11 2006, Kaynak :
!p ="justify">ANKARA - Yasar Yakis, former foreign minister and MP from right-wing AK Party, argued that Turkey should expel 70,000 illegal Armenian workers in Turkey in apparent retaliation for the probable adoption by the French National Assembly. However many Turks oppose this idea.

Sukru Elekdag, former diplomat and MP from left-wing cHP party, also a former senior diplomat and deputy of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), at a press conference at Parliament on Monday, said that France has been exploiting Turkey's EU membership process and was trying to get Turkey to eventually cave in.

Over 70,000 Armenian citizens have been illegally working in Turkey but have been tolerated, Elekda? said. However, Turkey should now implement the related laws and gradually send these illegal workers back, he added.

In addition to this measure, Turkey should also decrease the number of flights between Istanbul and Yerevan, which is seven flights per week at the moment, Elekda? also added.

The idea was originally voiced by former Foreign Minister Ya?ar Yakis, head of Parliament's European Union Harmonization Commission, during a meeting in the northwestern province of Duzce province in a show of reaction against the French bill penalizing any denial of the claimed genocide of Armenians.

"Seventy-thousand illegal Armenian workers in Turkey should be sent back to Armenia in response to the bill", Yakis offered.

“You may say that the mistake was made by France, but the ones punished are Armenian. However, Armenia should as well be aware of its responsibilities,” he was quoted as saying by the Dogan News Agency.

However some of the Turkish parliamenterians say that "if they are illegal, they should expel immediately without making any connection with the French draft".

Yakis based his argument on the fact that the Armenian lobby in France played a key role in bringing the controversial bill to the agenda of the French National Assembly.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ozcan, Turkish EU expert, however argues that "Turkey should not expel anyone as a measure against France's Armenian attempts: "France makes mistakes. Turkey should not do the similar mistakes. Armenians came here, because they are not happy in Armenia. They found jobs and stable life here. We should not disturb these people. They continue to make contribution to Turkey's and Armenia's economies" Prof. Ozcan added.


2008 ERAREN,