Turkey's parliament on Tuesday condemned a French bill making it a crime to deny that the World War I-era killing of Armenians in Turkey was genocide, warning the law would permanently damage ties.
The bill was approved by lawmakers in France's lower house last week, but still needs approval by the French Senate and President Jacques Chirac to become law. Turkey has said the decision has badly damaged relations with France.
The Turkish parliament condemned the bill in a statement, calling it an "unfriendly" move aimed at domestic politics and said it was "surprising to see France as a decision maker when it comes to historical incidents related to Turkey, while defending it to leave to the historians when it comes to its actions that led to the killings of more than 1 million innocent people in Algeria, Indo China, Madagascar and some African countries," where it ruled.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told parliament that the government would consider every measure including legal action to prevent the legislation of the bill. "From now on, it won't be Turkey that loses but France," Gul warned against legislation of the bill.
Chirac's government is thought to be unlikely to forward the bill for passage by the Senate.
"It is obvious that legislation of this bill will lead to irreparable wounds in political, economic and military ties between Turkey and France," the parliament said in a statement.
The parliament reiterated Turkey's call to Armenia to respond to a Turkish proposal to jointly research the incidents, warning that "Armenia's use of lobby efforts in France and in other countries and its hostile policies against the rights and pride of the Turkish nation will cost dearly to them."
The European Union on Friday criticized the French bill, saying it was unhelpful at a critical stage in the Muslim country's EU entry talks. France, which is home to hundreds of thousands of people whose families came from Armenia, has already recognized the 1915-1919 killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide. Under the bill, those who contest it was genocide would risk up to a year in prison and fines of up to US$56,000 (44,750 euros).
Turkey acknowledges that great numbers of Armenians were killed in fighting and mass expulsions, but vehemently rejects the label of genocide.