NATO Unaffected By Turkey-France Military Row: Officials


Agence France Presse — English November 16, 2006 Thursday

NATO’s operations will not be affected by a decision by the Turkish army to suspend its military relations with France, officials at the defence alliance said Thursday.

Turkish army chief General Ilker Basbug made the announcement late Wednesday in retaliation to a French parliamentary bill which would make it a crime to deny that the World War I massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks constituted genocide.

“It’s a bilateral issue. It won’t affect their relations at NATO,” an official in Brussels said. Both French and Turkish troops were operating in Kabul, he added.

“They’re there today,” he stressed. French and Turkish troops operate side-by-side in the Afghan capital, under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), combatting a fierce insurgency by Taliban rebels.

However, General Basbug told reporters in Ankara that high-level visits between the two countries had stopped, according to the Turkey’s semi-official Anatolia news agency.

Turkey has warned that bilateral ties will suffer a great blow if France adopts the bill, which foresees one year in jail for anyone who denies that Armenians were the victims of genocide by Ottoman Turks between 1915-17.

The bill was approved by the lower house of the French parliament last month but still needs the approval of the Senate and the president to take effect.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their people were slaughtered in orchestrated killings during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, modern Turkey’s predecessor.

But Turkey rejects the use of the term “genocide”, saying some 300,000 Armenians died when the Ottoman Empire fell apart, but at least as many Turks did too. ”

This doesn’t concern NATO,” a diplomat at the military organisation agreed. “We don’t foresee any difficulties in the NATO sphere. There won’t be any impact on the functioning of the Alliance”.

Top military officers from NATO and Partner nations were completing two days of talks in Brussels Thursday, two weeks ahead of a NATO Summit in Riga, to shape and inform military advice for the North Atlantic Council.


1 Response to “NATO Unaffected By Turkey-France Military Row: Officials”

  1. 1 Danny November 18, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    Regarding: “But Turkey rejects the use of the term ‘genocide’, saying some 300,000 Armenians died when the Ottoman Empire fell apart, but at least as many Turks did too,” it’s not just “Turkey” that says this, but professional historians who take into consideration all of the relevant information, not just what one side has to say. One cannot write good history by taking only what one side says. Many professional historians don’t care to touch this topic any longer, since Armenians and genocide scholars have conducted smear campaigns against the ones who don’t agree with the latter’s political agendas.

    There were 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire before the war, according to the consensus of Western estimates. Armenians say one million died. When one performs the subtraction, it would not be possible to have a total of 1.5 million dead.

    The half million or so who actually died mainly died for reasons of famine and disease and other non-violent factors; most of the Armenians who died violently did so in the east (while in charge of the east, with their Russian allies), when they were not under the control of Turks. The ones who were under the control of Turks mostly survived. (The massacred ones were mainly victimized by renegade forces, typically Kurds and Arabs.) If the idea were to “exterminate” these Armenians, it would have been very easy to do so.

    2.5 million Turks/Muslims died. Of these, half a million were slaughtered by Armenians, with a little help from their Russian allies, while these two peoples were in charge of eastern Anatolia, and later, the Armenians with the French, when these two were in charge of southeastern Anatolia. Honorable Russian and French officers have documented the unbelievably sadistic manner in which the Armenians had gone about their ethnic cleansing campaign. If there was a genocide of WWI, this was it; the world does not know, because the Turks don’t advertise, and the Armenians’ word is quickly accepted by the bigoted Western world.

    The great irony is that France not only played a big hand in provoking the Armenians, leading to the Armenians’ relocation (what too many unthinkingly call a “genocide”)… meaning that if it were not for France, along with Russia and Britain hoping to divide Ottoman lands between themselves, there would have been no “genocide”…. but also France was in charge while the Armenians were conducting their own “genocide” of the Turks. But because political power of the Armenians is so great in France, along with the bigotry of the French people themselves, France has the audacity to accuse Turkey of a “genocide.”

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