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22 June, 2024
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Controversy surrounds expansion of occupied airport

Yilmaz reinforces Erdogan's stance on a two-state solution during discussions with TRNC officials, signaling Turkey's position

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

Without receiving significant coverage from the Greek Cypriot media, Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz made a substantial visit to the so-called TRNC following Erdogan's illegal visit. Like his predecessor Fuat Oktay, Yilmaz is assuming responsibility for Turkey-"TRNC" relations on behalf of the Turkish presidency. Working closely with the Turkish embassy in occupied Nicosia, he will oversee Turkish Cypriot-Ankara relations and the Cyprus file, according to experienced observers of the Cyprus problem.

During his visit to the occupied territories, Yilmaz inspected the ongoing expansion of the facilities at the illegal Tymvou ("Ercan") airport. It is anticipated that Erdogan will inaugurate these expansions during his visit on July 20, coinciding with the "anniversary of the invasion." Yilmaz stated that the new airport in Ercan, which will become the largest airport on the island of Cyprus, will be handed over to the Turkish Cypriots as soon as possible. The new terminal building and runway are scheduled to be completed by July 20. The runway will be 3.1 kilometers long, while the expanded terminal building of the illegal airport will cover 120,000 square meters. With a capacity to serve between 10-15 million passengers, this infrastructure aims to represent the TRNC's openness to the world.

The runway will be 3.1 kilometers long, while the expanded terminal building of the illegal airport will cover 120,000 square meters.

During his time in the occupied territories, Yilmaz met with the prime minister and foreign minister, reiterating Erdogan's stance on a two-state solution. He emphasized the Turkey-TBK electrical interconnection as a significant project of the Turkish century, following the Turkey-Capehetians water pipeline connection. It is important to note that there have been extensive reports in Turkish Cypriot media regarding a scandal related to the expansion of the illegal airport, highlighting issues such as poor workmanship and a lack of planning in the "customs" and "police" buildings.

Cevdet Yilmaz also held extensive meetings with the Turkish ambassador to the Occupied Territories, and UBP officials, and will essentially coordinate the Turkish-Turkish economic protocol. This area will shed light on the direction of the Turkish-Coastal region relationship after Erdogan's recent re-election, according to experienced insiders. Furthermore, Yilmaz inspected Turkey's various economic projects in the occupied territories, including the construction of a new "presidential palace," highways (Nicosia-Kyrenia), and "university" facilities. Lastly, Yilmaz's visit is connected to the repeat "elections" that took place on Sunday in the occupied territories, specifically the elections for parliamentary and local organization bodies. Turkish Cypriot sources suggest that there were attempts to influence the results in favor of the right-wing party (UBP) following the resignation of Kudret Ozersai from the so-called parliament last year.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  Erdogan  |  airport

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