The back story to this recent news, and it's a big one, has been previously covered here at the blog
Tensions are expected to soar when Russia carries out military exercises in the region as Turkey threatens to encroach in Cyprus waters to hunt for energy.
Ankara said survey vessel Barbaros will start explorations within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone from Monday.
And at the same time Russia’s navy will be conducting a four-day rocket-firing exercise off the island’s northern coast. Nicosia has given the green light to Russian manoeuvres, Cyprus’ navy chief Constantinos Fytiris confirmed yesterday.
He tried to play down any link with the island’s energy row with Turkey.“The presence of the Russian navy is not connected at all with Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. The EEZ is not linked with rocket firing...The EEZ is linked with economic activity beneath the sea.” “The two issues – Russian navy and Barbaros – are not connected; let this be clarified so that panic is avoided.”
Nevertheless, any Turkish encroachment in Cyprus’ EEZ – as it has threatened to do - will only destabilise an already fragile situation.
And it can be no coincidence that Nicosia is allowing Russia to fire rockets while Turkey is trying to bully oil companies to desert Cyprus.Turkey is, of course, attempting to destabilize a very fragile situation in Cyprus. As it has done before......No way is it a coincidence that Cyprus is allowing Russia to fire rockets at this time!
1974 Turkish Troops invade Northern Cyprus
Thousands of Turkish troops have invaded northern Cyprus after last-minute talks in the Greek capital, Athens, failed to reach a solution.Tension has been running high in the Mediterranean island since a military coup five days ago in which President Archbishop Makarios, a Greek Cypriot, was deposed.
The coup led to fears among the Turkish Cypriot community that the Greek-backed military rulers would ignore their rights and press for unification for Cyprus with Greece or enosis.
Archbishop Makarios became the republic's first elected president in 1959 only after agreeing to give up plans for a union with Greece.
A Turkish armada of 33 ships, including troop transporters and at least 30 tanks and small landing craft, has landed on the northern coast.
Airlifted to safety
The bulk of the Greek fleet put to sea last night from the island of Salamis.
There are reports of clashes between Greek and Turkish warships near Paphos, a port in south-western Cyprus.
Greek Cypriot forces on the island have been defending the northern coast, around Kyrenia.
The capital, Nicosia, has seen most of the fighting. Turkish paratroops and tanks have been battling for control of the airport - but they have met fierce resistance from the Greek forces.
Shops and offices in the Greek sector of the capital have been deserted since midday yesterday as rumour of the impending invasion spread.
In some parts of the city there were traffic jams as residents tried to flee to the safety of the countryside.
More than 4,500 Britons and other foreign nationals have been moved to the safety of army bases and others have been airlifted to safety in specially-chartered planes.
So far there has been no indication of the casualty figure, but it is thought the Greeks have suffered most from air strikes.
Although Greek military reports from Nicosia claim significant progress has been made against the Turkish forces. Several Turkish planes are reported to have been shot down and "enemy forces" kept out of Turkish Cypriot villages in the north of the island
The Turks have made it clear they will not settle for anything less than the removal of the newly-imposed Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Sampson.