Turkey deploys strike drones in northern Cyprus
Erdogan: Turkey has deployed drones, including strike drones, in northern Cyprus
Turkey has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in northern Cyprus and has not ruled out new arms shipments to the island, President Tayyip Erdogan said.
“Turkey has deployed UAVs, including strike drones, in northern Cyprus. I do not rule out new arms deliveries to the island. This is our right. We must fully secure the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) from all directions,” Anadolu Agency quoted the Turkish leader as saying.
According to him, this was Turkey’s first reaction to the U.S. decision to lift the arms embargo on Greek Cyprus.
Erdogan also commented on the possibility of establishing a new Turkish military base on the Karpaz peninsula in northern Cyprus. He pointed out that regardless of the decision on the establishment of the military base, the Turkish Air Force planes that take off from Turkish territory can still reach the island in the shortest possible time.
“There are no problems in this matter either,” he assured.
The Turkish leader spoke about the Greek Cypriot leader’s initiative to hold a bilateral meeting.
“Nikos Anastasiades (in Prague) insisted on a bilateral meeting. He even got the mediators involved. I responded by reminding him that his term ends in two months. In a situation like this, such an issue is not discussed. I also pointed out that they (Nicosia) are always acting under somebody’s orders. And this is not the way things are done and will not lead to the desired result,” Erdogan said.
Cyprus has been de facto divided between the Greek and Turkish communities since 1974 after an armed Turkish invasion, triggered by a coup d’état in Cyprus and an attempt to annex the island to Greece. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was proclaimed in 1983 with 37% of the island occupied. It was recognized only by Turkey.