Ankara in a secret operation transported 42 German Leopard-2A4 tanks to Kythrea in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.
The tanks along with their ammunition were transported from the Turkish city of Edirne by transport ship.
The tanks belong to Turkey’s First Army in the Evros region, where all Turkish Army tanks with 120mm projectiles are kept (the Leopard 2A4 and the Israeli M-60T Sabra) along with modernised Leopard-1T tanks with 105mm projectiles.
Transfer violates US, German bans
It should be noted that both the US Congress and the German government have forbidden the transfer to Cyprus of weapons systems that they have constructed.
Ankara has flouted those decisions and ever more frequently uses American-made weapons systems (tanks, missiles, cannons, and personal military equipment).
Government of Cyprus informed
The transport of the Leopard-2A4s by the occupation forces obviously did not go unnoticed by the government of EU member-state Cyprus as the issue involves European-made armaments – in this case German – to maintain the occupation of EU territory by a third country, namely Turkey.
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated by the European Council to serve as the next President of the European Commission, is quite familiar with the situation in Cyprus.
In early March she held talks on regional security with her Cypriot counterpart Savvas Aggelidis.
At a conference entitled “Security in Europe and the Southeastern Mediterranean”, the German defence minister underlined the strategic importance of Cyprus for the EU and defended the country’s sovereign right to exploit natural resources in its EEZ.
She had also invoked international law in supporting the Republic of Cyprus on the German tanks issue.