Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is trying to create a new Ottoman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, said Cypriot Foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides.
“Turkey wants to become regional hegemony,” Christodoulides said in an interview on Wednesday.
Erdoğan’s approach to geopolitics, which involves militarisation of Turkish foreign policy, could have an impact, the diplomat said.
“This is of great importance to all countries in the region,” he said.
Turkey has deployed its navy to monitor seismic research vessels in the eastern Mediterranean looking for gas in Turkish waters claimed by Cyprus and Greece.
This policy has led to protests from the United States and regional countries, including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and has led the European Union to impose temporary sanctions on Turkish Energy officials.
Turkey has also used its army to fight terror in Syria and Libya.
Turkey’s new drone base in the separated Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is an example of Ankara’s Ottoman policy, Christodoulides said.
Cyprus has been ethnically divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the north in response to a Greek Cypriot coup d’état aimed at unifying the island with Greece.
“The main reason for establishing this drone base is to control the Middle East, is to control Israel, it is to control Egypt,” said Christodoulides.
Turkey is now calling for a two-state solution to the Cyprus question. The Republic of Cyprus is vehemently opposed to this demand.
Numerous diplomatic attempts to reunite Cyprus according to a federal model have failed.