Last edited on 02/14/2014 at 12:22 PM (UTC3 Nineveh, Assyria)
Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoğlu (R) speaks candidly to Arzu Çakır Morin in Paris. Burcuoğlu said he will write a book during his retirement years. HÜRRİYET photo
Turkish envoy says his biggest success was overturning ‘genocide bill’ by Arzu Çakir Morin. PARIS / Hürriyet, February 14, 2014.
Turkey’s outgoing ambassador to France, Tahsin Burcuoğlu, has said his greatest success in his career was the decision of the French Constitutional Court to overturn a bill criminalizing the denial of genocide.
In his “farewell interview” to daily Hürriyet in Paris, Burcuoğlu, a 41-year-old diplomat, spoke candidly about the bill that triggered a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and France in early 2012.
“On Feb. 28, 2012, the French Constitutional Court ruled that the bill was anti-constitutional, citing its contradiction to the freedom of speech. We celebrated the decision at the embassy that night. It was a mission that I loved so much that I can’t be humble about it now,” Burcuoğlu said, describing the end of the affair as “the greatest success” of his diplomatic career. The veteran diplomat hinted the bill could again be submitted before 2015, the 100th anniversary of the World War I mass killing of Ottoman Armenians that many around the world now recognize as a genocide.
“On Feb. 28, 2012, the French Constitutional Court ruled that the bill was anti-constitutional, citing its contradiction to the freedom of speech. We celebrated the decision at the embassy that night. It was a mission that I loved so much that I can’t be humble about it now.”
— Tahsin Burcuoğlu Turkish Ambassador to France
“Both Turkey and France showed a political will to open a new page and cooperate. But if the bill is submitted again, it will spoil ties,” Burcuoğlu said.
The first article of the bill passed in the French Parliament and Senate in 2012 called for two years of imprisonment or a fine of 45,000 euros for denying genocides, including the massacre of Armenians in 1915.
However, the French Constitutional Court ruled the bill was unconstitutional, citing its contradiction of the freedom of speech.
Burcuoğlu will retire on Feb. 28 from his career and said he will write a book during his retirement years, without ruling out a possible foray into politics.
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.