FRESNO (Fresno Bee) –A planned reception in Fresno for a food and agriculture delegation visiting from Turkey has been canceled after complaints from members of the area’s influential Armenian community.
The group of 25 people from 14 Turkish food companies in the West Mediterranean Exporters Association was originally to visit Fresno on Tuesday as part of a three-day swing through California.
The Fresno itinerary was to include meetings and an industry reception with the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, the Fresno Economic Development Corporation and the Fresno County Farm Bureau, according to Trelodex, a Turkish trade-consulting firm that is organizing the trip.
On Thursday, however, the chamber, EDC, Farm Bureau and state Sen. Andreas Borgeas issued a joint statement with Berj Apkarian, Armenia’s honorary consul in Fresno, announcing they were canceling Tuesday’s event “out of respect to our community.”
The California tour includes stops at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on Monday and visits with wholesalers, produce markets and supermarkets in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
News of the reception in Fresno reportedly sparked objections and complaints by Armenian-Americans in Fresno, including calls to Apkarian’s honorary consulate office in Fresno.