Turkey And Cyprus – Esen Fidanlik http://esenfidanlik.com/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 11:35:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://esenfidanlik.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png Turkey And Cyprus – Esen Fidanlik http://esenfidanlik.com/ 32 32 The Earl and Countess of Wessex will highlight links between the UK and Cyprus https://esenfidanlik.com/the-earl-and-countess-of-wessex-will-highlight-links-between-the-uk-and-cyprus/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 11:35:00 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/the-earl-and-countess-of-wessex-will-highlight-links-between-the-uk-and-cyprus/
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NICOSIA, Cyprus — The Earl and Countess of Wessex met the President of Cyprus on Tuesday as part of a three-day visit to the former British colony to highlight close bilateral ties and meet soldiers serving in a peacekeeping force peace officers and those stationed at two British military bases.

The Earl – the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip – and his wife were received by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his wife Andri at the presidential palace in the capital, Nicosia.

Anastasiades was due to discuss with the royal couple ways to strengthen relations between the UK and Cyprus, home to thousands of British expats and many other popular holiday destinations.

The Cypriot president also planned to discuss the government’s latest efforts to relaunch stalled negotiations aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided island nation.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Numerous rounds of reunification talks with the Turkish Cypriots – whose declaration of independence is recognized only by Turkey – have failed.

The royal couple will also meet British peacekeepers inside a UN buffer zone that runs through the Cypriot capital. The Countess will speak with women and young people working to support peace efforts.

The Earl and Countess will be briefed on ongoing operations by British forces stationed at two military bases which the UK retained after Cyprus gained independence in 1960.

]]> Anastasiades: If electoral expedients are set aside, the parties could agree on reforms https://esenfidanlik.com/anastasiades-if-electoral-expedients-are-set-aside-the-parties-could-agree-on-reforms/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 01:23:32 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/anastasiades-if-electoral-expedients-are-set-aside-the-parties-could-agree-on-reforms/

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EU: Turkish Cypriots must curb arrivals of migrants in Cyprus https://esenfidanlik.com/eu-turkish-cypriots-must-curb-arrivals-of-migrants-in-cyprus/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 16:07:20 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/eu-turkish-cypriots-must-curb-arrivals-of-migrants-in-cyprus/

Nicosia, Cyprus — Dissident Turkish Cypriots in ethnically divided Cyprus must do their part to stem the arrival of migrants, a senior European Union official said on Saturday, as the number of asylum seekers has risen dramatically to present this year.

European Commission Vice-President Margharitis Schinas said Turkish Cypriot authorities should also be held accountable for limiting migrant arrivals.

“We will not let the Turkish Cypriot community view themselves as neutral in what is happening,” Schinas said after touring improved facilities at the Pournara migrant reception camp outside the capital. “They also have to take their share of responsibility and we will find a way to remind them.”

Cyprus was divided along ethnic lines in 1974 during the Turkish invasion following a coup aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence. Cypriot government authorities say the overwhelming majority of migrant arrivals are via Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot north via a loosely regulated student visa system.

Thousands of people then cross a porous UN-controlled buffer zone to seek asylum in southern Greek Cypriot where the internationally recognized government is based. Although Turkish Cypriots receive EU funding, only the south enjoys all the benefits of membership.

Schinas said EU Commissioner Elisa Ferreira will hold contacts in Cyprus in July to explore the best ways to handle the problem. He also said that Turkey has demonstrated its willingness to help reduce the number of migrants arriving in Cyprus.

The EU will also help the Cypriot authorities to strengthen control and surveillance of the buffer zone to deter crossings in a manner compatible with EU law since the 180 kilometer (120 mile) long zone n is not an official boundary, Schinas said.

Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said the number of asylum seekers had doubled to 10,000 in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2021, repeating that they represented a European top 5% of the 915,000 inhabitants of Cyprus in the south.

He said the Cypriot authorities were working with the EU to facilitate the return of asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected as well as additional funding from the bloc of 27 member countries to the tune of 72 million euros to build a new reception center for migrants.

Although overcrowding at the Pournara center has eased considerably in recent months, a 27-year-old Nigerian, Miracle Chidiebera, said there was still a lot of anger among migrants over what he described as a shortage chronic water, bad food and crowded facilities.

———

Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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Absence of Russian tourists due to EU sanctions costs Cyprus 600 million euros https://esenfidanlik.com/absence-of-russian-tourists-due-to-eu-sanctions-costs-cyprus-600-million-euros/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 11:39:27 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/absence-of-russian-tourists-due-to-eu-sanctions-costs-cyprus-600-million-euros/

NICOSIA – With its dependence on Russian tourists, Cyprus is perhaps the European Union country most affected by sanctions for the invasion of Ukraine which prevent Russian airlines from entering the block.

Long a haven for Russian investors and the wealthy hiding – critics say laundering – their money in the island’s banks, Cyprus was reluctant to face sanctions barring Russian tourists.

It could cost up to 600 million euros ($624.233) in losses, the website Simpleflying said, with nearly 14% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) of $22.8 billion ($23.8 billion). dollars) from foreign visitors.

Russians and Ukrainians make up nearly 20% of tourists, for the record year of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and sanctions undermined Cyprus’s hopes of a faster recovery.

The bar has affected many small businesses and travel agencies in Cyprus. Haris Loizides, chairman of the board of directors of the Cyprus Hotel Association, told Euronews: “There are hotels, especially in the region of Famagusta, Ayia Napa and Protaras, which are suffering mainly because they had many contracts with Russian tour operators. And they are facing huge difficulties right now.

This has led to moves to circumvent sanctions by sneaking Russians into Cyprus through backdoors through countries that do not support sanctions, such as Serbia, Georgia and Israel, according to the report.

Turkey – which has been trying unsuccessfully to join the EU since 2005 – has also refused to accept the sanctions and is taking advantage of the opportunity to attract Russian tourists by allowing Russian airlines.

Data from Statista indicates that European countries expect three million fewer Russian arrivals in the coming months, based on the number of seats reserved for inbound flights between February and August 2022.

But Cypriot Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said he still expects more than 2 million tourists this year, with other countries including the UK and Germany making up some of the Russian losses.

]]> Turkish defense chief rebukes Greek parliamentarian for comment on Cyprus https://esenfidanlik.com/turkish-defense-chief-rebukes-greek-parliamentarian-for-comment-on-cyprus/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:52:58 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/turkish-defense-chief-rebukes-greek-parliamentarian-for-comment-on-cyprus/

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has pointed out that the country “prevented a massacre” during its 1974 peace operation after a Greek lawmaker accused Ankara of occupying the northern part of Cyprus.

Akar said Türkiye “has always and persistently stated that we are in favor of resolving issues through international law, good neighborly relations and dialogue.” (AA)

Türkiye defense chief Hulusi Akar has reprimanded a Greek member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly for accusations over northern Cyprus.

Akar was addressing the opening session of a joint meeting of the NATO Group for the Mediterranean and the Middle East on Tuesday when the Greek lawmaker accused Turkey of occupying the northern part of Cyprus.

He shared Türkiye’s approaches to defense and security issues, followed by a question-and-answer session during which he told the lawmaker: “If you call Northern Cyprus an ‘occupation’, that means that you want to start by discussing.”

Recalling the “massacres and coups” led by Greek Cypriots that took place on the island until 1974, Akar pointed out that at that time “even the lives of Greeks (Cypriots) were in danger”. .

“From 1974 until today, the south and the north have lived in peace. You have to see that. You must not be biased,” Akar said, stressing that Turkey “prevented a massacre” in its peace operation on the island.

He also pointed out that “Despite all its shortcomings, the Turkish Cypriots accepted the UN’s Annan Plan as a solution in 2004. The Greek Cypriot side did not accept it.”

READ MORE: Impossible for Ankara to neglect the rights of the TRNC and its people: Cavusoglu

A base for terrorists

In his address, Akar highlighted the presence of terrorists targeting Turkey in Greece, including the PKK/YPG terrorist group and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind a defeated 2016 coup in the country.

He also referred to the presence of the PKK and FETO in the Lavrion (Laurium) refugee camp near the Greek capital Athens, which footage from a private Greek broadcaster recently revealed was used as a base for propaganda and training for terrorists. The Greek legislator denied this allegation.

While Ankara is waging an intense fight against terrorism, it is against a relationship of alliance and friendship that Greece “gives room to the PKK/YPG, FETO”, Akar said.

READ MORE: Greek Cypriot side tries to dilute negotiations on Cyprus: Türkiye

“What do you expect from us? »

Stressing Ankara’s willingness to hold talks with Greece, Akar said Türkiye “has always and persistently stated that we are in favor of resolving issues through international law, good neighborly relations and dialogue.” He added that after three consultative meetings, Turkey is waiting for the Greek side to come to Ankara for a fourth.

Responding to a question from another Greek parliamentarian who alleged that Turkish planes were flying over the Greek islands, Akar referred to April 27, when a Greek plane violated Turkish airspace over the southwest of the country.

“After that, what do you expect from us?” he asked, adding that Türkiye had launched a retaliatory action the following day.

Ethnic attacks from the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to retreat to enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at the annexation of Greece led to the military intervention of Türkiye as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983. It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed initiative in 2017 in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK. The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year the Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the long-running dispute. The status of the island remains pending.

READ MORE: Erdogan warns Greece in Greek that its actions ‘will lead it to regret’

Source: AA

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“The talks in Cyprus can only take place if 2 states are treated equally” https://esenfidanlik.com/the-talks-in-cyprus-can-only-take-place-if-2-states-are-treated-equally/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 13:06:40 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/the-talks-in-cyprus-can-only-take-place-if-2-states-are-treated-equally/

If negotiations ever take place between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, they will take place between two sovereign states rather than between two communities, said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, while criticizing the Greek Cypriot administration for trying to “dilute “negotiations on the Cyprus issue by repackaging and selling the issues they put on the agenda as “steps or confidence-building measures”.

Çavuşoğlu, along with Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal and Interior Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ziya Öztürkler, met Turkish Cypriots on Sunday in the town of Lapta, in the city coast of Girne. The next day, the top Turkish diplomat met with his TRNC counterpart Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu and President Ersin Tatar.

In a joint press conference with Tatar, he stressed that the TRNC will not agree to negotiations unless it is treated as a sovereign state.

He also noted that the Greek Cypriot administration aims to retake the once closed city of Varosha (Maraş) from the TRNC, as it criticized Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his anti-Turkey remarks to the United States.

“We don’t expect the Greek prime minister to praise us in the US Congress, but as two NATO allies, it’s a matter of solidarity within the framework of the bloc’s security concerns,” he said. he said, adding that it was unacceptable for Mitsotakis to conduct lobbying activities regarding the F-16s.

During his visit to Washington last month, Mitsotakis warned a joint session of Congress against backing the Biden administration’s proposed military sales to Turkey, saying such a move could create further instability in the region. .

Meanwhile, Çavuşoğlu said Turkish Cypriots are “precious” to Turkey and that it has never left them and the TRNC alone and never will.

Stressing that he had fruitful meetings with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within the framework of their visit to the TRNC, Çavuşoğlu added that he will meet his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Ertuğruloğlu, the chairman of the Tatar TRNC and the negotiating committee to assess the latest developments in Cyprus. .

“Before Crans Montana, we said ‘we are negotiating for the federation for the last time. After that, there is sovereign equality, not political equality. So, the two-state solution,” Çavuşoğlu stressed.

The initiative in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in July 2017 under the auspices of the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom ended in failure.

“Two states that will live side by side can cooperate in any way. It is quite natural. We are working for everyone to accept the sovereignty of Turkish Cypriots,” he added.

Noting that Turkey proposed the 5+1 talks on Cyprus held in Geneva last year, Çavuşoğlu said that they also clearly expressed their position on a two-state solution during those talks.

During his meeting with Ertuğruloğlu, Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey is trying to find solutions to the ongoing global crises, including the war in Ukraine and the food crisis, through diplomatic initiatives. He went on to say that despite the busy schedule, Ankara still prioritizes the TRNC and Turkish Cypriots.

Noting that Turkey has a clear position regarding the negotiations, Çavuşoğlu said he underlined the position of Ankara and the TRNC during his meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“It is time for us to resume negotiation talks between two sovereign and equal states,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Turkey is working to make the voice of Turkish Cyprus heard on international platforms.

The senior Turkish diplomat also said that the Greek Cypriots and Greece had spread propaganda claiming that the Cyprus issue started in 1974, contrary to the fact that it started in 1955 and developed during the 60s and 70s. .

In the early 1960s, ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to retreat to enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at the annexation of the island by Greece led to the military intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.

The island has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed initiative in 2017 in Switzerland.

The Greek Cypriot administration joined the European Union in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the decades-long conflict that had envisioned a reunified Cyprus joining the EU.

The status of the island remains up in the air, despite a series of negotiations over the years.

While Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the TRNC insist on a two-state solution reflecting the realities of the island.

The island of Cyprus is mired in a decades-long struggle between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to reach a comprehensive settlement. Five decades of talks on Cyprus have led nowhere.

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Forgotten Horrors of Cyprus: The Fate of Cypriot Prisoners of War and Kidnapped Civilians https://esenfidanlik.com/forgotten-horrors-of-cyprus-the-fate-of-cypriot-prisoners-of-war-and-kidnapped-civilians/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 10:09:20 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/forgotten-horrors-of-cyprus-the-fate-of-cypriot-prisoners-of-war-and-kidnapped-civilians/

This year marks 48 years since the inhumane Turkish invasion of Cyprus which displaced more than 162,000 Cypriots from their homes. The island was divided along ethnic lines, with Turkish Cypriots north of the UN Demilitarization Zone with the continued illegal occupation by the Turkish military and Greek Cypriots and other minorities south of the demilitarization line. Although Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot rulers have created their own “country”, it has been widely condemned and not recognized by international law as a substitute to justify the illegal Turkish occupation of the Republic of Cyprus. In the occupied north, more than 1,200 to 1,500 civilians and 2,000 prisoners of war were captured by the Turkish army, many of whom remain unaccounted for today.

Overview of the invasion

The first invasion took place on July 20, 1974, five days after the coup against Archbishop Makarios by the Greek junta, EOKA-B, and disenfranchised officers of the Cypriot National Guard. Here, Turkish forces took 3% of the island, but the UN immediately called for a cessation of hostilities before the situation became explosive. During the peace talks, Henry Kissinger, who had full authority over Cyprus under the Ford administration, had prepared for another invasion, with Ankara on a policy that favored NATO‘s Turkish presence on the island by to the Greek presence, particularly because the US-backed Greek junta had collapsed. After the failed peace talks, it was apparent that the Turkish government had blocked them to prepare for an invasion as they ordered the second invasion hours after the Geneva talks on August 14. The second invasion caught Cyprus and Greece off guard, in which the Turkish army took 36% of the island before the UN ceasefire. Nearly 1,600 civilians and 2,000 prisoners of war were taken to camps in Adana during the brutal invasion.

Organizations responsible for locating missing persons

Many POWs were exchanged by Cyprus and Turkey in late 1974, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and at least 1,100 bodies were identified, but at least 1,500–1,600 POWs and Greek Cypriot civilians, as well as 400 Turkish Cypriots are still missing today. . The Committee on Missing Persons was established by the United Nations to track missing persons from Cyprus. Within this committee, a delegation of three members leads the office, a Greek Cypriot, a Turkish Cypriot and a non-aligned person designated by the ICRC and the UN Secretary General. The organization’s mission is not to establish blame but to give families the closures of loved ones who have been missing for nearly five decades. They are carrying out archaeological field work in accordance with international law to find potentially missing persons despite the negative reactions of the Turkish Cypriot and Ankara legislatures. Another organization that works tirelessly to find loved ones is Kypros. They include eyewitness accounts of Turkish military barbarity during the invasion.

Executions and mass graves of the disappeared

There are numerous reports of executions of people captured by the Turkish military, as the international community imposes no sanctions for Geneva Convention war crimes. Below are several recent examples of reports of executions and uncovered mass graves of the 1,500 Greek Cypriots and 400 Turkish Cypriots reported missing:

  • A Turkish Cypriot newspaper, Afrika, wrote a report that Greek Cypriot prisoners were tortured and executed in military camps in Adana soon after the invasion. They were buried alive near a river in the city. This was also reported by Cyprus Mail.
  • A mass grave was discovered on September 4, 2015 in Nicosia by the Committee for Missing Persons. At least four Greek Cypriot remains have been found.
  • There is still an estimated large mass grave at occupied Lapithos in Kyrenia district where witnesses said the Turkish army most likely burned the bodies of those executed to hide evidence.
  • Fourteen Turkish Cypriot children were found in December 2020 and five Turkish Cypriot members of the Akansoy family were found by the CMP in Maratha in 2021. It should be noted that the government of Nicosia continues to comply with the search for the remains of Cypriots Turks, the Republic of Turkey has stagnated and sometimes refused to comply with the UN on the status of missing Greek Cypriots.
  • The remains of a Greek Cypriot National Guard were found in July 2021 buried under an elevator manhole in Kyrenia.
  • In 2021, the Committee on Missing Persons was able to identify 37 remains, the demographics being 28 Greek Cypriots and 9 Turkish Cypriots. The organization will continue to work tirelessly this year to find loved ones on both sides of the divided island.

While Nicosia has been open and cooperative, Ankara remains a main belligerent and instigator, with constant rhetoric of secession and threats of annexation from the occupied north, which would lead to a wider Mediterranean war. They have been dishonest about the hundreds of civilians and POWs abducted from mainland Turkey and make little effort to cooperate and adhere to the Geneva and UN Conventions on missing persons. Arguably, Turkey continues to remain emboldened as long as NATO and the EU continue to appease a rogue Ankara government in order to maintain geopolitical hegemony, even though those same policies have led Cyprus to a cataclysmic state. where she finds herself today. Even today, Turkey emboldens Azerbaijan, which got away with torture, makeshift courts and executions of Armenian civilians and POWs from the 2020 war. Today, Turkey does not still has no sanctions against them regarding the war crimes of the 1974 invasion while Cyprus was embargoed and reviled. It’s time to start pressuring Turkey to reveal the location of loved ones lost in the invasion.

Julian McBride is a New York-born forensic anthropologist and freelance journalist. He is the founder and director of Reflections of War Initiative (ROW), an anthropological NGO. It reports and documents the plight of people around the world who are affected by conflict, rogue geopolitics and war, and also tells the stories of victims of war who never speak out.

]]> Saudi Arabia and Cyprus establish joint trade council https://esenfidanlik.com/saudi-arabia-and-cyprus-establish-joint-trade-council/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 19:09:37 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/saudi-arabia-and-cyprus-establish-joint-trade-council/

The Saudi and Cypriot Chambers of Commerce today announced the establishment of a new organization to boost trade between the two countries.

The Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry have signed an agreement establishing the Saudi Cypriot Business Council. The council’s aim is to boost bilateral business investment, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Why is this important: Saudi Arabia wants to deepen its ties with Cyprus. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to visit Cyprus on an international trip that will also take him to Greece and Turkey. Saudi Arabia is currently pursuing its rapprochement with Turkey, but has also expressed its support for Cyprus in the dispute between the two countries over drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus is important for several countries in the Middle East due to its strategic location and its conflict with Turkey. Egypt also supports Cyprus’ position vis-à-vis Turkey. In December, Qatar signed an energy exploration agreement with Cyprus.

Know more: The Federation of Saudi Chambers also formally expressed in January its desire to improve trade relations with Russia.

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Fragments of a lost world https://esenfidanlik.com/fragments-of-a-lost-world/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 14:21:22 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/fragments-of-a-lost-world/

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Cypriot opposition criticizes government for hosting Israeli military exercises https://esenfidanlik.com/cypriot-opposition-criticizes-government-for-hosting-israeli-military-exercises/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 20:52:00 +0000 https://esenfidanlik.com/cypriot-opposition-criticizes-government-for-hosting-israeli-military-exercises/

Cyprus’ main opposition party has criticized the government for hosting recently concluded Israel Defense Forces military exercises, calling it a “dangerous development for Cyprus”.

The IDF concluded a major military exercise in Cyprus on Thursday, simulating a military ground offensive into the heart of Lebanon in a potential war against the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group.

The Mediterranean island was chosen both for its terrain – mountainous along a coastal plain, like Lebanon – and its proximity to Israel. The exercise simulated various difficulties during a ground assault, such as the supply of food, water and ammunition; communication problems; and the general complications of operating in uncharted territory.

But the main communist opposition Akel party said on Thursday the move jeopardized Cyprus’s security and compared the Israeli army to the Turkish army which occupies the northern half of the divided island.

“The territories and cities of our country cannot be turned into training grounds for foreign armies,” Akel said, according to the Cyprus Mail.

“In addition to this, Cyprus should avoid cooperating with a foreign army with a history of occupation, colonization, war crimes and violation of international laws, all of which remind us of the Turkish occupation of the island,” the party said.

Akel has a long history of anti-Israel policies and was the only party to vote against the Cypriot-Israeli security agreement signed in 2020.

Israeli troops hold a major exercise in Cyprus, in an image released by the military on June 2, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Besides Akel, the Cyprus Mail also reported that there had been significant complaints from local residents about noise from military vehicles and artillery fire.

In recent years, Israel, Cyprus and Greece have formed an increasingly close alliance aimed at countering Turkey as a strategic rival in the Mediterranean Sea.

Cyprus did not participate directly in the exercise. Still, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF chief Aviv Kohavi hailed the “strategic alliance” between the countries during the exercise.

The IDF sees the eastern Mediterranean region as an area of ​​important interest in order to maintain security stability, where “strategic cooperation” with partners – such as Cyprus and Greece – is of great importance, the IDF said. officials.

Also during the final week of the month-long major exercise – dubbed Chariots of Fire – the Air Force simulated airstrikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, over the Mediterranean Sea.

Chariots of Fire was the largest military exercise in decades.

He addressed the possibility of sudden events breaking out in multiple theaters at the same time, while focusing on the fight against Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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