Turkish FM: Turkey’s military rights still needed in Cyprus

21 February 2017
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Turkey’s foreign minister says his country’s right to intervene militarily in Cyprus is still necessary given recent actions that have fanned insecurity among Turkish Cypriots.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu cited unspecified “attacks” against Turkish Cypriots as an example of why Turkey needs to keep military intervention rights on the ethnically divided island.

Cavusoglu on Tuesday also mentioned legislation that would make commemorating a 1950 vote to unite Cyprus with Greece mandatory in Greek Cypriot schools.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is urging Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to get the legislation rescinded so talks on reunifying the country can move forward.

Cyprus’s 1960 Constitution gives Turkey, Greece and Britain the right to “take action” to restore constitutional order. Since 1974, Turkey has kept over 35,000 troops in the breakaway north.

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