ΑΤΗΕΝS – Greece is griping that the European Union approved an application from Turkey designating a trademark “Turkaegean,” in touting Turkey as an Aegean destination at the same time the countries are dueling over rights to the seas.
New Democracy spokesman Giannis Oikonomou told SKAI TV that the government will take some kind of recourse, without saying what that could be, over the EU agency for trademarks okaying the term.
He said that the decision has no political connotations and does not constitute a trademark over which Turkey has exclusive rights but it may be too late to do anything about it, giving Turkey a clear field over that part of the Aegean.
He said the procedure prevented Greece from opposing the application that was approved in December, 2021 – six months previously – without saying whether the government knew anything about it.
The trademark is good until July 2031 but it wasn’t said whether Greece would try to respond in kind with a campaign to show it also has Aegean island destinations for tourists.
Turkey said the term Turkaegean will describe a “coast of happiness,” although most islands there along its coast belong to Greece, some so close that people can shout to them from Turkey.
“The Aegean Region of Türkiye offers you the beautiful landscapes, dazzling coastlines, immaculate beaches, pine woods and olive groves,” the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency’s GoTürkiye website says.
Greece is a member of the EU that Turkey has fruitlessly been trying to join since 2005, prospects worsening under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan whose authoritarian governments jails journalists and dissidents.
While the EU approved the trademark for Turkey – during a time when Erdogan has raised provocations to near-conflict levels, the United states Patent and Tradmark Office provisionally turned down the application to register the term but Turkey can still reapply.
The two countries are major rivals in attracing tourists and usually tone down differences during the summer so as not to disrupt it but Erdogan instead this year has cranked up the tension.