Turkish gov't wants to establish military base in Northern Cyprus - Reports

The Turkish AKP government wants to urgently set up a navy base in Northern Cyprus, a pro-government newspaper reported
Tuesday, 28 August 2018 17:20

The Turkish AKP government wants to urgently set up a navy base in Northern Cyprus in order to better protect Ankara's interests in the Mediterranean Sea, media reported on Tuesday.

Another possibility under consideration is restoring Geçitkale Air Base in Northern Cyprus that the Turkish Air Force had used in the past, pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper reported, citing a request from the Navy to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The island of Cyprus is de facto separated into two communities: the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. 

Recently, gas reserves off the island of Cyprus have triggered tension between Athens and Ankara. EU President Donald Tusk also urged Ankara to "avoid threats or actions against any EU member" after Turkish warships blocked an Italian drilling vessel seeking to begin exploration for gas off Cyprus.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a warning to neighbouring Greece, Cyprus and international companies exploring for gas in the eastern Mediterranean not to "step out of line" and encroach on Turkey's rights.

Turkey opposes the drilling, which it says disregards the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots. It also claims as its own part of the area Cyprus has designated for exploratory drilling.

In February, Ankara started a construction to build a military establishment on Çavuş Islet in the Aegean Sea, only one mile away from the Kardak islets, after the escalating tension between Turkish and Greek coast guard boats.