Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) – The presence of French warplanes in the Greek Cypriot administration’s area is against the 1960 Treaties, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. 

The Greek Cypriot administration, Greece, France and Italy launched a joint military exercise earlier in the day to the west of the island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“The landing of the French military aircraft to the Greek Cypriot administration on the pretext of an exercise carried out with the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece and Italy, and the temporary or permanent deployment of these aircrafts on the island is against the 1960 Treaties,” Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy said that with this attitude, France, which is not the guarantor of Cyprus Island, dangerously encourages the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece, which are responsible for the current tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, to escalate tensions further.

He reiterated that every attempt at trying to exclude Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean will result in frustration.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly and Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced that the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece, France and Italy had launched a naval and aerial exercise in the area that will run from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28.

Turkey, and later Greece, have sent out conflicting alerts on energy exploration and military exercises in the Mediterranean.

Greece has disputed Turkey’s current energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — has deployed drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both it and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.

Dialogue for fair sharing of these resources would be a win-win for all sides, say Turkish officials.

*Additional writing by Seda Sevencan

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