Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay on Thursday called on the Greek Cypriot side to call off naval exercises slated to take place this week off Kokkina, which he said, were in violation of the north’s ‘territorial waters’.
In a written statement, Ozersay warned that the Turkish Cypriot side would take countermeasures.
Ozersay said that while the preparations for marking the 56th anniversary of the Tylliria battles of August 1964, which he called “Erenköy (Kokkina) resistance” are continuing, the Greek Cypriot leadership’s provocations are seriously increasing.
Citing information, he said that the Greek Cypriot side would be carrying out a naval exercise off Kokkina, “which is the territory of the TRNC, on the 9th of August 2020, during which cannon shots would be made which is a direct violation of our territorial waters.”
He added that the Turkish Cypriot side has taken the “necessary initiatives in the presence of the UN to cancel this provocative act” and that they are closely following developments “in consultation with our military institutions”.
“If the Greek Cypriot side does not stop increasing the tension, we will take measures,” he said.
He added that this was yet another provocative move by the Greek Cypriot side following the instalment recently of 187 portable concrete structures that are like military observation posts “along the line of contact to gain military advantage”.
He said that was a hostile act and the Turkish Cypriot had asked for their immediate removal through the UN. “At this point, we would like to emphasise that the Greek Cypriot leadership has been given time until mid-August to remove the mentioned structures.”
He accused the Greek Cypriot side of taking advantage of the pandemic to make such moves and said this was “a big mistake”.
Ozersay expressed hope that the Greek Cypriot side would put an end to its “hostile attitude” within that timeframe, “otherwise, we conveyed to the Greek Cypriot leadership through the United Nations that the necessary countermeasures would be taken and that we would respond at least at the same level.”