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Fresno Groups Cancel Meeting With Turkish Ag Delegation

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After complaints from Fresno’s Armenian community, a scheduled meeting between a Turkish agricultural delegation and local business leaders is off the calendar.
“Out of respect to our community, the upcoming event scheduled for January 15 with an agriculturally-based Turkish delegation to Fresno has been canceled,” the Fresno EDC, Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Fresno County Farm Bureau, and the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno said in a joint statement.
Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) also signed the statement.
The Fresno Business Journal first reported about the meeting between the Fresno groups and the West Mediterranean Exporters Association, known by the acronym BAIB.

BAIB Visit

“Out of respect to our community, the upcoming event scheduled for January 15 with an agriculturally-based Turkish delegation to Fresno has been canceled.”
According to its website, BAIB is a union of ag product exporters representing Turkey. They often send delegations to America to various trade shows.
The Business Journal reported that the group’s mission was to help create trade opportunities.
The trade mission is being organized by Trelodex, a Los Angeles-based consultant. The itinerary includes stops at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show this weekend, visits to production and packing facilities in Fresno, along with the now-canceled meeting with the Fresno groups. A visit to Los Angeles is also part of the trip.
“California is the most important agriculture exporter in the USA and Antalya region in Turkey is likewise for Turkey. Many business opportunities may be created if the relations develop,” Trelodex said on its website.

Meetings Offended Armenian Community

The Armenian community, with a strong presence in Fresno, has a contentious relationship with Turkey. One of the top sources of strife is the 1915-1917 Armenian Genocide, the massacre in which 1.5 Armenians were killed at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
After the Business Journal first reported the story on Wednesday (Jan. 9), honorary consul Berj Apkarian said his phone was besieged by upset members of the community.
Comments on the Facebook page of Sevag Tateosian, a former aide to Supervisor Debbie Poochigian and current talk show host on CMAC, expressed dismay that the delegation was coming to down. Tateosian also serves as chair of the Armenian National Committee of America Central California.
“Block it,” wrote one social media user.
Lee Ann Eager, president/CEO of Fresno EDC, along with Nathan Ahle, president/CEO of the chamber, attended swearing-in ceremonies at Fresno City Hall for the new council Thursday.
Eager and Ahle told GV Wire that they experienced many calls about the trade group’s visit. Both left City Hall early to confer with Apkarian and Ryan Jacobsen of the farm bureau.

Fresno Chamber CEO Nathan Ahle (left) and Fresno EDC CEO Lee Ann Eager (center) leave Fresno City Hall to attend a meeting with the Armenian Consul regarding a visit by a Turkish ag delegation (GV Wire Photo/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email