Turkish Cyprus greenlights Turkish drone flights
As Turkey exercises its right to carry out energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Cyprus will allow it to fly drones from a local airport, Turkish Cypriot officials announced.
In a statement, the Turkish Cyprus PM said that the government approved Turkey’s use of Geçitkale Airport for unmanned aerial vehicle flights.
“In light of developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and at the request of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Command, the TRNC government is allowing for activities of unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] at Geçitkale Airport to protect Turkey’s and the TRNC’s legitimate rights and interests,” the statement said.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), both unarmed and armed, will start to take off from Gecitkale Airport as of Dec. 16, the privately-held Demiroren news agency reported.
The airport is located in the eastern coastal province of Mağusa (Famagusta).
Efforts to base them had taken some time, it said, adding that a team of experts from Ankara considered the airport a suitable option.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the Turkish Cyprus, is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels.
Ankara has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Cyprus also has rights to the resources in the area.