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Business leaders urge one voice against Turkey boycott of France

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Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) supports France in its request for Eurochambres to condemn Turkish calls to boycott French goods.

“We want to join a request that Eurochambres should take a firm stand and call for an immediate end to Turkey’s call for a boycott of French products,” CCCI president Christodoulos Angastiniotis said in a letter to Eurochambres leader Christoph Leitl.

“We bring to your attention again that this is not the first time that Turkey brutally violates the common values and principles of not only Eurochambres but also the EU itself.”

Angastiniotis argued: “Turkey also refuses to apply its Customs Union with the EU in the case of Cyprus thus effectively boycotting the sale of Cypriot products to Turkey.”

Turkey, he says, “in violation of its Customs Union Agreement, has not abided by its legal obligation to lift its embargo against Cyprus shipping and neither does it accept any trade documents issued by the Republic of Cyprus.”

Eurochambers, he said, “should firmly condemn all actions of Turkey that violate both EU and international law and order and are against the values and principles that we all stand for.”

The pretext used by the Turkish Chambers “that these issues are political should not be accepted anymore”.

“Turkey’s behaviour and actions have serious adverse consequences on the economies and the business enterprises of the countries that are represented in Eurochambers through their national Chambers and they should stop immediately,” Angastiniotis said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for Turks to boycott French goods and urged EU leaders to halt French leader Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda.

Erdogan said that the French president needed a mental health check, repeating a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara over the weekend, as he appealed to Turks to shun French products.

France is the 10th biggest source of imports into Turkey and the seventh biggest market for Turkey’s exports.

French autos are among the highest selling cars in Turkey.

On Monday, the French Embassy in Ankara issued a warning to French nationals living and travelling in Turkey to exercise “great vigilance” due to the “local and international” context, urging them to avoid any gathering or demonstration in public places.

Macron has pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, saying it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in France.

The country has since been shaken by the beheading of a teacher by an Islamist militant, avenging the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.

Eurochambres represents over 20 million companies through 45 members and a European network of 1,700 regional and local Chambers.

Its direct members are national associations of Chambers of Commerce based in 26 EU countries, European Free Trade Association countries, and some Eastern European, Western Balkans and Mediterranean countries.