The editor of online Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, has called for Turkey to establish a naval base in the occupied north of Cyprus in a provocative editorial published on Tuesday.
The editorial cites numerous reasons for the justification of a naval base, amongst those to “protect” the occupied North’s “sovereignty as various countries boost military deployments in the Mediterranean using the Syrian war as an excuse, as the Greek administration of the Republic of Cyprus splits energy reserves. In this context, the Turkish Naval Forces Command submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Turkey should establish a naval base in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”
The piece continues citing the “energy struggles” in the region, a sore point for Turkey given the recent alliance and joint explorations of Cyprus and Israel with US backing.
“The Greek administration of the Republic of Cyprus is working to establish control over the Eastern Mediterranean energy fields. It is cutting deals with all countries except Turkey, namely Israel, in order to limit Ankara’s naval authority.
“Actors have already started to take sides in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is of critical importance because of its energy reserves worth billions of dollars. The area is also significant because it is a key route in world trade and energy traffic. Turkey has continued to voice a strong stance against violations in the Eastern Mediterranean on various platforms, and has prepared a precautionary plan.”
The provocative editorial concludes by suggesting that a Turkish base in the region will reduce reaction time for “military and humanitarian” action, adding that it such a base will ensure a stable and peaceful region.