It was a bad day at the office yesterday for Turkey's apologists for genocide. First, the lower house of the French parliament passed an opposition-sponsored bill to make denial of the Armenian genocide a crime, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $75,000 fine.

Then the the award was announced of this year's Nobel prize for literature to Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, who has previously faced prosecution under a law criminalising the opposite opinion: he had expressed sympathy with the Armenians in a country still deeply in denial over the 1915-17 genocide.