Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 22 /Trend A.Badalova, A. Tagiyeva/
The Turks residing in France have been holding mass protests against the adoption of a bill criminalizing the denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" in the French Senate since 6 a.m on Thursday, CNN Turk TV channel reported.
The number of protesters coming to Paris from all cities of France has reached 5,000.
Earlier Turkish President Abdullah Gul stated that Turkey hopes that France will not sacrifice long-term friendship between Ankara and Paris for the sake of petty political settlements.
Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish-French relations should not depend on third party's demands, and if the French Senate approves the bill Turkey will respond with all diplomatic means.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu threatened to sever diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries if the bill is adopted.
The French parliament is set to vote next week on a piece of legislation that could make denying the 1915 events that took place in Turkey as "genocide" punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. The Turkish reaction escalated over the week from mild suggestion to the French to reconsider the voting, to outright warnings that France will be facing severe consequences, including the withdrawal of the Turkish ambassador from Paris, as the day of the voting, Monday the Dec. 19, approached.
Armenia and its lobby claim the Turkish Republic's predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, committed genocide against Armenians in Anatolia in 1915. Pressured by Armenian propaganda, the governments of a number of countries have recognized the so-called "1915 genocide".