The aftershocks of the French National Assembly's law criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide continue.
Valerie Boyer, an author of the bill and Vice President of the France-Armenia Friendship group, has been threatened and the threats extend to her children and parents. “
Death threats, threats of rape and threats of destruction, name-calling and insults. I find this very shocking,” said the deputy. She has been receiving police protection.
Boyer's website was attacked by Turkish hackers. Those logging onto her site received a Turkish flag and a message in Turkish and English attacking the French government and the Armenian community of France. The Armenians were accused of cowardice for refusing to open up the Armenian archives and confront the truth. The site was redirected to the Turkish hacker site that advised the French to consider their own crimes against humanity in Algeria rather than discussing the Armenians.
The threats against Madam Boyer produced a rare solidarity among French parliamentarians from the right to the left.
The Secretary-General of Madam Boyer's UMP party Jean-Francois Cope noted that it was unacceptable that an elected person was threatened "simply because she had the courage to stand for our convictions."
On the opposite side of the spectrum Jean-Michel Baylet of the Radical Left Party (PRG) said that while he did not share at any of Madam Boyer's political beliefs, he condemned the threats and intimidation.
As the time approaches when the Senate is to take up the bill passed in the Assembly, the hackers have attacked the website of the French Senate and disabled it by generating an infinite amount of requests.
While all this was going on, Turkish ambassadors from the world over convened in Ankara to discuss ways of preventing the French measure from spreading worldwide. They are particularly wary of the year 2015 that will mark the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian massacres. The Turkish diplomats expect an onslaught from the Armenian diaspora and they recommend preempting it with an information campaign to provide historical balance. Some Turkish commentators believe that the solution would be for Turkey to address the issue more openly or else recognition of the 2005 murders as genocide is a foregone conclusion.
According to the pro government Zaman,Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told ambassadors on Monday during a session that Turkey is ready to confront its history but but this history must be handled with objectivity and mention the tragic losses sustained by both sides during the World War I.
Historians should discuss Turkish-Armenian history in an intellectual environment with open archives. This approach was seconded by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey who mediated between turkey and Armenia. The historians, argued Rey who received a special invitation to attend the meeting, could dispassionately consider the evidence and contribute to discussions.
The numbers of Armenians killed in massacres and forced marches to the border for deportation around the time of WWI is estimated as between 1 and 1.5 million. However, the Armenians had been fighting the Turkish government with Russian help while the Jews of Europe were loyal, law abiding citizens when the Holocaust began, so that using the word "genocide" for both is inaccurate.