Benny Morris: Genocide-Denial Bill Rocks Turkish-French Relations

Roundup: Talking About History

Benny Morris is a professor of history in the Middle East Studies Department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is the author of 1948, A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (Yale University Press, 2008).

A while back, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that his country had embarked on a foreign policy based on "zero problems with our neighbors."

But it would seem that Turkey's "zero-problems" policy has in recent years been anything but—with Turkey most recently and loudly at loggerheads with Israel (over Palestine), Cyprus (over the extent of territorial waters and gas-drilling zones and rights), Syria (over the Assad regime's bloody suppression of internal dissent), Iraq (over anti-Kurdish cross-border incursions by the Turkish army) and Greece (over Greece's planned border fence to keep out would-be infiltrating Turkish emigrants bound for the EU).

Recently, it was the turn of Turkish-French relations, with Turkey recalling its ambassador from Paris and suspending all bilateral contacts and relations—political, economic and military—in the wake of the passage by the French lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, of a law prohibiting genocide denial, including the Armenian genocide of World War I....

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