ΑΤΗΕΝS – While the United States rejected it, the European Union’s approval of the trademark Turkeagean that let Turkey claim part of the Aegean Sea area to lure tourists has brought an okay as well from 84 more countries.
That includes Canada, China, Montenegro, Morocco, Russia, Switzerland and Uzbekistan, among others, leaving Greece’s New Democracy government scrambling to explain why it didn’t know about it for six months and vowing to fight although it’s too late and little chance of winning.
“The message is not neutral, neither from a political or communications point of view, Theodoros Georgopoulos, a lawyer and director of the Greek Wine Association who specializes in trademark law, told Kathimerini, dismissing efforts to play down Turkey’s move. “If it is registered in multiple countries, ‘Turkaegean’ will become the brand of the country’s tourism office.”
“At the legal level, the Greek state needs to submit objections, while at the diplomatic level it needs to explain that the specific moves are part of a more general framework of revisionism and tension in the Aegean region… It is important that this argument is heard by the judge who will deal with the matter in a country on the other side of the world,” he told the paper.
It’s been embarrassing to Greece with the government outmaneuvered by Turkey during a time of rising tension and with Greece having opened early to tourists with campaigns reaching out, but Turkey likely tied to the Aegean.
Turkey is using the Turkaegean campaign to promote what it said is the beauty of its coat and got sponsored content with major media such as the Financial Times promoting its lures.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he covets return of some Aegean islands ceded to Greece in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that he doesn’t recognize, some so close to Turkey’s coast you can swim to them.
Even the US gave Turkey the chance to reapply for trademark approval there, the initial rejection based on technical reasons, opening the door for Turkey to also gain another okay.
European Commission Vice-President Margartis Schinas, from New Democracy, interjected himself and tried to make a political issue over Greece’s push to try to stop Turkey from using the trademark that runs through 2031.