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Turkish drones to fly out of breakaway Turkish Cypriot airport-reports

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The breakaway Turkish Cypriot state has designated an airport in the north as a base for Turkish drones seeking hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, a news agency said.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), both unarmed and armed, will start to take off from Lefkoniko Airport as of December 16, the privately-held Demiroren news agency reported.

Efforts to base them had taken some time, it said, adding that a team of experts from Ankara considered the commercial airport a suitable option.

Turkey began seeking oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus earlier this year, dispatching two drill ships and an exploration vessel with UAVs escorting them.

The European Union calls the activities illegal and has readied sanctions against Turkey in response.

Ankara says that some areas Cyprus operates in are either on the Turkish continental shelf, or in areas where the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state has rights over any finds.

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