Burcuoğlu: Insistence on ‘genocide’ bill to hamper Turkish-French ties
Tahsin Burcuoğlu (Photo:AA)
Francois Hollande winning the French presidency from Nicolas Sarkozy has increased concerns in Ankara since Hollande is regarded as being more deeply engaged in the Armenian “genocide” bill than his predecessor Sarkozy, although he is expected to be more flexible on the issue of Turkey's EU bid.
“Insistence on the Armenian ‘genocide' bill might take the relations between Turkey and France into a stalemate. Carrying on in the same manner [on the issue of the ‘genocide' bill], the two countries will end up confronting each other,” said Tahsin Burcuoğlu, Turkey's ambassador to France, voicing concerns over Hollande's interest in and support for the Armenian genocide issue similar to that of former French leader Sarkozy.
In 2007 Sarkozy vetoed the opening of five EU negotiating chapters with Turkey. Ankara hopes this veto will be removed during the new French presidency. Burcuoğlu considered the canceling of the veto very important for the progress of relations between the two sides. Noting that other EU countries also are behind the veto of Turkey's bid for membership, Burcuoğlu said, “If France's veto is lifted from the five negotiating chapters, then other EU members will not be able to hide behind this excuse.” He further added: “We want to hope that this period [Hollande's presidency] will be favorable for the development of Turkish-French ties. We want to believe that past difficulties will remain in the past.”
Burcuoğlu mentioned that in the coming days he will meet with Hollande's team, underlining that there are huge differences between the views of Hollande and Sarkozy.
Commenting on an anti-Turkey declaration made by Sarkozy in 2007, Burcuoğlu said, “Hollande did not state that there was no place for Turkey in Europe.”
In 2007, President Sarkozy said in a prime-time interview on the TF1 and France 2 television stations that he opposes Turkish membership because "Turkey is not in Europe. It's in Asia Minor."
Believing that socialist leader Hollande will be involved in the process of Turkey's EU bid from an objective point of view, Burcuoğlu said, “Hollande used the expression that this process [of Turkey's EU bid] will be of long duration.”
Two new consulates during new French presidency
Burcuoğlu also mentioned that during the new French presidency two more Turkish consulates are planned to open, adding that during Sarkozy's government two consulates had been planned for the cities of Nantes and Bordeaux. “In the initial phase, the Sarkozy administration gave its consent for the consulates to be opened; however, later, due to the tense relations between the two sides, the process stalled,” said Burcuoğlu. He stated that the Armenian “genocide” bill that came about during the Sarkozy period not only tightened solidarity among the Turkish community but also quintupled the number of voters of Turkish origin in France wanting to participate in the elections.
There are currently four Turkish consulates operating in France, with plans to increase that number to six.
- Journalists' unions condemn beheading of US journalist by IS
- Erdoğan's inauguration ceremony planned to be 'one of a kind'
- Alleged harassment by Syrian youth triggers anger against refugees
- Turkey denies German plane on Iraq aid mission barred from landing
- Violence against Uighurs in China protested by Turkish NGOs
- CHP: NATO ally Germany's eavesdropping on Turkey is unacceptable
- Yazidi families continue to flee Iraq
- Berlin remains mostly silent about spying on Turkey
- CHP submits parliamentary question on German spying scandal
- Turkey may send floating power station to Gaza
- Palestinians fleeing Syria take shelter in Turkey
- CHP: AK Party should take UNSC decision on IS seriously
- CHP's Tanrıkulu says Turkey gave its Mosul consulate to IS
- IS seizes Turkmen towns in Syria, parades beheaded bodies in streets
- Wounded Palestinian transferred to Turkey for treatment dies
- No word on Turkish hostages, Davutoğlu eyes Prime Ministry
- Israel: Coup attempt in West Bank planned by Hamas official in Turkey
- Turkey seeks satisfactory explanation over Germany spying scandal
- Armenian man shoots at Turkish Embassy building in Moscow
- Fire at Syrian refugee residences in Ankara
- Fire breaks out at 3 Syrian refugee residences
- UN resolution a reminder for tougher action against IS
- Turkey to launch investigation of German eavesdropping scandal
- Long flight from militants leads Iraqi Turkmens to Baghdad
- Yazidis transferred to refugee camp in Turkey
- Syrian refugee crisis grows as protests continue in Gaziantep
- Erdoğan's ‘New Turkey' may move further from EU, say analysts
- German media says Berlin spies on NATO ally Turkey
- Turkmens frustrated with being left to help themselves
- 'Inner peace vital to spark int'l harmony'
- 7,800 Syrians in Gaziantep to be sent to camps, governor says
- Displaced Iraqi Turkmens escape fighting, but not hardship
- Erdoğan to pay first visit as president to Cyprus, Azerbaijan
- Davutoğlu calls Yazidi deputy, expresses Turkey's support
- CHP's Tanrıkulu: Government's silence means approval of IS massacre
- Turkey builds refugee camp for Yazidis in Iraq
- Erdoğan: Turkey to bring more Gazans if Israel allows
- 3 French citizens captured on Turkey's Syrian border
- Obama finally calls Erdoğan, praises his ‘unity' message on poll day
- FM says NY Times reporter injured in Iraq accident brought to Turkey
- Report: IS has Turkey to thank for its success