In the statement made by the TRNC Presidency, it was stated that TRNC President Ersin Tatar wrote a letter to the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, drawing attention to the difficulties posed to the Turkish Cypriots, and stressing that the regulation that is being tried to be implemented aims to subordinate the Turkish Cypriot producers to the Greek Cypriot authorities, and emphasising that this is unacceptable.
“Although it was accepted at the evaluation meeting of the Halloumi Coordination Board under the TRNC Prime Ministry with the participation of the Undersecretaries of the relevant Ministries, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry on 12nd April, 2021, halloumi (hellim) is still a product with an EU-protected origin name, from which Turkish Cypriot manufacturers cannot benefit. It was reminded that the board evaluated the problems experienced in the process of exporting to the EU and it was decided to transfer the issue to the President in order to take the necessary initiatives.
Following this decision, it was noted that President Ersin Tatar accepted the members of the Halloumi Coordination Board and, at the evaluation meeting held, the Board requested that the problems experienced be conveyed to the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, via a letter to be signed by President Tatar. “
The statement continued:
“In line with this request, a letter was sent by our President containing the problems conveyed by the Board.
In his letter, our President stated that discrimination and injustice against Turkish Cypriots would not be accepted and asked the President of the Commission to review the regulations that were trying to be put into effect by the EU, violating the basic principle that one of the two parties cannot exercise authority over the other as a requirement of the Turkish Cypriot side’s pre-existing equal rights.
Our President explained that the regulation that is being put into practice aims to subordinate the Turkish Cypriot producers to the Greek Cypriot authorities, that this serves the Greek Cypriot side’s ambitions to dominate the whole island by spreading its authority to the TRNC, and that this outdated approach cannot bring peace and stability to the island.
Reminding the responsibility of the European Commission to find a functioning mechanism in terms of registration on the entire Island, our President took a step towards starting the process by appointing the health and food safety inspection body necessary for the export of halloumi to the European Union via the Green Line as soon as possible by the Commission or both parties. He also voiced his request for it to be removed.
Our President also told Ursula von der Leyen that the European Union’s decision on Halloumi harms the environment in a process where efforts to build cooperation and trust between the two sides continue and the balance must be observed in order for the official negotiations to start, and he drew attention to the fact that it further undermined the Turkish Cypriot people’s confidence in the European Union.”