Minister sees French firms investing in Turkey as locals

Minister sees French firms investing in Turkey as locals

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Minister sees French firms investing in Turkey as locals

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan addresses journalists after a meeting with chief executives of French companies in Turkey. AA photo

Turkey views all French firms that have invested in Turkey as Turkish, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said at a press conference following a closed meeting with French businessmen in Turkey on Jan. 27.

“Those foreign companies – be they from France or any other country - who trustfully invested in Turkey, are Turkish companies in our eyes,” Çağlayan told reporters, amid calls for restraint against potential boycott campaigns against French products.

“The Armenian Genocide bill accepted by the French Senate is a populist measure and I believe reason will override this populist mentality,” said Çağlayan.

The minister said the bill did not reflect the views of either the French citizens, or the French businessmen doing business in Turkey.

‘Turkey may not control reaction against bill’
However, Çağlayan warned that “it would be hard to control the behavior of Turkish people” over French genocide denial bill, following a meeting with the representatives of French companies based in Turkey.

There were already calls from civil society to boycott French products in Turkey, even before the completion of legal procedures in France.

After the French Senate’s approval of the bill, there has been a campaign to collect the 60 signatures necessary from senators to petition to the French Constitutional Court for review and possible annulment of the bill. Deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Hüseyin Çelik said three-quarters of the signatures had already been collected and expressed his expectation for the completion of signatures soon.

Çağlayan’s meeting brought together the CEO’s of prominent French companies based in Turkey such as Renault, Axa, Carrefour and Peugeot.

“They have expressed that this initiative did not represent the views of the French people and that they do not approve of it,” Çağlayan said.