L.A. Chamber Cancels Turkey Business Forum after Protest Beating Incident


LOS ANGELES (LA Business Journal) — The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has cancelled a forum set for this week on doing business with Turkey.

The move comes in the aftermath of the beating last week of protestors in Washington, DC, by bodyguards of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We have informed our members that the meeting with the business delegation from Turkey scheduled for Thursday, May 25 at the Chamber office has been called off,” a statement issued Monday by the Chamber reads. “This decision was made because we determined that holding the meeting would not be in the best interests of our members or the visiting delegation from Turkey.”

The chamber forum, which was to have been cosponsored by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of International Trade, was to have featured a roundtable with executives and board members from 12 Turkish companies in the construction, engineering, aerospace, textiles, manufacturing, and financial sectors.

The request to cancel the forum came from Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Kerkorian, the first Armenian American elected to the council.

“I thank the L.A. Chamber for being responsive to my request and cancelling the Los Angeles Turkey Business Forum,” Krekorian said in a statement. “The unprovoked attack by Turkish state security officers on peaceful American citizens was reprehensible and a grave breach of our country’s laws. That the business community in our great city recognizes that human rights must be upheld by all within our borders is a credit to their vision and conscience.”