France: A Constitutional Council Quite Turcophile?

Anne Dastakian
Translated by Vartan Matiossian
In its first issue of 2015, the year of the centennial of the genocide of the Armenians of 1915, always officially unrecognized by Turkey, Les Nouvelles d'Armenie Magazine (NAM), the biggest French magazine dedicated to Armenia, publishes an investigation which is at least worrisome. An exchange of emails (see below) from February 2012 between a French, Hubert Haenel, former senator and member of the Constitutional Council, and a Turk, Yasar Yakis, former minister of Foreign Affairs, ardent Francophile and Turkish lobbyist in France, tends to prove very dangerous relations between our "sages," independent and guarantors of the French Constitution in principle, and an eminent agent of foreign influence. The exchange was held at the moment of the invalidation, on February 28, 2012, by the Constitutional Council of the Boyer law which looked for penalizing "the denial of genocides recognized by France," namely, the Armenian genocide. 

Coming from a Yahoo discussion group always accessible on the Internet at the end of 2014, the exchange is eloquent. On February 1, Yasar Yakis writes to Haenel that he is "relieved to learn that the number of signatures required to make recourse to the Constitutional Council for the law penalizing the Armenian genocide has been achieved," a recourse that, he thinks, it has "definitely changed the course of the tide." Certainly, there is nothing surprising from the lobbyist of a state whose foreign policy strives to deny the elimination of more than a million Armenians of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. One may be startled by the response of the French "sage" to his "Very dear friend: Like you, I share this relief. We have 30 days to rule, the die is cast. I can't say anything else. I'll keep you posted."
Haenel announces the good news to him on February 28, the day of the verdict, which is even before the publication of the result of the deliberation of the Council. "As if he had to be accountable to this Turkish leader," assesses Ara Toranian, director of NAM and author of the article, who recalls that Yasar Yakis had headed, in April 2011, a delegation of Turkish elected officials presenting to Nicolas Sarkozy the point of view of Ankara about a proposal of anti-denial law by the Socialist Party, which was finally rejected, a few days later, by the Senate.
Whatever it is thought of the Boyer law, and Marianne, let's recall, was not favorable to it, one cannot be but stirred, with NAM, by the contents of this exchange of e-mails that throws, afterwards, a serious doubt on the conditions of impartiality that surrounded the decision of the Constitutional Council. At the time, Canard Enchaîné had disclosed the Turcophile compromise of Hubert Haenel, active member of the Institut du Bosphore supported by Ankara. It is regrettable, at the end, that NAM did not try to verify the authenticity of this exchange with both interested parties. By communicating the article of NAM, we offer them the chance.

"Marianne," January 3, 2015

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