Seba Aghayeva, deputy head of Azerbaijan News Service
As 2012 began and Europe faced economic problems crisis of democracy emerged in France considered center of the Old Continent's power, culture and freedom of thought. France, which presented the U.S. with monument embodying freedom and which is advocate of freedom of thought in the world, transformed into a state restricting human rights and freedom of speech with the help of a number of senators.
On Jan.23, after eight hours of discussion, the French Senate voted for adoption of the law criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
Undoubtedly, French senators, who are victims of political games, voted for this law being convinced that it will hit rising power of Turkey and get support of other European neighbors.
However, it is this problem that demonstrated that Turkey is not alone in its fight against injustice.
Either before the adoption of the law, or after Azerbaijan expressed its protest to France at all levels, in particular at state level. The Azerbaijani Parliament made an appeal to the French Senate at its last meeting of autumn session. Chairman Oqtay Asadov's statement that 'this is not just a letter, but a serious appeal expressing our position' unambiguously, demonstrated position of the Azerbaijani Parliament.
After this law was adopted in the Senate the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, officials of the President's Administration gave interview to the mass media outlets and said adoption of the law criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" by the French Senate seriously damaged freedom of thought and speech and is beyond search of truth. In particular they urged 'democratic' senators of France searching for truth to give legal assessment not to the event that took place 100 years ago and which hasn't been yet proved but to the Khojaly genocide which happened 20 years ago.
Protest actions of the various NGOs representatives in front of the French embassy in Azerbaijan continued for a week. Both meetings and discussions of the PACE on the eve of the adoption of this law were remembered with severe protest addresses of the Azerbaijani MPs. Journalists Unions of Azerbaijan called their French colleagues for solidarity to protest against signing by Nicolas Sarkozy of this document damaging freedom of speech.
Participation of France as a co-chair in OSCE MG in solving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is under the question. Even some NGOs refused to cooperate with NGOs in France. In other words, Azerbaijan supports Turkey both at the level of government and society.
Unfortunately, forces who wanted to damage Turkish-Azerbaijani Union, which fight against unjustified claims of Armenians, appeared in Turkey itself. Some Turkish media unfairly belittle the reaction of Azerbaijan and blame it in no responding. However, the problems, with which two Turkic states have been facing during 20 years, prove that it would be wrong to accept such negative materials of Turkish media as a negative position of Turkey government and society. The journalists who try to belittle the reaction of Azerbaijan, should at last take into account that Turkey which has a tension with neighboring countries, should value Azerbaijan more than ever, because the processes, taking place in the world has proved many times that it seems to be impossible to establish fraternal relations in political sphere. Azerbaijan and Turkey demonstrate such fraternization countries in the world.
Media of both countries should support each other in such situations and oppose any small fact that can damage the intergovernmental relations.
Azerbaijani and Anatolian Turks will continue fraternal relations. Faith of the Turkish people in Azerbaijan has been and will be, and attempts to damage the relations of 2 countries will remain ineffective.