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French National Assembly. Photo: Jacques Brinon / Associated Press
French National Assembly. Photo: Assemblée Nationale / Renan Astier

The story of French recognition of the Armenian genocide dates back to 1915, when the French Foreign Office issued a joint declaration (with Great Britain and Russia) to the Turkish authorities. The declaration condemned the widespread massacres of the Armenians in Turkey:

"For about a month the Kurd and Turkish populations of Armenia have been massacring Armenians with the connivance and often assistance of Ottoman authorities. Such massacres took place in middle April (new style) at Erzerum, Dertchun, Eguine, Akn, Bitlis, Mush, Sassun, Zeitun, and throughout Cilicia. Inhabitants of about one hundred villages near Van were all murdered. In that city the Armenian quarter is besieged by Kurds. At the same time in Constantinople the Ottoman Government ill-treats the innocent Armenian population. In view of those new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied governments announce publicly to the Sublime-Porte that they will hold personally responsible [for] these crimes all members of the Ottoman government and those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres."[41]

In the wake of the genocide and the collapse of Armenian statehood, tens of thousands of Armenians fled to France. Armenians arrived in Marseilles, Valence, Grenoble, Nice, Lyons and Paris. Subsequent waves of migration

August 2009

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