Turkey on France over Armenian genocide (2001)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset , Queen's University Belfast (available online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/Greek-TurkishNegotiationsandCrises1983-2003/#d.en.173636)

Case Summary:

In January 2001 the French National Assembly decides on a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide of 1915. [i] Armenians maintain that 1.5 million people died in massacres and mass deportations between 1915 and 1917, while Turkey says some 300,000 Armenians and thousands of Turks were killed in internal fighting in the dissolution years of the Ottoman Empire.[ii]Lexis/Nexis provides 44 results for the terms “Armenia,” “Turkey,” “crisis,” and “ France ” for the period 1/1/2001 to 2/1/2001 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Turkey is no in a position to harm France in any way other than boycotting French products. The French government quietly avoids any escalation of the conflict. Turkey does not have any immediate negotiations with the EU that might be damaged by this policy.[iii] The cost of inaction is high. Unless Turkey acts quickly against the first countries to recognize the genocide, others might follow suit.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

Turkey sees the recognition of the genocide as the first step towards territorial demands in Eastern Anatolia.[iv] Meanwhile, Armenians and others consider it a historic duty to have the genocide recognized.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

Rivalries exist over the Armenian demand for recognition of the 1915 genocide and Asala terrorism.[v] France played a leading role in the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after WWI.

Domestic Challenges : 0

Political instability begins a month later, after a devastating economic crisis that marks the beginning of the end of the Ecevit coalition. [vi]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Turkey recalls its envoy from Paris [vii]

[i] France recognizes Armenian massacre, invokes Turkish wrath”, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, May 29, 1998

[ii] Hande Culpan, “Turkey warns France of reprisals over Armenian genocide bill”, Agence France Presse, January 18, 2001.

[iii] “Turks angry with France over ‘genocide’ claim,” United Press International, January 18, 2001.

[iv] Anatolia news agency, Ankara , in Turkish 0720 gmt 14 Jan 01, “Armed forces web site assesses ‘Armenian issue’”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, January 17, 2001,

[v] Jean-Marc Theolleyre, “Bombing discredits Armenian cause”, Manchester Guardian Weekly/ Le Monde, July 24, 1983, p.1.

[vi] Turkey 's central bank governor resigns”, The Guardian, February 26, 2001, p21.

[vii] NTV television, Istanbul, in Turkish 1245 gmt 18 Jan 01, “Turkey recalls envoy from France over parliament's Armenian genocide vote”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, January 20, 2001. 

[viii] Andrew Borowiec, “Armenia decree inflames tensions with Turkey ,” The Washington Times, February 9, 2001, p. 13.

[ix] “Turkey may boycott French wines, cheeses, veterinary vaccines,” AFX European Focus, January 25, 2001; “Anger Continues in Turkey after French Assembly Decision: Sezer believes that relations might be seriously hurt if the French Government fails to take any measure to render the resolution ineffective”, Turkish Daily News, January 20, 2001.

and cancels arms purchases from France ,[viii] while consumers in the country boycott French products.[ix]