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Fresno Groups Cancel Turkish Business Delegation Visit

West Mediterranean Exporters’ Association, is a Turkish government-affiliated group

FRESNO—A meeting between a Turkish agricultural delegation and Fresno business leaders was cancelled after vocal opposition from the Armenian-American community there

“Out of respect to our community, the upcoming event scheduled for January 15 with an agriculturally-based Turkish delegation to Fresno has been canceled,” the Fresno Economic Development Council, Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Fresno County Farm Bureau, and the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno said in a joint statement. State Sen. Andreas Borgeas, a Republican representing Fresno, also signed the statement.

The Business Journal first reported about a planned visit by a delegation of the Turkish West Mediterranean Exporters’ Association, also known as BAIB–a Turkish government affiliated entity–to  Fresno this month as part of a tour to develop business ties in California.

Armenia’s Honorary Consul to Fresno Berj Apkarian and the Armenian National Committee of America’s Fresno Chapter chairman Sevag Tateosian reported complaints from community members and business leaders as soon as the Business Journal reported about the trip.

The BAIB delegation is scheduled to visit San Francisco on January 14 and Los Angeles on January 17.

“We want to research California’s business environment and learn about agricultural production, sales and distribution,” BAIB’s chairman Hakkı Bahar told the Business Journal. “We hope this trip will generate exciting opportunities for business.”


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