Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said the Turkish armed forces would not “hesitate to take the same action as 45 years ago, if it proved to be necessary for the lives and security of Turkish Cypriots,” the Hürriyet Daily News reported on Sunday.
Erdoğan’s comments were released by his Presidential Communications Directorate on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Turkey’s military operation launched to protect Turkish Cypriots.
“The entire world is watching our determination,” he said, adding that the Turkish army views northern Cyprus as part of its homeland and that the Turkish Cypriots are an integral part of the Turkish nation.
He recalled that the military operation in 1974 came after all diplomatic remedies were exhausted.
“Those who think the wealth of the island and the region only belongs to them will face the determination of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots,” he said, referring to the recent tensions over hydrocarbon drilling activities off the island.
In addition to Erdoğan, his foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun as well as main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also sent messages commemorating the anniversary of the 1974 operation.