Turkey is planning to increase its military presence but will not be opening a base in the occupied north of Cyprus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.
“We will not decrease the number of our soldiers there but on the contrary, we will increase them,” Erdogan told reporters on en route from Azerbaijan to Turkey, responding to media reports suggesting plans to establish a military base in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus, according to Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper.
“We do not have a base problem” in northern Cyprus, Erdogan reportedly said, noting that Turkey's proximity to the divided island means that it does not have “a problem reaching” out there.”
“It will take only minutes to reach the Mediterranean. This does not apply to Greece. We do not need to establish a base there,” he said.