WASHINGTON (AP)–Turkey has secretly deployed more than 200 US-supplied tanks–400 armored personnel carriers and other equipment in northern Cyprus in violation of US law–Sen. Alfonse D’Amato said Wednesday.
D’Amato–R-NY–called the information "extremely troubling" and said it complicates administration efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement.
He outlined his concerns in letters to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defense Secretary William Cohen.
State and Defense Department officials were unavailable for comment. In addition to the tanks and APCs–D’Amato said–Turkey has deployed dozens of TOW anti-tank missiles and self-propelled howitzers in northern Cyprus.
He said the weaponry has been deployed since 1994 "to modernize and reinforce the Turkish Army illegally occupying northern Cyprus."
The Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Sotos Zackheos strongly protested to the UN against new violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus and of the flight information region of Nicosia by Turkish military aircraft–on September 17–18 and 29.
In a letter dated 30 September–addressed to the United Nations Secretary General–the Cyprus Ambassador stressed that these provocative Turkish acts against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus are in blatant disregard of international law.