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A missile fired from Syria against airstrikes launched by Israel, missed its target. It flew over the Mediterranean before crashing into the foothills of the Five Finger (Pentadactylos) mountains. Pieces of the missile which crashed 200 meters from homes in Taşkent (Vouno) were also found in Dikmen (Dikomos), Değirmenlik (Kythrea), Serdarlı (Chatos/Kiados) and Görneç (Kornokypos).
A stray S-200 was in our fate
The island and the TRNC felt the impact of regional conflicts with the crash of the S-200 missile. We came to the verge of a catastrophe. The ring of fire that encircles us, first felt when 300 refugees arrived on our shores, was felt again, this time with a stray missile.
- Three suspended from work – KIBTEK’s (TC Electricity Authority) Board of Directors decided to suspend three employees currently on trial for embezzlement.
We were very frightened
The crash of an S-200 missile fired from Syria has occupied the country’s agenda. The crash has frightened and concerned many. Ten separate pieces from the exploded missile were discovered in Taşkent (Vouno), Değirmenlik (Kythrea), Serdarlı (Chatos/ Kiados) and Görneç (Kornokypos). A team of experts from AFAD (Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) inspected the site and announced there was no chemical risk.
- 30 police officers to be expelled – A decision has been taken to expel 30 of the 83 police officers under investigation for their affiliation to FETÖ/PYD (Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization/ Parallel State Structure).
We are just a missile away
The problems in the Middle East have spilled over to our land. An S-200 missile fired from a Syrian battery against Israeli airstrikes missed its target exploding above the TRNC. The debris of the missile which crashed in Taşkent (Vouno) was scattered around Görneç (Kornokypos) and Dikmen (Dikomos).
- Two per cent reduction in the cost of living allowance
Taşkent instead of Masyaf
According to experts, the S-200 self-destructed in the air after missing its target. It is believed that the target of the missile which crashed in Taşkent (Vouno) was, in fact, Masyaf on the Syrian coast. The S-200 has a range of 150-300 km.
Struck by an S-200
Cyprus experienced its first missile attack in history. Only a piece of it crashed in Taşkent (Vouno) while the rest of the broken up rocket scattered across the nearby villages of Dikmen (Dikomos), Görneç (Kornokypos), Serdarlı (Chatos/ Kiados) and Değirmenlik (Kythrea). The source of the missile or what really happened is not exactly known. It’s believed it was fired to fend off an Israeli airstrike. Luckily no one was killed or injured. Cyprus has now become part of the conflict in the Middle East.
Government confirms object which crashed in Taşkent (Vouno) was S-200 missileYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Internal Security, External Security, Regional/International Relations
The government confirmed on Monday, that the object which crashed in an area between Taşkent (Vouno) and Güngör (Koutsovendis) located on the foothills of the Five Finger (Pentadactylos) was a stray Russian-made S-200 surface to air missile (SAM) that had been fired from Syria to counter Israeli missile attacks.
No one was hurt in the incident which took place in the early hours of Monday morning.
The biggest piece of the stray missile crashed just outside the village of Taşkent (Vouno), setting ablaze the surrounding hills. A second smaller piece landed in Dikmen (Dikomos).
A number of smaller pieces were found later in the day in the neighbouring villages of Güngör (Koutsovendis), Görneç (Kornokypos), Serdarlı (Chatos/ Kiados) in the Değirmenlik Başpınar (Kythrea) area.
Government officials and politicians visited the main crash site on Monday to follow up on developments.
Witnesses speaking to the TAK news agency said they first thought that a plane or helicopter had crashed. They said they saw a light in the sky followed by three loud explosions which were heard for miles around.
Commenting on the incident, geopolitical analyst Zenonas Tziarras said that the S-200 missile had likely self-destructed in the air.
Quoted by Diyalog newspaper, Zenonas Tziarras said: “Surface-to-air missiles like the S-200 have a self-destruct setting when they miss their target”
AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority from Turkey) dispatched a team of experts to the area to determine whether there was any danger of toxic materials. The experts said they did not find anything that could be dangerous for human health.
Speaking to reporters after an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday morning, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that there was no need for panic.
He said that the Turkish military had also given the reassurance that debris from the missile did not contain poisonous gases or any hazardous chemicals.
“This is an accident and things like this can happen coincidently,” Tatar said, urging everyone to remain calm and not to blow the incident out of proportion.
Tatar said that although not confirmed, they believed that the stray missile was linked to the Israeli air strikes conducted against Syria the same night.
Also speaking to reporters, Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said that he had talked with several ambassadors in the South, all of whom backed up their own findings.
“It is understood that a missile fired from Syria fell here by accident, as a result of being fired in an uncontrolled way by batteries … in response to the intense attacks yesterday (Sunday night) evening by Israel,” Özersay said.
Özersay added that the debris had the same markings with a missile that had crashed in Gaziantep, Turkey in 2018.
He said the explosion was thought to have occurred before impact because there were no craters.
“The pieces that fell to several different points prove that the missile exploded in the air before it crashed,” he said.
Undoubtedly, we invite Syria, Israel and other countries in the region to take into account the human and material security of neighbouring countries, to take the necessary measures and for everyone to behave calmly, Özersay added.
He also discussed the matter with Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar over the phone. Özersay said Turkey will issue a warning to the neighbouring countries and that the Turkish Cypriot side has already brought the matter to the attention of the UN and Syria, expressing its discomfort over the incident.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said that Turkey supported the TRNC’s initiative with the UN.
Inspecting the crash site on Monday, leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman said that no one will be truly secure until peace is achieved in the region.
He said that they were reassured by the authorities that there was nothing to be worried about.
“Political actors need to do all they can for regional peace. All indications show the missile exploded in the air which is why the pieces were discovered in different points. What really relieves me is that the objects did not land on places people are living. The military and police are in full control of the area,” he said.
CTP Women’s Branch in a written statement on Monday said that war had once again revealed its ugly face “The CTP, which strives for peace in line with its guiding principle, has displayed a consistent approach on solving problems through diplomacy and dialogue rather than conflicts,” the statement read.
CTP Women’s Branch urged all political actors to utilize diplomacy and disarmament for regional peace.
Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader Cemal Özyiğit said the possibility of such incidents reoccurring was strong as long as wars continued in the region.
“This incident shows that we are not impervious to the negative effects of the war in the Middle East. This is a sign that no one is safe as long as there is no peace in the region,” Özyiğit added.
Re-birth Party (YDP) leader Erhan Arıklı argued in favour of revising an existing defence treaty with Turkey, stating that the TRNC did not possess the capability of defending its own air space or waters.
In a written statement on Monday, Arıklı said that Turkey could set up a naval base on the island in order to extend its national defence system established against threats in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktaş made a similar argument to Arıklı.
He said that the TRNC neither possessed the capability to defend itself against high-tech missile systems nor did it have the means to investigate the missile crash. He added that ongoing wars in the region posed a serious threat for the island and the incident has once more highlighted the urgency of finding a lasting and sustainable peace on the island.
On Monday afternoon, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar and President Mustafa Akıncı held a telephone conversation.
She expressed her good wishes to Akıncı and the Turkish Cypriot community. Spehar also conveyed South Cyprus’s readiness to assist the Turkish Cypriot side technically or in any other way necessary.
According to a press release from the President’s office, Akıncı thanked both the UN and officials in the South for their sensitivity and offer of assistance.
He said that military and civilian authorities were carrying out a delicate investigation into the incident with the assistance of the Turkish military.
In a statement on Monday, UniteCyprusNow argued that the missile crash had reminded that Cyprus was geographically located in a volatile region. It said that the status quo was an illusion and was vulnerable to crises in an area steaming with conflict.
“A divided Cyprus is an invitation for increased risks for Cyprus becoming another source of conflict in the Middle East,” the statement added. UCN stressed the missile could have crashed on any settlement on the island resulting in the loss of life. It noted that the island would have long been reunified and demilitarized had the Cyprus Problem been solved.
>> Military & civilian authorities carrying out a delicate investigation into the incident with the assistance of the Turkish military.
>> No need for panic.
>> Turkish military has given reassurance that debris from the missile did not contain poisonous gases or any hazardous chemicals.
>> Stray missile linked to the Israeli air strikes conducted against Syria.
>> No need to blow the incident out of proportion.
>> Talks with embassies in the South confirm our own findings.
>> Missile fired from Syria fell in the TRNC by accident.
>> Rocket debris has same markings with a missile that crashed in Gaziantep, Turkey in 2018.
>> Absence of craters backs theory that explosion occurred before impact.
>> Syria, Israel and other countries in the region urged to take into account human and material security of neighbouring countries.
>> TRNC’s discomfort brought to the attention of the UN and Syria.
>> No one will be truly secure until peace is achieved in the region.
>> Authorities have reassured us there is no need for concern.
>> Political actors need to do all they can for regional peace.
>> Such incidents are possible as long as wars continue in the region.
>> Such incident shows TCs are not impervious to conflicts in the region. No one is safe as long as there is no peace in the region.
>> TRNC does not possess the capability to protect itself against high-tech missile systems.
>> The incident once more highlights the urgency of finding a lasting and sustainable peace on the island.
>> The existing defence treaty between Turkey & TRNC must be revised.
>> A new defence treaty must be signed which will include the establishment of a Turkish naval base to extend the national defence system.
Aksoy (Turkish MFA)
>> Turkish government supports the TRNC’s initiative to bring the issue to the UN’s attention.
>> Missile crash reminds Cyprus is located in a volatile region.
>> Status quo is an illusion and is vulnerable to crises in an area steaming with conflict.
>> A divided island carries risks of Cyprus becoming another source of conflict in the Middle East.
>> If Cyprus problem had been solved, the island would have been united and demilitarized.
Delegation led by Özersay holds inspections in Maraş (Varosha)Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
A delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay held an inspection tour of the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) on Monday, it was reported.
A press statement issued by the foreign ministry said that the visit was a preliminary inspection held before next week’s meeting with the team of experts tasked with conducting the inventory in Maraş (Varosha)
TC side ready to link island’s mobile telephony networksYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Work to link the divided island’s mobile telephony networks has been completed, it was announced on Monday.
High ranking government officials and heads of relevant state departments were informed at a meeting chaired by President Mustafa Akıncı.
A consensus was reached on the next steps after experts informed the participants that the GSM operators had reached an agreement on reasonable call charges for consumers.
GSM operators in the north will now inform Swiss-based Comfone on the outcome of the meeting.
Akıncı said that the system will be tested before it goes fully online.
Once the move goes ahead, people will be able to use their phones across the whole island.
Linking of mobile telephony networks between the south and the north is part of a series of confidence-building measures agreed in 2015. The measure had hit legal snags and in February the leaders of the two communities agreed that mobile phone interoperability would be best achieved through separate agreements of operators on both sides with the hub based in Switzerland, to facilitate greater interaction between the two communities.