Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he does not have plans to establish a military base in Cyprus but the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will increase its deployment of troops there.
“We will not decrease the number of our soldiers there but on the contrary, we will increase them,” said Erdogan, while speaking to Turkish journalists.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Erdogan went on to say “We do not have a base problem in Turkish Cyprus,” highlighting that Turkey is very close to the island so there is no issue getting there.
“It will take only minutes to reach the Mediterranean. But it does not apply to Greece. We do not need to establish a base there,” he said.
“From now on, we will implement the prescription of our own.”
He also said that if the Greek Cypriot side “had listened” to Turkey, the Cyprus issue would have been resolved with the 2004 UN (Annan) peace plan, adding that Turkey had accepted everything regarding but it was the Greek Cypriots who refused to settle it.
“What did they promise at the referendum and what did they do? We said yes, they said no, they admitted them into the EU and they left us out,” Erdogan said.
Following the latest inconclusive talks for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, Turkey announced it will seek another way to sort out the Cyprus issue, without the United Nations.
According to Turkish media, Ankara is also set to make its appearance in the Eastern Mediterranean in autumn with the ‘Fatih’ drill ship, keeping its naval forces there with Turkish warships regularly patrolling the Eastern Mediterranean.