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Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president condemns claims of use of UK base in Greek Cyprus to support Israel

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published November 28,2023
(AA File Photo)

The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) commented on the allegations that the UK used its bases in Greek Cyprus to support Israel's attacks on Gaza, emphasizing that such actions would never receive approval from the Turkish people.

President Ersin Tatar told Anadolu it was unpleasant for the UK, as a respected state, to support such a massacre. He said, "If the intervention is made from Cyprus, it is even worse because Cyprus is our homeland where we were born and raised. The Turkish Cypriot people condemned such an incident and never approved of it. Being a part of such brutality, such oppression from here."

After Oct. 7, it is alleged that the UK used its bases in Southern Cyprus to support Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Haaretz newspaper claimed that more than 40 U.S. cargo planes, 20 British cargo planes, and seven cargo helicopters transported weapons, equipment, and personnel to the Akrotiri base on the island of Cyprus.

Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Christodoulides argued that the UK bases on the island were not used by the U.S. for transporting weapons and ammunition to Israel but were prepared for possible evacuations in the region by the British and Americans.

Cyprus Mail reported on Nov. 21 that the UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, announced an increase in the number of troops on the island and in the Eastern Mediterranean from 3,500 to 4,500 after Oct. 7.

The UK Ministry of Defense informed Parliament on Nov. 13 that the Royal Air Force provided surveillance support to Israel with the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and other military vehicles after Oct.7.

On Oct. 13, the UK Prime Minister's Office announced that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had instructed the deployment of two warships, three military helicopters, and some aircraft to the bases on the Greek side of the island for support to Israel, strengthening regional stability, and increasing deterrence in the area.

Condemning Israel's attacks on Gaza, Tatar stated, "As the Turkish Cypriot people, we express our discomfort at the highest level. We condemn this violence, this brutality, which can lead to the death of thousands of people, including innocent civilians, children, and the elderly, against disproportionate force."

Highlighting that Türkiye is the only country fulfilling its role among the guarantors with the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation, Tatar reminded that the UK remained indifferent during the 1963 events. He said, "However, they interfere in another country's affairs by using these bases. Because of the bases they acquired in the past, the UK can conduct military operations in these regions as it pleases."