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29 March, 2023
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Letter to UNSG denounces Turkey's violations of Cyprus' airspace, maritime zones

The letter delves into a 'pattern of behaviour that constitutes a serious concern for the Republic of Cyprus'


A letter dated May 28 sent by the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that denounced Turkish violations of the island’s airspace and maritime zones was released on Thursday as an official document in the General Assembly of the UN Security Council.

Attached to the letter were four separate documents detailing Turkey’s violations of Cyprus’ national airspace, the infringements of international air traffic regulations in Cyprus’ flight information region, and the illegal use of closed ports and airports in Cyprus, by Turkey, during the months of February and March 2020.

The letter said this pattern of behaviour constitutes a serious concern for the Republic of Cyprus, as it is a continuous violation of its sovereignty and adds to the catastrophic repercussions of the invasion and ongoing occupation of part of its territory by Turkey.

Mavroyiannis noted in the letter that the persistent policy of violating the Charter of the United Nations and international law, as well as the breaching international rules and regulations is a constant threat to international peace and security which negatively impacts regional stability, jeopardizes the safety of international civil aviation and creates difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus. Such actions also prevent the creation of an enabling environment in which to conduct the Cyprus peace process, Mavroyiannis added in the letter.

He also stressed that Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within the Nicosia flight information region via radio calls.

Additionally, Mavroyiannis said, Turkish commercial aircraft systematically use the Tympou airport, which continues to operate illegally following the closure, by the Cyprus Government, of all ports of entry in the areas where it does not exercise effective control.

The said actions by Turkey, which has continued to occupy the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus since 1974, clearly aim at undermining Cyprus’ sovereignty, consolidating the ongoing de facto division and upgrading the secessionist entity’s status by claiming a purported airspace over the occupied territory of the Republic. In this respect, he pointed out in the letter, “I would like to underline that there is only one Cypriot State, which is the Republic of Cyprus, as stipulated also in various Security Council resolutions (particularly resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), which have declared legally invalid the purported secession of part of Cyprus”.

Finally,  Mavroyiannis said “I would like to urge Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community to contribute to a meaningful resumption of the peace process, instead of focusing on undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and promoting Cyprus’ partition through the creation of facts on the ground and the consolidation of the status quo, including by seeking to politically upgrade the secessionist entity."

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  UN  |  letter  |  politics  |  violations

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