Cyprus has strongly protested at the UN over Turkey’s violations of the island’s national airspace, the infringements of international air traffic regulations and the illegal use of closed ports and airports.
In a letter to UNSG Antonio Guterres, the Chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations, Polly Ioannou, enclosed four documents detailing the violations in the months of March and April 2019.
Ioannou said the persistent policy of violating international law and breaching international rules and regulations is a constant threat to international peace and security, has a negative impact on regional stability, jeopardizes the safety of international civil aviation, creates difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus and prevents the creation of an enabling environment to pursue the Cyprus peace process.
She also said that Turkey continues to systematically harass civilian and military aircraft within Nicosia’s flight information region via radio calls, while, during the same period, the Turkish-Cypriot administration in the occupied north issued two notices to airmen relating to exercises conducted by the Turkish Air Force.
The letter also states that Turkish commercial aircraft systematically use the Tympou airport, which continues to operate illegally following the closure of all ports of entry in areas where Cyprus does not exercise effective control.
Turkey’s actions “are clearly aimed 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,” the Cypriot diplomat said.
She further urged Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot community to contribute to a meaningful resumption of the peace process.