The breakaway Turkish Cypriot cabinet approved on December 14 a request by Ankara to use an airport on the Island as a base for Turkish drones escorting drilling ships in eastern Mediterranean.
According to Reuters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), both unarmed and armed, will start to take off from Gecitkale Airport as of December 16.
Prime Minister of Turkish Cypriot, Ersin Tatar, told the local news agency that Geçitkale Airport had been given to the use of Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Command. He added that Turkey and the cabinet will continue their cooperation both on the table and on the field.
Turkey invaded and divided Cyprus, an EU member, in 1974 in response to a Greek-inspired coup in the island. This led to a maritime conflict with Greece, especially that the areas around Cyprus are thought to be rich in natural gas.
Last week, the tension between Turkey and Greece escalated, when Ankara signed a controversial maritime agreement with the Libyan Government for National Accord (GNA). The agreement facilitates Turkish drilling operations in eastern Mediterranean.
The tension will likely escalate further after the deployment of Turkish UAVs in Geçitkale Airport. This step could give Ankara a leverage in eastern Mediterranean.