Turkey is reportedly preparing to establish air and naval bases in occupied Lefkonoiko

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Turkish daily Yeni Safah (14.06.10-https://www.yenisafak.com/dunya/hava-ussu-gecitkale-3494774) under the title: “Air base in Lefkonoiko”, reports that efforts for the establishment of an air and naval base by Turkey in the island for its security in the Eastern Mediterranean, continue. According to the paper, while it is planned for occupied Lefkonoiko to open as an air base, the works for locating the place for the establishment of a naval base are about to the completed.

The paper adds that Turkey, providing as an excuse the war in Syria, has increased its military presence in all countries, while at the same time is planning its actions in order to protect its sovereign rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, as a retaliation against the attempts by “Greek and the Greek Cypriot administration to create a fait accompli in the region”. Accordingly, Turkey’s Naval Forces (TNF) have submitted a proposal to the so-called foreign ministry for the establishment of a naval base in the “TRNC” and the “ministry” is working on it. “The proposal gives point to the need for safeguarding the sovereign rights of the TRNC, protecting Turkey’s and the TRNC’s rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and undertaking measures for preventing the occupation of the naval energy fields”.

According to the paper, the Turkish Naval Forces proposes the “establishment of sovereign bases” in the “TRNC” similar with the British bases in the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as the Republic of Cyprus is referred to, stressing the need for these naval bases to be located in an appropriate place, with the aim to strengthen Turkey and the “TRNC” at the Cyprus negotiation talks. “Especially after the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has started working on this proposal. Ankara has sent a military delegation to the island. While it has shown its existence in the region by sending the Turkish fleet which protects the Fatih drilling ship and the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, it is planning at the same time to establish facilities providing port easiness and also to increase the logistic potential and capabilities of the fleet”. 

The paper adds further: “Among the issues being discussed during the military delegation’s visit to the island was the issue of the establishment of air bases. It is obvious that the airfield at Gecitkale airport, [Translators note: occupied Lefkonoiko] is unserviceable and that efforts are exerted forGecitkale airfield to become serviceable in order to be able to meet the needs of the Turkish troops in the area aiming to provide security in the region. Even though Gecitkale was used in the past as an airfield for the landing of Turkish Stars and other military planes, now it is closed”.