At a time that Ankara is disputing Greece’s sovereignty over its islands in the Eastern Aegean, the European Trademarks Office has approved the trademark “Turkaegean» for a Turkish tourism campaign.
The duration of the approval is until 2031, and the trademark is viewed as yet another example of Ankara’s efforts to underline its geopolitical claims in the Aegean, as the trademark essential means Turkish Aegean.
The ad campaign highlights ancient Greek and Hellenistic sites.
The US Patent and Trademark office has tentatively rejected the application for approval of the trademark, reportedly due to errors in the application, and will review it again at a future date.
FT, in a “Partner Content” sunshine journalism piece on its website, quotes the Turkish culture and tourism minister.
“The Turkish Aegean is one of the most exquisite regions Türkiye has to offer,” says Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism for the Republic of Türkiye. “It boasts coastlines wrapped in clear blue water, numerous historical sites dating back to the second century BC, and idyllic beaches to soak up the beaming sun. Many popular holiday villages and fishing harbours can be found up and down the coast – perfect for nature lovers and adventurers.”
“And then there’s the coastline itself to discover. The longest in Anatolia, it extends more than 1,700 miles and has hundreds of beaches – ranging from tranquil golden bays to glittering swathes of pebbles – almost 250 of which are Blue Flag certified. They have the considerable advantage of remaining unspoiled and, in many cases, deserted. You can enjoy the rare luxury of stretching out in the sun on your own private beach,” the article states.
Contacted by Greek Mega television, the European Trademarks Office, which is funded by member-states, said that it does not comment on isolated decisions.
The office is comprised of one member from each EU state, two representatives of the European Commission, and one representative of the European Parliament.
Former Syriza foreign minister slams EU, government
Main opposition Syriza’s fomer foreign minister and current shadow foreign minister, Yorgos Katrougalos, slammed the decision of the trademark office and the government’s failure to block it.
“Under conditions of an extreme [Turkish] dispute of our sovereignty in the Aegean, the commercial trademark Turkaegean is aggressive, and it is unacceptable that it was approved by the EU. The government is obliged to offer answers regarding its actions and omissions,” Katrougalos said in a tweet.