, but for "justice and democracy", what a coincidence. We are saying both sides made mistakes but why are all the bad things focused on us and the good things on the Armenians? Ufuk, Adana, Turkey
It is an unfortunate decision. Surely most European countries have a history of genocide that they would prefer to forget? Gary Thomas, Paris, France
It is good to know that there are still nations who do not think about short-term material issues, but are occupied with these issues and values. Having such nation on the UN Security Council brings hope. Suren Poghosyan, Yerevan, Armenia
My grandmother is Armenian though our family has been living in Turkey for a hundred years. The genocide discussion should be left to historians. France's decision is against freedom of speech in the first place and it is making this issue completely political as well. It's not helping Armenians at all. Hakan Doghan, Istanbul, Turkey
This is clearly just a political stunt by Sarkozy to woo Armenian voters before the election. As a person whose family was affected by the Armenian genocide, I am disgusted at the French prostitution of this horrific chapter in human history for their petty political gains, and I think any intelligent dignified Armenian should also feel the same way. Erdogan stated it best when he said that France should create laws regarding its own more recent and more bloody genocide in Algeria, which they still won't admit to let alone vote a law making it illegal to deny it. This is the irrefutable proof of the French hypocrisy. Will Spearshake, Paris, France
Arrogance knows no boundaries, it seems. This is kind of hilarious after considering what the French have done in the past. I wonder how will they keep their claims about carrying the flag of "Freedom of Speech" after accepting a law about a polemical topic without any clear scientific proof? Passing bills in parliaments of various countries is not the way to prove Armenian claims, if they had a case they would have already accepted a Turkish assembly proposal. But they have other intentions. If they can pass this kind of law in various parliaments, they have international support for their land claims. It's all about "big Armenia" and they know they cannot take it by force. C Caner Telimenli, Istanbul, Turkey
Thank you France. You proved to be one of the democratic countries in Europe. We all hope to see the same attitude from other European countries as well. Turkey has to accept the historical fact. Vive la France! Liana, Yerevan, Armenia