Greek warplanes violate Turkish Cyprus' airspace

Greek warplanes violate Turkish Cyprus' airspace

Greek warplanes violate Turkish Cyprus airspace

Three Greek warplanes violated the airspace of the Turkish Cyprus on Oct. 17, Deputy Prime Minister Kudret Özersay said.

"The aforementioned warplanes departed from Crete and entered our airspace by flying low over Akıncılar [Louroujina] village," Özersay wrote in statements on social media.

"The warplanes soon returned to the base in Crete," he wrote.

Özersay said that the Turkish Cyprus government had taken the necessary initiatives to protest the provocative action.

"Everyone should be aware and responsible that such approaches jeopardize stability in the region," he said.

Turkish Cyprus Prime Minister Ersin Tatar later responded to the incident, saying that it was a deliberate attempt to provoke conflict.

Tatar said the Turkish Cypriot people would not be concerned by attempts to intimidate them. He said that Turkey continues, as it always has, to ensure the safety of the Turkish Cypriots.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup took place after decades of violence against the island's Turkish community and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K. that collapsed in 2017.