Turkey says Canada’s genocide policy may hinder free trade deal

Postmedia Breaking News
April 7, 2013 Sunday

Turkey says Canada’s genocide policy may hinder free trade deal

OTTAWA – Turkey’s ambassador to Canada says the Harper government’s
decision to label the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as
genocide may be hindering a potentially lucrative trading
relationship.

Ambassador Tuncay Babali tells The Canadian Press that Canada’s
position on the First World War-era slaughter of an estimated 1.5
million Armenians still carries a sting for his country.

But he says Turkey still wants to press on with forging a deeper
economic relationship with Canada, ideally a free trade agreement to
compliment the current Canada-European Union free trade talks.

Babali says he suspects Canada is not engaging as quickly as Turkey
would like because the genocide issue is still hanging over relations.

The $2.5 billion in two-way trade between countries “is far from the
potential” of what Turkey predicts would result from deeper economic
ties: $10-$15-billion within five years, he says.

Canada’s Parliament voted in 2004 to recognize the events of 1915 to
1923 as a genocide carried out by Ottoman Turks during the Armenian
uprising, a position the Harper government formally adopted after
winning power.

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