Turkey threatened more sanctions for France if the Senate in Paris votes later Monday to make it a crime to deny the 20th-century killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks constitutes a genocide.
France's lower house voted to make such denials a crime last month, prompting Turkey to suspended military, economic and political ties. If the bill passes the Senate, it will be on a fast track to becoming law. If it fails, the National Assembly, France's lower house, could take it up again, starting the process over.
As the debate before the vote got under way, rival demonstrations — one pro-Turkish and one pro-Armenian, kept apart by a large police presence — gathered outside the upper house of parliament, waving flags and blowing whistles.
On Saturday, thousands of Turks from across Europe marched through the French capital, accusing French President Nicolas Sarkozy of acting in the hope of securing French Armenians' votes in this year's presidential elections. Full story.