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Cyprus

Protest at UN over Turkey’s violation of Republic’s airspace

Tymbou (Ercan) airport

Cyprus’ representative to the UN has protested to the UN secretary-general over Turkey’s violations of the Republic’s airspace and the illegal use of closed ports by Turkish warships in January, it was reported on Friday.

In the letter, ambassador Kornelios Korneliou lists the systematic use of the illegal Tymbou (Ercan) airport by Turkish commercial aircraft.

The letter – which includes two annexes reporting all Turkish violations – has been circulated as an official document of the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly.

The letter said that authorities in the north had also illegally issued three notices to airmen, on January 4, 10 and 26, relating to exercises conducted by the Turkish Air Force.

“More recently, the occupation regime has started interfering with radio frequencies, including distress and emergency frequencies, of the Republic of Cyprus, thus obstructing the smooth operation of the Navtex service that delivers navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent maritime safety information, to ships,” the letter said.

Korneliou said that Turkey’s actions “clearly aim at undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, bolstering the continuing de facto division and upgrading the secessionist entity’s status by claiming a purported airspace over the occupied territory of the Republic. Additionally, Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region (FIR) via radio calls.”

He added that Nicosia FIR infringements and violations of the national airspace continued unabated.

“Turkey’s policy of persistently breaching international law and defying international rules and regulations puts the safety of international civil aviation at risk, has a negative impact on the stability of the region and causes difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus,” he said.

“On behalf of my government, I strongly protest against the continuing infringements of international air traffic regulations and the violations of the national airspace and the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and appeal for their immediate cessation,” the letter said.

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