Turkey is planning to build a naval base in occupied northern Cyprus while also mulling the possibility of stationing F-16 fighter jets there, according to reports.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis said the Turkish Armed Forces stationed in the north plan to build a command centre and other navy facilities in occupied Trikomo.
It published the affirmative reply to Turkish Cypriot politician Asim Akansoy, who had asked the Turkish army whether plans to build a naval facility were true.
According to the paper, an area development plan foresees the creation of hotels and construction of a bike trail through part of the designated area where the proposed Turkish base is.
Turkey’s plans to build a navy base in Trikomo come days after the Turkish Cypriots accepted Turkey’s request to allow the Turkish Air Force to use the airport in Lefkoniko as a base for armed and unarmed drones.
On Monday, Turkey sent a surveillance and reconnaissance drone to the occupied north to bolster Ankara’s energy search in the region amid rising tension.
The Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone arrived at the airport in Lefkoniko from a Turkish airbase in Dalaman.
Turkish Daily Hurriyet said the drone is part of a small fleet which will accompany the drilling vessels and naval forces of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkish Daily Yeni Safak also claims Turkish may utilise Lefkoniko to facilitate missions carried out by its F-16s if necessary. It said the airport runway is to be modified to facilitate the warplanes.
Yeni Safak (New Dawn) is a conservative Turkish daily, known for its hardline support of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party.
Source: The Financial Mirror