Turkey has again warned France to reject a bill making it illegal to deny the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks amounted to genocide, due for a vote Monday, Turkish media said Sunday.
Turkey will take new and permanent measures against France unless French senators reject the bill, state-run Anatolian news agency quoted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying on France 24 television.
Lawmakers in the lower-house National Assembly voted overwhelmingly last month in favor of the draft law outlawing genocide denial. That prompted Ankara to cancel all economic, political and military meetings with Paris and briefly recall its ambassador for consultations.
Senate leaders of President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party and the opposition Socialists have said they will vote in favor of the bill and it is expected to be passed.
Turkey calls the bill a bid by Sarkozy to win the votes of 500,000 ethnic Armenians in France in a two-round presidential vote on April 22 and May 6. It says it curbs freedom of speech and meddles in matters best left to historians.
Sarkozy wrote a letter to Erdogan last week saying the bill did not single out any particular country and that France was aware of the suffering endured by the Turkish people during the final years of the Ottoman empire.
Turkey argues there was heavy loss of life on all sides, not only among Armenians, during fighting in the region.
European Union candidate Turkey could not impose economic sanctions on France, given its World Trade Organization membership and customs union accord with Europe.
But the spat could cost France state-to-state contracts and would create diplomatic tensions as Turkey takes an increasingly influential role in the Middle East.
(Reporting by Seda Sezer; editing by Andrew Roche)