Perhaps a trio of Fresno business groups made the right decision to cancel a meeting with a delegation of Turkish agricultural exporters. It appears that the organizer of the trip denies the Armenian genocide of 1915 ever happened.
The Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation and Farm Bureau were slated to meet with the West Mediterranean Exporters Association (known by the acronym BAIB) on Tuesday (Jan. 15).
Following complaints from the Armenian community, the three groups on Thursday (Jan. 10), along with the Honorary Armenian Consul of the Republic of Armenia based in Fresno, announced the meetings would no longer take place.
Fresno Chamber CEO Nathan Ahle would not comment further than the original news release. EDC and the Farm Bureau did not respond to GV Wire’s requests for comment by the time of publication.
Trip Organizer Responds
The trip is being organized by Trelodex, a consultant group based in Irvine that focuses on opening up Turkish-U.S. markets. When asked for reaction to the cancellation, Trelodex President Gurkan Suzer said the meeting was canceled because of a tight schedule.
Asked further for reaction, Trelodex sent this email (edited for grammar):
“I cannot comment on behalf of other people or organizations.
“It is not the issue of our trip, however, I need to tell you something about the Armenian community concerns. I can only say structures built on lies will collapse someday.
“Russian archives and Turkish archives are open to researchers; German, French and English archives as well. Armenians like to use war propaganda material as facts (like Saddam’s nuclear bombs and the reality, every war creates a reason for itself). And they are increasing the number of casualties every 10 years. The total population of Armenians (was) around 1.5 to 2 million before war. Calculate their population today and compare with other people’s population check the difference. Turkey lost 4 million lives and in 90 years the population increased from 15 million to 80 million, 5 times. There are more than 6-7 million Armenians and it is also 5 times of 1.5 million.
“There were Armenian casualties, of course, mainly from starvation, and disease, which caused millions of Turkish lives and European lives as well. In the first Great War, more people killed by disease and starvation than war. Some people were killed by others, due to the civil war Armenians created during the war and mutual massacre happened. Everybody killed each other. So government of Ottoman Empire found a solution by sending some of the Armenian population to another Ottoman region. … most of the Turks were on many frontiers of the war, some in Gallipoli with their Armenian fellows against ANZACs (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.)
“We do not like to promote hatred like them. If they need the truth, ask them (to) research the archives.
P.S. Please do not write the things about Armenian issues, this is not related with the delegation and I just wanted to give a friendly advice.
Other Meetings Planned
According to a news release prior to the Fresno controversy, BAIB had meetings planned with groups in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
One of those organizations was the California Milk Advisory Board. A CMAB spokesperson said the groups may have met during this past weekend’s San Francisco Fancy Food Show, but nothing formal was set up.
No details were available about other specific meetings.