Legislating History and its Effects on Foreign Policy
When the French National Assembly approved a bill that stipulates that those who deny the occurrence of an event accepted as genocide by the French parliament will be penalized with up to one year in prison and up to €45,000 in fines, it touched off a flurry of activity in Turkish-French relations, which reached a new low point. While the excitement appears to have died down now, how much lasting damage the relationship has suffered can only be assessed over a longer period. It appears unlikely that the bill that has cleared the French National Assembly will become law before the French parliament goes on presidential election recess at the end of February. Yet the issue of Western allegations of an Armenian genocide will haunt Turkey’s relations with other countries.