By Constantinos Psillides
The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (TCCI) filed five cases at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, challenging Cyprus’ application to the EU to register halloumi as a protected designation of origin (PDO), according to Turkish Cypriot media.
Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry chairman Ali Cirali is quoted in the Turkish Cypriot press as saying the “cases were filed because Turkish Cypriot producers were not involved in the registration process, were not consulted, were not given information and as a result the whole process is not fair for Turkish Cypriot producers.”
The TCCI claims it had asked agriculture minister Nikos Kouyialis to be included in the decision making process but never received an answer.
While not disagreeing with the formula for hellim/halloumi – at least 51 per cent goat and sheep milk content – the TCCI has reservations regarding the inspection of Turkish Cypriot industries.
Kouyialis had assured the TCCI that the inspections would be impartial and carried out by foreign experts. The TCCI requested that they were allowed to carry out their own inspections.
Cirali argued in July that if halloumi is registered as a PDO without the Turkish Cypriots involved in the process then “it will lead them to economic destruction, it will weaken their confidence in EU institutions and will inflict major damage on Cyprus peace negotiations.”
Cyprus filed an application to the European Commission to grant halloumi a certificate of PDO in July. A response by the EU is expected in early 2015.
If the Supreme Court rules in favour of the TCCI, it is expected that the process will be derailed.