Turkish Businessmen to Travel to France to Avert Genocide Bill

PARIS (AFP)–A delegation of Turkish businessmen will travel to France this week to persuade lawmakers to cancel a bill recognizing the killings of Armenia’s under the Ottoman Empire as genocide–a Turkish business organization said Sunday.

The delegation is expected to meet deputies and leading French business representatives during two days of talks in Paris–the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK)–which promotes foreign trade–said in a statement.

The businessmen–headed by the Turkish co-chairman of the Turco-French business council–Aldo Kaslowski–will try to drum up support from French business circles for the French Constitutional Council to quash the bill–a move that is seen as unlikely.

The French National Assembly on January 18 adopted the bill acknowledging that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenia’s during World War I–leading to economic reprisals and unleashing a wave of anger in Turkey.

Protesters have gathered daily in front of French diplomatic missions to denounce the move while many trade and industry groups have called for a boycott of French goods.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said last week that Ankara would announce a list of sanctions against France soon.


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