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A scandal broke out between Turkey and Greece: the tourist division of the Aegean Sea began

The tourism division of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece has reached a new scandalous turn: Greece is trying to block Turkey’s patent for the Turkaegean trademark, which the latter uses as a brand to promote its resorts in the Aegean Sea in other countries, Turkish tourism media reported.

Behind the trademark is not just a name, but Turkey’s ambition to dominate the region. That’s what they think in Greece. According to the Turkish media, Greece perceives the entire Aegean Sea as its monopoly and the Turks, in turn, object to the region being identified only with Greece.

Where did it all start?

The history of relations between the two neighbors on the map and NATO around Turkaegean is ambiguous: the EU trademark agency approved Turkey’s request to register the term Turkaegean – Turkish Aegean – as a trademark in December 2021. The EU Intellectual Property Commission (EUIPO) has granted the trademark to the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency until July 2031, thus accepting Turkey’s request to indirectly appropriate the Aegean through an advertising campaign, patenting TurkAegean for tourism purposes. At the same time, the Greeks themselves came to their senses only six months later. But it was too late.

The term “Turkaegean” means “coast of happiness”. The commercials to attract tourists sounded the following information: “Join the Turkish experience on the shore of happiness! The Aegean region of Turkey offers you beautiful landscapes, dazzling coastlines, pristine beaches, pine forests, and olive groves.” At the same time, the term is an abbreviation of Turkish Aegean, which implies the “Turkish Aegean Sea”. What is not a reason for Greece to oppose its neighbor?

Now, as the peak tourist season approaches, Greece is trying to prevent Turkey from patenting the trademark TurkAegean, which Turkey uses in its tourism campaigns in the US, EU countries, and other territories. In this context, the Athens administration concluded an agreement with Steptoe & Johnson, a law firm specializing in sensitive cases such as trade and border disputes.

Despite Ankara’s statements, Athens views the Turkish campaign as “an attempt to mislead the opinion of the US and the EU regarding Turkey’s encroachments on the Aegean Sea.” According to the Greek press, Steptoe & Johnson will prepare a report confirming Greece’s claims for approximately $70,000.

A decision on Greece’s application is not expected until 2025.

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