ANKARA (Reuters)–Turkey announced on January 1–that it had canceled a road tender worth $620 million to $1.44 billion–because both consortia bidding included French firms.
The cancellation was the latest retaliatory move against a French law that recognizes the killings of Armenia’s during the Ottoman Empire as genocide. French President Jacques Chirac endorsed the law earlier this week.
The consortia bidding for the contract was aimed to build a highway–either a bridge or an undersea tunnel crossing the Izmit bay in northwest Turkey. French firms Bouygues–Champenon Bernard and Transroute International were part of the two consortia bidding for the deal.
Turkey has already canceled a satellite contract with a French firm and warned it will exclude French firms from future defense contracts. Ankara also blocked French companies from a tender earlier this week–but Thursday’s move was the first to touch other European countries as well.
Earlier this week French President Jacques Chirac signed into force the law recognizing the Armenian genocide–dashing any hopes Ankara had that the law might be blocked. In retaliation–Turkey has announced numerous measures ranging from canceling lucrative contracts to threatening to strip several Ankara streets of French names.
Suggestions that Armenia’s would participate in Britain’s Holocaust Day last week sparked angry reactions from Turkey as well.