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Turkey and Northern Cyprus Hold Joint Military Exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean

Turkiye and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Tuesday began two-day joint military exercises in Northern Cyprus.

The Search and Rescue Exercise for Martyr Ensign Caner Gonyeli-2023 was held on land last Tuesday starting with the participation of civil and military elements.

The aim of this exercise is to protect the rights and interests of Turkiye and the TRNC in the Search and Rescue (SAR) area in the Eastern Mediterranean.

This step also aims to assist the official registration and strengthening of the sovereignty of the TRNC, as well as drawing the attention of the world community to the value placed on search and rescue activities and the boundaries of SAR areas.

Seven countries – Azerbaijan, Djibouti, Philippines, Kosovo, Qatar, Libya and Pakistan – attended the exercise as observers.

Naval exercises will be held on Wednesday in TRNC territorial waters.

Speaking at a press conference, Major General Osman Aytac, commander of the TRNC Security Forces, said search and rescue activities require professional personnel, good management, close coordination and cooperation.

He added that the TRNC SAR team had carried out 112 search and rescue missions since 2002.

“The TRNC is ready to carry out search and rescue operations in all environments, day and night, in territorial waters or international waters, at any time, in unity with elements of its (ancestral) homeland, the Republic of Türkiye,” said Aytac.

Cyprus has been beset by a decades-long dispute between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to reach a comprehensive settlement.

Turkiye fully supports a two-state solution on the island based on equal sovereignty and equal international status between the two countries.

Source : aa