TURKEY: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has stated that Turkey will strengthen its military presence in Cyprus after the United States loosened its restrictions on the island nation’s capacity to deal in defence products.
The easing of the restrictions, according to Erdogan, was “inexplicable in terms of content and timing,” he claimed in a televised interview with CNN Turk.
The UN Security Council should create equal rights for Turkish Cypriots, he continued. We’ll expedite things if the Security Council behaves justly, he said.
He continued to criticise the UN, saying that the body has not yet taken any action to recognise the Turkish Cypriot people’s sovereign equality.
He added, “UN members can establish their [Turkish Cypriots’] rights by recognising the ‘TRNC’ if the Security Council cannot do so.”
Reason for trade restrictions’ lifting
The United States State Department announced earlier this month that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had eased Cyprus’ trade restrictions on defence goods for the upcoming fiscal year 2023.
“The United States, which overlooks and even promotes the Cypriot-Greek pair’s actions that undermine peace and security in the eastern Mediterranean, will lead to an arms race on the island with this step,” Erdogan stated.
“Will we wait here? We cannot;” Erdogan added that Turkey will supplement its 40,000 existing troops on the island with ground, naval, and aircraft weaponry, ammunition, and vehicles.
Erdogan stated that everyone needed to understand that this final action would not go unanswered and that every safety measure would be taken to ensure the security of the Turkish Cypriots.
Following a Turkish invasion in 1974 that was started by a short coup with Greek influences, Cyprus was divided. Since that time, Cyprus has been governed by a southern Greek Cypriot government that is not recognised by Ankara.
Only Ankara recognises the secessionist Turkish state on the northern half of the divided island.
Additionally, Blinken found and informed Congress that the Republic of Cyprus has complied with all requirements set out in the applicable laws, allowing for the authorization of exports, re-exports, and transfers of defence equipment to the Republic of Cyprus for the fiscal year 2023.
Every year, the conditions are reviewed for compliance. The Secretary lifted the defence trade restrictions for the Republic of Cyprus for the fiscal year 2023 as a result of this conclusion and certification.
On October 1, 2022, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations will be updated to reflect the new approach.