President Ersin Tatar has critisized the British government for using its bases in Cyprus to support Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
Condemning the move, Tatar said, “The Turkish Cypriot people would never approve of such a thing. As a respected state, the United Kingdom should not support such a massacre.”
In an interview with AA news agency, President Ersin Tatar emphasized the unpleasant nature of the reports that the UK was using its bases on the Greek Cypriot side to support Israel’s attacks on the Gaza strip.
“As a respected state, the United Kingdom should not support such a massacre,” he said.
Highlighting that the people of Cyprus, both in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot side, would strongly disapprove of the instrumentalization of the island in Israel’s oppression of Palestine, Tatar said the Turkish Cypriot people would condemn and never approve of being involved in such brutality and oppression.
President Tatar also recalled allegations from the 1990s that the UK intervened in Iraq using bases in Cyprus.
He said the Turkish Cypriots expected the UK, to fulfil its responsibilities as a guarantor power in exchange for the bases it acquired on the island.
“We condemn Israel’s attacks. As the Turkish Cypriot people, our discomfort has been expressed at the highest level by me and other authorities. We condemn this violence, this brutality, which has led to the death of tens of thousands of people, against the oppression of civilian population, children, the elderly, in the face of disproportionate force,” he added.
Regarding the UK’s ability to deploy ships, planes, or troops to its two bases on the island, Tatar acknowledged potential “objections” in the region but hoped that the bases would be used for humanitarian aid and rescue operations rather than to support Israel’s military operations.
Tatar expressed hope that the reported arrival of 1,000 British soldiers was for peace and humanitarian needs, stating, “Hopefully, it is so. Hopefully, it is not a support for Israel’s attacks on civilians in Gaza.”
Tatar also reminded of the claim that the UK “stood by” while Turks were being killed in Cyprus, suggesting a historical context to the current situation.