“I’m sure we’ll find again a constructive relationship,” Mr. Juppe told French TV. “I put out my hand and I hope it will be shaken one day.”
In fact, there are actual reasons why Turkey might see fit to remain calm, as Juppe urges. This law really isn’t about Turkey. It’s French politics.
Turkish leaders take the genocide law as a matter of national dishonor and high principles, and point to French slaughters in Algeria, and speak of rights, including of independent thought, that France champions. It is highly emotional.
Yet in France the new genocide law is seen with considerable cynicism, and with little emotion or much regard. It comes just ahead of national elections this spring. Along with its slightly craven appeal to the hundreds of thousands of French-Armenian voters, for whom the issue has always been a defining one, the law also gives President Sarkozy a way to remind conservatives that he’s against a Muslim country joining Europe.
Mr. Sarkozy has a problem with a poll-surging Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front, who accuses him of overseeing an “Islamization” of France.
The bill is "not entirely free of ulterior electoral motives considering that there is a 500,000-strong French Armenian community in France," as the French daily Liberation put it.
French politicos have portrayed their new legal concoction as part of a long, historic fight against a “poisonous denial” by the human race of various mass murders.