ANTALYA — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu clashed on Friday with a French lawmaker over the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide by France in a heated exchange that prompted the French delegation to walk out, AFP reports.
During a meeting of the NATO parliamentary assembly in Antalya in southern Turkey on Friday, Turkish parliament speaker Mustafa Sentop lashed out at France’s decree to establish the commemorative day, accusing Paris of “manipulating history.”
He also referenced massacres committed in Algeria when it was still a French colony and in Rwanda whose government accuses Paris of being complicit in the 1994 slaughter there.
Attending the meeting, French lawmaker Sonia Krimi, criticized Turkish comments saying she was shocked by Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop’s words against steps taken by the Italian parliament and the French president on the 1915 killings. That provoked a sharp response from Cavusoglu.
“In terms of genocide and history, France is the last country to be giving lectures to Turkey, and we have not forgotten what happened in Rwanda and Algeria,” the minister said.
“You can keep trying to look down on us, but we will keep putting you in your place.”
Krimi and the French delegation left the room in protest over Cavusoglu’s remarks.
“When the arrogant Mevlut Cavusolgu gives you lessons on arrogance and politeness, arrogantly and without any respect,” she wrote on Twitter referring to the incident.
In a separate post, she said “France knows how to deal with its own history. By establishing April 24th as the national day for commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, France didn’t intend to give lessons to anyone. France will not receive lessons nor attacks from any country, including Turkey.”
Sonia Krimi born 20 December 1982 in Tunis, is a French-Tunisian politician. A member of La République en Marche !, she was elected to the French National Assembly on June 18, 2017, representing the 4th constituency of Manche.