Antakya, located in the southern region of Türkiye and renowned for its extraordinary history, multicultural identity and rich gastronomic culture, has recently been shaken by a devastating earthquake. While trying to heal its wounds and bring the once-remarkable city to its feet, a piece of welcome news has arrived from the European Commission, which approved “Antakya Künefesi” as a protected geographical indication (PGI) upon the application of the Antakya Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Antakya Künefesi, one of the few desserts in Türkiye that contain cheese, consists of kadayıf (lightly baked thread-like dough for Künefe), fresh Antakya cheese, butter and syrup. In production, cheese is baked between the two layers of kadayıf mixed with butter in a flat tray, and syrup is spread before consumption. Antakya Künefesi is produced in Hatay province and its districts, with a recipe transferred from one generation to the next based on a master-apprentice relationship.

PGIs establish intellectual property rights for specific products, whose qualities are specifically linked to the area of production. In the EU, PGI emphasizes the relationship between the specific geographic region and the name of the product, where a particular quality, reputation or other characteristics are attributable to its geographical origin. PGIs protect the product against misuse or imitation and guarantee the true origin of the product to customers. They ensure that all producers in the given geographical area have collective rights over the product, if certain requirements are met.

Antakya Künefesi is the ninth product from Türkiye to receive PGI status from the EU. The PGI status will now ensure that only products produced in Hatay province and its districts, using the traditional recipe and ingredients, can be marketed as Antakya Künefesi in the EU. Antakya Künefesi will be added to the list of 1,614 agricultural products that are already protected.

The publication of the application for PGI registration of Antakya Künefesi has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union dated 15 November 2022 and numbered C 433/64 (available here) and the announcement of the European Commission's approval is available here.

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