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Is Turkey quietly withdrawing its troops from Cyprus?

31 August 2017

North Cyprus News - Turkish soldiers

Is Turkey withdrawing its troops from Cyprus quietly and unobtrusively?” asks columnist Zeynep Gurcanli writing for Turkish daily ‘Sözcü’.

Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey and a red line. But the AKP has sent signals that it will do the same as it did in all its other national causes and red lines. Look what happened this month…”, she says.

Pointing out that since the peace operation in Cyprus in 1974, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has kept army corps in Cyprus, and the Turkish peacekeeping commander in Cyprus is one of the nine Turkey’s army corps. Gurcanli writes that that up to now a lieutenant general was at its head. But this has suddenly changed, adds the columnist, since the AKP government introduced a new regulation, a major general has been appointed to this post.

The columnist argues that taking into account that the main goal of the Greek Cypriots and Greece on the Cyprus problem is for Turkey to be disconnected from Cyprus and also considering that the greatest wish of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo during the Cyprus negotiation talks was the “withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the island”, a lot of questions arose from this decision in the international community. The question which came into the agenda is the following: “Has the AKP government decided quietly and unobtrusively to reduce the number of its troops on the island?”

[…] “The situation perhaps is directly related to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the dismissal of thousands of generals from their positions because of the 15 July coup attempt and their ties with the Fethullatist Terror Organisation”, Gurkanli concludes.

Sözcü Gazetesi

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