ANKARA: French Companies Concerned

By Economy News Desk

Zaman, Turkey
Oct 18 2006

Boycotts launched after the passage of the French bill criminalizing
the denial of an Armenian genocide has unsettled French businessmen.

Laurence Parisot, the president of MEDEF (the French Business
Confederation) – described as France’s TUSIAD (Turkish Industrialists’
and Businessmen’s Association) – said that the reactions to the bill
had unsettled French companies investing in Turkey.

Parisot remarked that the French Assembly moved to vote without having
a full understanding of the gravity of the issue and without trying
to appreciate the possible consequences beforehand.

In a statement to the French news agency AFP, he said: "It is not
for companies to write history, nor is it for lawmakers to write it.

Everyone must appreciate their limits and must stay within their
boundaries. Our evaluation of the bill voted in the French Parliament
is that the French parliamentarians overstepped their boundaries on
such a serious and important matter. We must not make such decisions
without considering their consequences. There are many French companies
either operating in or exporting to Turkey. It is not difficult to
foresee that any rash and impulsive reaction given by the Turkish
government and decision-makers in the economic sector would cause
negative consequences for the French companies in question."

Parisot met with Omer Sabanci, the chairman of the board of directors
of TUSIAD at a meeting organized in Brussels by the Confederation of
European Business (UNICE).

During the meeting, Parisot’s statement came up. Sabanci pointed out
that the parliament’s decision completely baffled the business world
in Turkey and the public.

Sabanci invited Laurence Parisot, president of MEDEF for a year, to
Turkey so he can get to know Turkey better and develop the present
economic ties with the Turkish business world.

"Turkey’s process for full membership to the European Union has got
the full and persistent support of TUSIAD. The French private sector
must also demonstrate its full support to our membership in a much
clearer manner," said Sabanci.

In order for the bill to become law, the endorsement of the senate
and the president is needed. The bill envisages a one year term
in prison and a fine of [email protected] thousand euros for those who deny the
Armenian genocide.

————————————— —————————————–
No Use of Boycott In the Long Run While reactions against France’s
genocide bill are growing, calls for moderation on the boycott issue
are also on the increase.

Chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) Tanil Kucuk said:
"I’m of the opinion that it should not be incumbent on the ISO to
bolster attempts to put an embargo on present investments in Turkey
while making great efforts to attract more of them. If we wrongfully
do so, this will place a question mark in the minds of those willing
to invest in Turkey and considering the present need of Turkey for
more foreign investments, we should adopt a different approach to
the problem."

Kucuk said that reactions such as boycotting French products would
not bear any fruit in the long run but rather the Turkish private
sector should consolidate ties between the two countries instead of
freezing them.

——————————————- ————————————-
Let’s not Dismiss Commonsense Chairman of the Kayseri Chamber of
Industry Mustafa Boydak accentuated the importance of keeping the
boycott within tolerable limits and emphasized that "when our reactions
are more judicial and rational, they will be more effective."

We should never dismiss commonsense.

"We are altogether very sensitive about national issues. We should
not respond to France’s mistake with a mistake. That is to say, our
reactions shouldn’t be based on emotions, but rather on intelligence,
we should make great efforts to observe the limits and be imperturbable
all the time. Let’s not forget the proverb, ‘Haste will bring
repentance’. I especially ask you not to get me wrong; I don’t mean
that we should call it quits and leave everything altogether, however
if we react rationally, our reactions will be more fruitful.

Let us be patient and do whatever befits us as a nation."

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