Turkish Cypriot Leader Ersin Tatar said on Monday that “as a respected state, the United Kingdom should not support such a genocide,” referring to reports of the British bases being used to support Israel in the conflict in Gaza.

“Both the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot side will definitely not approve of the island being used as a tool for Israel’s oppression of Palestine,” said Tatar speaking to the Anadolu Agency.

“Of course, if the UK makes such interventions from Cyprus, it is even worse, because Cyprus is our homeland. The Turkish Cypriot people would condemn such an act and never approve it,” he said.

“In other words, it saddens us that Cyprus, the land in which we were born and grew up, our homeland, is being used as a tool for such brutality and oppression.”

“I hoped the [British] bases would be used for humanitarian aid and rescue operations rather than to support Israel. The 1,000 British soldiers [allegedly brought to the British bases since October 7] were supposedly used for rescue operations for the needs of peace and humanity,” he said.

“I hope they were brought here for those reasons. I hope there will be no support for Israel’s attacks on civilians and children in Gaza.”

He went on to speak about what he described as British inaction during the Bloody Christmas of 1963, in which over 100 Turkish Cypriots were killed by Greek Cypriot militias.

“The UK remained a spectator to the events of 1963, but they are now interfering in another country’s affairs by using the bases here,” he said.

“They stood by while Turks were being killed in Cyprus … While the Turkish Cypriots were being subjected to massacres, while our children were being taken alive to their graves and shot.”

“We always waited for the British to intervene as a guarantor country, but that intervention never happened,” he added.

Tatar’s comments come after reports surfaced that the British Royal Air Force has made over 30 military transport flights from Cyprus to Tel Aviv since Israel began bombing Gaza.

At the same time, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that over 40 US transport aircraft, 20 British transport aircraft and seven heavy transport helicopters had flown to RAF Akrotiri, carrying equipment, arms, and forces.