Turkey abolishes Turco-French inter-parliamentary friendship group
Hundreds of Turkish lawmakers have resigned en masse from the Turkey-France Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group, abolishing the mechanism and adding to a massive flow of reactions from Turkish officials following the approval of a controversial bill in the lower house of the French parliament on Thursday, Today's Zaman reported.
Speaking on behalf of the resigned ruling party lawmakers participating in the friendship mechanism, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek announced on Friday that Turkey had abolished the group following the resignations of most of its members. "There is no point remaining friends with such a country [France]," Çiçek told a group of reporters a day after the French parliament approved a bill that proposes making it illegal to deny the so-called "Armenian genocide" and forwarded it to be put on the agenda of the French senate.
"The French National Assembly's approval of the mentioned bill is clearly a hostile attitude," Oktay Vural of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said as he announced that MHP lawmakers of the friendship group were also suspending their memberships until the "French senate drops the bill." Vural stressed that the approval defied ties of friendship between Turkey and France.
The inter-parliamentary group consisted of 357 members, most of whom were lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).