Turk PM raps French Armenian genocide bill, warns businesses

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Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has added his voice to a growing chorus of Turkish protests over French plans to make it a crime to deny that Armenians suffered"genocide" at the hands of Ottoman Turks in World War One.

The French parliament is due to discuss the bill, proposed by the Socialist opposition, on October 12.

Turkey strongly denies charges that some 1.5 million Armenians perished at the hands of Ottoman Turks in a systematic genocide, saying large numbers of both Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks died in a partisan conflict raging at that time.

"What will you do when Turkey's prime minister goes to France and says 'there was no Armenian genocide'? Are you going to put him in prison?" the state Anatolian news agency quoted Erdogan as telling a group of French businessmen in Istanbul.

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