The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations Andreas Hadjichrysanthou has sent a letter to the Secretary-General denouncing Turkish violations of the national airspace and sea of Cyprus.

Hadjichrysanthou refers to recorded violations of Cyprus’ national airspace, the infringements of international air traffic regulations in Cyprus’ flight information region, the violations of the territorial waters of Cyprus and the illegal use of closed ports and airports in Cyprus, by the air and naval forces of Turkey, during the months of September, October, November and December 2021.

“Concisely, 470 airborne and 27 naval violations were observed during this four-month period. It should be noted that 140 out of the 470 airborne violations were related to the use of Turkish military uncrewed aerial vehicles,” he wrote.

On the ground, he says, “Turkey’s aggressive behaviour continues unabated, building on the presence of its occupation army and the strong militarisation of the occupied areas of Cyprus, including through the constant upgrades of its military infrastructure, such as the military drone base in Lefkoniko and the naval base in Bogazi.

“Attempts of the occupation army to make advances in the buffer zone are observed regularly. Restrictions of movement continue to be placed upon the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, and open threats to remove the United Nations peacekeeping operation’s presence from the occupied areas are expressed by the secessionist regime in public statements,” he added.

According to Hadjichrysanthou, in total disregard of the clear call by the Security Council on the Turkish side to stop and reverse the violations of the status quo in Varosha, the unlawful alteration of the area remains high on the agenda of the occupying power which is keen to benefit economically from opening it, “thus adding insult to the injury of the forceful expulsion of the Greek Cypriot inhabitants of Varosha and the theft and looting of their property following the 1974 Turkish invasion.”

The Security Council, Hadjichrysanthou wrote, “must stand behind its resolutions and ensure they have meaning; otherwise, we risk undermining the credibility of the international system.”