The 'Turkaegean' trademark is blocked in the US, says Adonis Georgiadis

Turkaegean Turkey trademark greece

Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis provided the Parliament with an update on the progress of the appeal filed by Greece against the use of the trademark "Turkagean" used by Turkey, emphasising that its use has already been banned in the USA.

On the sidelines of a parliamentary committee meeting where the new trademark of the Exporters' Association (SEBE) "Macedonian the Great" was presented, the Minister of Development and Investments said "An appeal by Greece against 'Turkaegean' has already been filed."

"It was accepted that the process be confidential, because the matter is political. I'm not prejudging the outcome. But our team is strong," he said.

"It is not an easy task, others have arguments too. In America we have now cut off Turkey's trademark and on their side they appealed and requested that their own trademark be accepted. It is being reviewed by the appropriate US trademark office. So in America the name is blocked," the minister stressed.

With reference to the new SEVE brand, Simeon Diamantidis explained that with "Macedonia the Great", Greek businesses are differentiated from Skopje businesses."

"The first goal is for businesses in Macedonia to take it. Difficult goal to convince them. We will do advertising campaigns, we have informed the chambers, they have embraced it," he continued.

"Our goal abroad is that when someone sees this mark, they understand that it is a Greek product. Let's go to restore this injustice," added Diamantidis.

The approval by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) of the term ‘Turkaegean’ to be used as a trademark by Turkey for its tourism campaigns sparked an angered reaction in Greece in June 2022, with academics and politicians saying it is one more move by Turkey to dispute Greece’s territorial rights.

Turkey applied to the EUIPO for the use of the said term in July 2021. The EU office approved the application in December last year. According to Greek daily Naftemporiki, it also applied with the US trademark office, which however turned it down.

Under the decision, Turkey will be able to use the term ‘Turkaegean’ in all its advertising campaigns including for TV, radio, online, for tourism accommodation and car rentals, and for dozens of other listed services through to July 16, 2031.

The issue was first brought to the press a month ago with the launch of Turkey’s “Turkeagean Coast of Happiness” campaign by Greek language professor Georgios Babiniotis, who described the EU decision as an “international disgrace”.

The professor explained then that the term “Ege”, which is Ancient Greek refers to the Aegean Sea and that in the 16th and 17th centuries the Turks called it the “Sea of the Greeks”.

Babiniotis and other Greek academics and politicians see the move as one more “dangerous” antic by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is hoping through the change of terms – such as describing the Mediterranean as the ‘blue sea’ and the Aegean as ‘Turkeaegean’ – to lay territorial claims.

Commenting on the decision, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the Greek government would be taking legal action against the procedure and decision.

Kikilias said that travelers from Turkey have “filled the Greek islands… Lesvos, Kos, Chios and Samos, and they vote for Greece”, adding that perhaps political leaders should rethink their actions.

At the same time, on Tuesday, Greek Government Spokesperson Yiannis Economou confirmed that Greece would be taking legal action, adding that “the EU did not approve” of the trademark but an office that secures industrial property, trademarks, etc.

EUIPO is funded by EU member states and its board consists of one representative from each country, two from the Commission and one from the European Parliament.

READ MORE: "Turkish ‘Ship of Danger' Has Sailed," says Former NATO Chief Stavridis.

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