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Turkish Cypriots reject 'malicious' Israel allegation

1 min

Turkish Cypriot authorities have denied an "unfounded and malicious allegation" by Israel that Iran was using northern Cyprus for "terrorism objectives".

National flag of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on a flagpole © Mena Today 

Turkish Cypriot authorities have denied an "unfounded and malicious allegation" by Israel that Iran was using northern Cyprus for "terrorism objectives".

The foreign ministry of breakaway North Cyprus released the statement on Monday after the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a day earlier that Israel helped Cyprus foil an Iranian-ordered attack against Israelis and Jews on the island.

His office gave no details of the planned attack but the statement on behalf of the Mossad intelligence service said Israel was troubled by what it saw as Iranian use of northern Cyprus "both for terrorism objectives and as an operational and transit area".

"The Israeli government continues to make statements that are inconsistent with the facts to distract international public opinion from its inhumane attacks in Gaza and the West Bank," the Turkish Cypriot statement said.

Responding to the claim that Iran was using it for terrorist activities, the ministry said, "We strongly reject this unfounded and malicious allegation that lacks evidence."

The breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in northern Cyprus is recognised only by Turkey, which is sharply critical of Israel's actions in Gaza since Oct. 7. The internationally recognised government in the south of Cyprus has close relations with Israel.

The Turkish Cypriot ministry said North Cyprus would not be "drawn into dark and dirty games" and will continue to resolutely ensure the security of everyone living there.

On Sunday, a Greek Cypriot newspaper reported authorities had detained two Iranians for questioning over suspected planning of attacks on Israeli citizens living in Cyprus.

The two individuals were believed to be in the early stages of gathering intelligence on potential Israeli targets, the Kathimerini Cyprus newspaper said without citing sources. Those individuals had crossed from the north, it said.

Reuters was unable to verify the details in the newspaper report. A senior Cyprus official declined to comment, citing policy on issues concerning national security.

Cyprus was split in a Turkish intervention in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Lincoln Feast


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