Turkey does not have plans to establish a military base in North Cyprus but the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will increase its deployment of troops there, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday.
“We will not decrease the number of our soldiers there but on the contrary, we will increase them,” Erdoğan told journalists on his return trip to Turkey from Azerbaijan.
The president elaborated on recent media reports proposed by the TSK to the Foreign Ministry to establish a military base in Turkish Cyprus.
“We do not have a base problem” in Turkish Cyprus”, he said, noting that Turkey is very close to Cyprus so there is no problem in reaching the island.
“It will take only minutes to reach the Mediterranean. But it does not apply to Greece. We do not need to establish a base there”, he said.
However, Erdoğan said that there was also the psychological aspect and that if such a need arises, Turkey could establish a base in North Cyprus because their presence there was important.
Erdoğan recalled previous attempts for a solution to the Cyprus problem and blamed South Cyprus for rejecting the Annan plan.
“From now on, we will implement the prescription of our own”, the president said.