French President Emmanuel Macron declared April 24 as the commemoration day for ‘victims’ of the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’. The members of the ruling and opposition parties commented on the order of their head of state to Report’s French bureau. France officially recognized the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’ in 2001.
Member of France-Turkey Friendship Group at the French National Assembly, MP Philippe Folliot said that the decision is a logical continuation of the law adopted several years ago: "This order will have a negative influence on France-Turkey relations. Together with my colleagues I was visiting Turkey last week to attend the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session. Turkey's Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu strongly opposed France's decision in this regard.”
“France cannot give a lesson to anyone and is in no favorable position to do so. We ourselves are proud of our history, but many events have happened. We made this decision as a continuation of a number of issues, but I think that it is necessary not to stop on this. We need to concentrate on the future, that is to create good relations between France and Turkey,” the MP said.
Member of the France-Turkey Friendship group at the French National Assembly, representing opposition Socialists' Party Jérôme Lambert called Macron’s recent decision ‘senseless’: “It was a senseless decision. I believe that this step won’t have a serious impact on France-Turkey relations."
He said it was unnecessary to declare April 24 as the commemoration day for ‘victims’ of the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’: “The world has witnessed numerous genocides. Certainly, it is good to know about the atrocities to which Spaniard, Aztecs and Mayans were subjected. But it is senseless to mark this as the commemoration day. Today there are many forgotten genocides that were removed from history. Let’s recall, for example, the termination of American Indians. This tragedy happened not so long ago. Almost all Indians have been terminated. In this context, it was completely unnecessary to establish the commemoration day for victims of the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’,” he said.
Member of the France-Turkey Friendship group at the French National Assembly, representative of the Republicans Party Jean-Luc Reitzer noted that this decision caused outrage among Turkish officials: “I was on a visit to Turkey on the day when this order was published in an official newspaper and attended the NATO PA session. There was a real tension there. In their speeches the Turkish officials expressed their strong opposition to France in this regard.”
“I have always been against this issue and even voted against it because I consider that France should not interfere with an issue that belongs to the history of another country and each country should bear responsibility for its own history. Writing history is historians' affair. To my mind, foreign countries and politicians should not interfere or take sides. We should not give lessons to any country. Emmanual Macron's decision will have a negative impact on France - Turkey relations," he said.
Member of the France-Azerbaijan Friendship Group at the French National Assembly, representative of the Union of Democrats and Independents André Villiers said the event that has been included into the history of the country, in fact, has nothing to do with France: "This is Turkey's issue. France was a country that provided shelter to Armenians. True, today there is a large Armenian community France. It is even said that there are 500,000 Armenians in the country. But it is not necessary to officialize the event that does not belong to the French history. I believe that France must take steps that will bring benefit for the future. For example, it would be more useful to take steps that will serve rapprochement and cooperation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples."