The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Ministry criticized the armaments program launched by the Greek Cypriot administration on Friday, saying the move exacerbates tensions on the divided island.
“The Greek Cypriot administration continues to arm itself to threaten our country, pursuing provocative activities, only serves to increase tensions on the island and the region,” the ministry said.
The statement said that the Greek Cypriot side has been implementing an arms program for some time, knowing that this would cause tensions. He stressed that the increased military alliances of the Greek Cypriot side against the TRNC and its purchase of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and heavy weapons were clearly visible.
“The mentioned arms activities threaten the stability and the atmosphere of peace on our island and the eastern Mediterranean,” the ministry said, urging countries supporting these acts to cease.
In the statement, which noted that the TRNC had made various constructive suggestions and attempted to pave the way for dialogue and cooperation in order to find solutions to the problems affecting Cyprus and to implement confidence-building measures, she said: “As long as Greece The Cypriot administration continues its arms activities, the TRNC and the Republic of Turkey will not refrain from taking the necessary measures. The importance of Turkey’s effective and de facto guarantee is once again furthermore understood in the face of the armaments activities of the Greek Cypriot side.
The island of Cyprus is mired in a decades-long struggle between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of UN diplomatic efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement. Five decades of Cypriot talks have gone nowhere.
The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to retreat to enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at annexing Greece led to Turkey’s military intervention as the guarantor power. The TRNC was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although in a referendum that year most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan that envisaged a reunification of Cyprus in the European Union.