ISTANBUL (Noyan Tapan)–French president Jaques Chirac has canceled his scheduled visit to Turkey to discuss a $4 billion military warplane deal with Turkey which was pulled back–reported the Hurriyet newspaper.
The Turkish Ambassador to France Syunmez Kyoksal was summoned to Elysee Palace–where he was presented with a protest letter from Chirac which specifically said that–"through the personal efforts and initiative of president Chirac–the Armenian Genocide issue was defeated in the Senate. The president–at European and especially at the EU Helsinki conference–stopped at nothing to support Turkey’s candidacy to the European Union. Thus–the ease with which Turkey withdrew from a planned deal to sell warplanes to France was surprising and sad."
The Turkish press called Chirac’s letter threatening–adding that while Turkey-France relations were improving at a rapid pace–there are certain obstacles put forth by the French senate and the national assembly.