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Why Turkey wants a permanent naval base in Northern Cyprus

With the heated atmosphere in the eastern Mediterranean because of the Syrian crisis and the rivalry over hydrocarbon reserves, Turkey’s desire to install a permanent naval base in Northern Cyprus is being debated.
Ships from the Turkish Navy head towards the port of Kyrenia in northern Cyprus November 18. The Turkish navy anchored off Kyrenia to participate in a joint military exercise involving Turkish Cypriots and Turkish forces in the northern part of island.


International waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea are running out of free space and becoming more crowded with elements of the US 6th Fleet, a plethora of naval vessels with the Russian Mediterranean Task Force, UK submarines, French frigates and others. The crisis in Syria and rivalry over hydrocarbon reserves are the main causes of this unprecedented military naval concentration and activity.

Rising tensions and naval movements have rekindled the debate in Turkey on whether to set up a permanent naval base in the Turkish part of Cyprus (the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or Northern Cyprus). According to reports leaked to Turkish media, the Turkish navy has submitted a report and recommendation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the urgent need to set up a naval base at an appropriate location there.

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