Turkey's minister for affairs with the European Union (EU) has said there might be political motives behind the French president's latest remarks supporting a new draft bill criminalizing the denial of Armenian allegations on the incidents of 1915.
ANKARA- "As the rate of the votes Mr. Hollande received in elections is close to the number of votes he could not collect, he may be seeking to expand his political ground," said EU Minister & Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, prior to his meeting with Ross Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and a high-level official from the Washington-based think-tank Atlantic Council.
"To every action, there is a certain reaction. Turkey's stance against similar approaches in the past is clear," the minister said.
Bagis also noted that Turkey would now monitor the steps to be taken by France.
Commenting on Germany's rejecting the entry of a group of Turkish tourists holding the Schengen visa, Bagis said tourists who had not acted in accordance with Schengen regulations had faced such an action.
"We are currently holding the necessary talks. We can never remain silent against any country's move to reject the entry of a Turkish citizen, however, it is also important that our citizens are well informed about Schengen regulations and they act accordingly," he said.
"When Turkish tourists are granted with the Schengen visa, their first destination should be the country that has issued the visa," Bagis said, noting that Germany might have displayed a certain sensitivity due to visas obtained from other EU member states.
If any breach of international law was revealed as a result of the EU ministry's assessment on the matter, Turkey would intensify the tone of its official talks on the matter, the minister also said.
Upon a question on the situation in Syria, Bagis said Turkey had always emphasized that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could not govern his country with a violent mentality.
"We attach importance to Kofi Annan's efforts on the issue, but unfortunately, we follow with great despair that Assad's systematic attacks against his own people continue," he said.
The minister noted that Turkey wanted peace in Syria and exerted international diplomatic efforts to that end.
Responding to a question on jailed deputies, Bagis said Turkey needed a wide-scale judicial reform which would carry it to EU standards.
"We attach importance to every step taken to achieve such goal. Legists should reach verdicts by interpreting the articles introduced in the relevant judicial reform package," he stated.
Speaking to reporters, former ambassador Ross Wilson said that he was in Turkey to meet with government and business leaders about the Atlantic Council's annual energy and economic summit which would be held in Istanbul this November.