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Drone base to be set up in part of Cyprus controlled by Turkish troops, Erdogan says

Christian Fernsby |
Turkey will establish a drone base in the part of Cyprus controlled by Turkish troops, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

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Erdogan was speaking during a military parade in the Turkish Cypriot part of Nicosia.

Erdogan said the drone base will operate in the context of a wider program aimed at enhancing the defenses of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a breakaway state declared an illegal entity by the United Nations Security Council.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said European Union officials and diplomats in Nicosia and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have been informed of Erdogan's remarks.

The island of Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkey intervened militarily following a coup by Athens-backed Greek Cypriots.

While the southern Greek Cypriot side is recognized by the international community and is a member of the European Union, only Ankara officially recognizes the breakaway northern region.

The UN Secretary-General's envoy in Cyprus Jane Holl Lute tried in June to convene a conference on the Cyprus problem in Nicosia with the leaders of the estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

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