President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens to increase Turkey’s military presence in the illegally occupied North Cyprus. Erdogan’s threats come just a few hours before the opening of the annual session of the UN General Assembly, with Secretary General Antonio Guterres to examine the prospects of resuming the negotiations on the Cyprus issue.
Speaking to reporters about a series of issues, Erdogan rejected plans proposed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to the country’s Foreign Ministry to establish a naval base in North Cyprus.
“There is no need for a base, we are just a few minutes away,” Erdogan said commenting that “Greece does not have such a geographical advantage.”
He said that Turkey does not have plans to withdraw some of the estimated 35,000 to 40,000 troops deployed in the occupied North Cyprus.
“No, we are not going to withdraw troops. We are not going to decrease the number of our soldiers there. We are going to increase them, not decrease them,” the Turkish President stressed.
“The Turkish Armed Forces will increase the deployment of troops there,” he added.
Claiming that a military base in the occupied North Cyprus would have a “psychological factor,” Erdogan said “if a need arises, we will establish a naval base there.”
I don’t know how serious Erdogan is about increasing the military presence in occupied Cyprus or whether he just puts another card on the negotiations table should the Cyprus talks resume.