» Home    » Cyprus Timeline    » Contact Us    » Links

Embassy News

Cyprus strongly protests increase in Turkish forces in occupied areas
2002-06-11 09:26:20

Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- Cyprus Defence Minister Socratis Hasikos revealed that Turkey has sent to Cyprus 5.500 soldiers over the past two weeks, bringing the number of its forces in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus to over 40.000.

The Cypriot minister appealed to those states involved in the peace effort to exert pressure on Turkey to withdraw its occupation troops from the areas it occupies since 1974. "The government believes that this move is a deliberate attempt on the part of Ankara to create tension in Cyprus. Turkey no longer restricts itself in words, it has actually moved on to deeds," he said.| The illegal arrival of the occupation troops is the latest move by Ankara in the recent past, aimed at creating an atmosphere of tension in the area. Some time ago, a Turkish research vessel was dispatched to Cyprus and military jets have violated Greek air space. The minister said it was obvious that Turkey wishes to appear and be convincing about its intentions, which translate into blocking Cyprus' entry into the European Union. Ankara has repeatedly told the EU not to accept Cyprus in its ranks, without a prior solution to the Cyprus problem and warned of unrestraint response if this occurs. "The government has made all the necessary moves towards those countries which are making an effort to solve the Cyprus question and hope that they are in a position to exert pressure on Turkey to withdraw its troops," Hasikos said. He said the government is monitoring the situation and does not underestimate the Turkish moves. "Turkey is attempting to wage a war of nerves against us and the EU aiming at averting Cyprus accession," he said. Referring to cooperation between Cyprus and Greece on defence matters, he said Nicosia is keeping Athens informed about the latest developments and Turkey's attempts to create tension. Cyprus and Greece agreed in November 1993 on a joint defence pact providing for air, sea and land cover for Cyprus by the Greek military in the event of a fresh Turkish offensive.

Printer Friendly Page