LOS ANGELES- The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce has announced the cancellation of the “Los Angeles Turkey Business Forum,” scheduled for Thursday, May 25. Billed as a roundtable meeting with CEOs and board members from 12 of the most prominent companies in Turkey, the event was to serve as a way to develop business alliances in LA and Turkey.
Its cancellation comes in response to concerns raised by Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail attacked peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s home on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., last week. The attack, caught on video, shows Erdogan’s detail leaving his side and crossing an American police line to punch, kick and push citizens who were lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. The attack has been widely condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike, with Sen. John McCain urging the State Dept. to expel Turkey’s ambassador from the United States.
City Councilmember Paul Krekorian praised the Chamber’s actions: “I thank the LA Chamber for being responsive to my request and cancelling the Los Angeles Turkey Business Forum. 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.”