TEHRAN, Dec 16_A Turkish military drone employed for the exploration of natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean has landed at an airport on the divided island of Cyprus, a move that is likely to add to tensions between Turkey and Greece.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_The Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aircraft landed at the Gecitkale Airport in Famagusta around 0700 GMT on Monday after the breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said approval for the drone was given last week "in light of the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean region" and "to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the TRNC and Turkey."
The TRNC's transport minister, Tolga Atakan, said the operation of Turkish drones were partly a response to the acquisition of Israeli drones by Cyprus in October to monitor its exclusive economic zone.
The Turkish Cypriot cabinet on Friday designated Gecitkale as a base for both unarmed and armed drones at the request of the Turkish government.
Last month, Turkey signed a deal with Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) that could prove crucial in the scramble for recently discovered gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.
The agreement claimed extensive areas of the sea for Turkey, undercutting claims by Greece and the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, which runs the southern part of the island.