Turkey, World

Turkey: First military drone lands in Northern Cyprus

TRNC government approves Turkey’s use of Gecitkale Airport for unmanned aerial vehicle flights with Friday's statement

Muhammet Ikbal Arslan and Nazli Yuzbasioglu   | 16.12.2019
Turkey: First military drone lands in Northern Cyprus

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

The first Turkish military drone on Monday landed at Gecitkale Airport in the eastern coastal city of Magusa (Famagusta) in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles, stationed at Naval Air Base Command in Turkey's Aegean district of Dalaman, landed in TRNC at 10 a.m. (0700GMT) following a green light from the government of the country.

In a statement on Friday, the TRNC Prime Ministry said the government approved Turkey’s use of Gecitkale Airport for unmanned aerial vehicle flights.

Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the TRNC, is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels.

Ankara has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at annexation of Cyprus by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.

* Writing by Burak Bir

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