The French highest court decision last Tuesday to overturn the “Armenian genocide bill” brought the most recent confrontation over Turkey’s refusal to accept the genocide label for the 1915 mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire to a rather anti-climactic end. Despite Sarkozy’s insistence that he will have a new law drafted, it is clear that this effort is dead in the water. Going forward to the French Presidential elections, Sarkozy can claim to the French-Armenian community that he had at least tried, which may be enough to get him their votes and therefore accomplish his real objective with this law. In the meantime, notwithstanding Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu’s pretend equivocation yesterday over restarting normal relations with France, economic, military and political ties between the two countries will soon resume without much difficulty, because the alternative is too costly. That fact should not obscure the reality that this was an embarrassing episode for both sides, however. Sarkozy basically sacrificed relations with Turkey at the altar of domestic politics, and did so at a time when the French economy, like much of the rest of Europe, needs every break it can get. Furthermore, he seems to have grossly miscalculated the likely Turkish response, operating from outdated assumptions about Turkey. The real (or perceived) strength of the Turkish economy at a time Europe is suffering has emboldened the current government and has made it easier for Turkey to stomach a pause in relations with France than would have been the case even a decade ago. Finally, while the Armenian community’s anger over Turkey’s feet-dragging and their related support for international shaming stunts such as this most recent one by Sarkozy are perfectly understandable, if the goal is to get Turkey to accept the label genocide and/or apologize for the events of 1915, this is just about the worst way to accomplish those goals. As I have argued in my previous work, these types of moves by European countries are interpreted by Turks as part of a long historical chain of hypocrisy to unfairly discriminate against Turkey that goes back to the nineteenth century, and not at all viewed as a sincere call for justice for Armenians. The fact that Sarkozy’s most recent ploy was clearly cynical will only strengthen that perception. The fact is that there are people within Turkey who are trying to have an honest conversation about the events of 1915 and to get the Turkish state to take responsibility for the treatment of Armenian citizens not only in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire but also since the foundation of the Republic in 1923. The mass outrage over the 2007 murder over the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and further outpouring of emotion over the mishandling of his murder trial are a testament to that fact. Tens of thousands of people marched in major cities in Turkey this January to force the state to take responsibility for the trial. Actions such as France’s only weaken such efforts and make it difficult to force open the hyper-nationalist consensus that transcends party politics in Turkey. Even more worrying is that the Turkish side has interpreted this debacle with France as a vindication of the Turkish strategy, ignoring the reality that Turkey is having to take more and more extreme measures to stop these types of genocide recognition and/or denial bills from going through. There may come a day where such measures fall beyond the ability of the Turkish state or end with complete Turkish isolation. We can only hope that domestic efforts to change the terms of debate within Turkey are successful before the centennial of the Armenian genocide in three years, which, given the current political climate in Turkey, seems a hope in vain at the moment. That means 2015 will likely be a very bad year for Turkey. Maybe that is what is needed to shake the status quo for the benefit of all parties involved in the long run. Ayşe Zarakol is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Washington & Lee University blogging for PONARS Eurasia on Turkey, Russia and Iran relations and their common neighborhood.