Turkey to start ‘biggest military exercise ever’
TURKEY is preparing to hold its “biggest ever” military manoeuvres in a 462,000km2 area that will include Cyprus.
Called Blue Homeland, the exercise will be held from February 27 to March 3 in the eastern Mediterranean, taking in waters the Greek Cypriots claim as their Exclusive Economic Zone.
The exercise, described as a “first in Turkey’s history”, will see participation of Turkish naval, land and air forces, and will include “all seas” of Turkey.
Described by some commentators as a “war rehearsal”, it comes after Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar had vowed to protect Ankara’s “sovereign” areas against “Greek and Greek Cypriot attempts to occupy” the country’s waters.
Analysts said the exercises were designed to send a clear message to Egypt, Greece, Israel and South Cyprus.