Dear Friends of Hellim,:
Do you think it is important to save the Hellim trade in the TRNC? I do, but a new Greek Cypriot application is threatening to ban the sale and export of Turkish Cypriot “imitations” of Halloumi, unless this application is rejected by Brussels in favour of a joint Greek/Turkish Cypriot application.
And that will only happen if enough of you write in protest, and get others to do so as well.
So please use the following link to the EU’s official reply-site,
and register your protest on the form they provide on-screen.: you should get an automatic reply acknowledging receipt, and the deadline is quite close, so please do it this week..
Below is Mr Ergun Olgun, Head of Besparmak Think Tank’s reply to Brussels, which contains some of the vital points; but you will doubtless have other issues to raise. And if any of you have contacts with the TRNC Chamber of Commerce, please do forward this to them, so their members can be encouraged to write too.
And please let me know that you have responded -it’s a really lonely task trying to support the TRNC cause sometimes. Here is (below) what Mr Olgun wrote:
Yours sincerely John Oakes, Quercus Public Affairs tel MOB 07791 248 509 /land;line (UK )0203 674 5843
We understand that the Greek Cypriot Authorities have made a unilateral application to register Halloumi in a way that would amount to registering this local cheese as an exclusively Greek Cypriot product.
We, as a Turkish Cypriot nongovernmental organization, wish to draw your attention to the fact that such a registration would fatally deepen the crises of confidence and further undermine the prospects of co-existence/federal partnership between the two politically equal communities of the Island of Cyprus. This would also constitute a devastating blow to the Turkish Cypriot economy (Hellim Cheese is one of the main export products of the Turkish Cypriots) which the EU has pledged to support following the rejection of the Greek Cypriot side of the 2004 UN Comprehensive Settlement Plan.
To open the way for the needed mutual respect and cooperation between the two communities, perhaps, the EU should use this opportunity and ask for a joint application regarding our common local cheese , the production of which has been regulated as an island wide and cross cultural product under a Firman of the Sultan as early as the Ottoman period. Registration following such a joint application would fully respect and preserve the “common” nature of this product (Halloumi in Greek and Hellim in Turkish) as well as the cultural and economic rights of the two communities. We in fact see this as an integral part of the pledges made by the EU towards the Turkish Cypriot Community and as a requirement of the EU Charter.
We look forward to a win-win and forward looking reply/action that will not allow “halloumi/hellim” to be used as yet another political tool and further subordinate one of the two politically equal communities to the will of the other – a recipe for furthering the conflict.
Mustafa Ergun Olgun
Besparmak Think Tank Group”
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