Yo no soy de Francia, firm says amid Turkish-French disputes
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsA leading discount market chain in Turkey announced it was not France-based with a press release over the weekend in the wake of the French Parliament General Assembly’s acceptance of the bill criminalizing the denial of the alleged 1915 Armenian genocide last week.
Fearing a boycott of its goods by Turkish consumers in Turkey, DiaSA’s General Manager Fernando Gonzales Somoza said in the press release that “DiaSa is a joint Spanish and Turkish retail brand. It has no affiliation whatsoever to France, which is a common misconception.”
Somoza stressed that DiaSA has been operating as a joint venture between Spain’s Dia and Turkey’s Sabancı Holding for the past 12 years and 99 percent of its products were produced in Turkey.
Police cancels Peugeot deal
The release came amidst the government’s moderate calls for a public boycott on French goods as a number of Cabinet members have said such an official move was impossible as Turkey was a member of the EU’s customs union.
However, a first boycott decision came from an official body, the Turkish Security Services.
The police decided not to purchase the French automobile Peugeot 508 model for its police force, according to local news portals. Media reports said the 500,000 Turkish Liras deal was for four official cars.
According to the Anatolia news agency, in 2011, 50 percent of Peugeot light vehicle sales were from cars produced in Turkey.
French investments in Turkey last year were approximately 12 billion euros, according to the Financial Times. The Financial Times also said in a recent report there were currently 970 French companies like Axa, Carrefour and Renault in Turkey.
Turkish business organizations said any attempts to boycott French goods were not sustainable and would fail to achieve their political goals.
Following’s Italy’s move to give the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan temporary residence in 1999, there had been a similar backlash among the Turkish public and a desire to boycott Italian companies like the Italian retailer United Colors of Benetton. Still, figures showed that the boycott was ineffective.
Although there are currently fears that Turkish consumers could boycott French goods and companies, the travel sector does not seem to be too worried.
“There is strong demand for tours to Paris. There have been no reservation cancellations by Turkish travelers,” said Başaran Ulusoy, head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agents (TÜRSAB). ETS International Manager İlker Lanacı also confirmed there had been no cancellations for tours to France.