Turkish Cyprus hosts joint drills with Türkiye

Türkiye and Turkish Cypriot forces have carried out their 19th annual joint search and rescue exercise near the Saint Hilarion Castle on the Kyrenia mountain range.

The exercise, divided into two parts, involved a simulated plane crash in the mountainous area. Response teams, including medical personnel comprising officers and non-commissioned officers, were deployed to the scene by helicopter.

Using an intricate pulley rope system, two individuals were rescued from the downed aircraft and airlifted to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot fire brigades arrived to battle the blaze, enabling search and rescue teams to extract other passengers trapped inside the plane.

Among the spectators present were Turkish Cyprus' parliament speaker Zorlu Töre, foreign minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, security forces commander Osman Aytaç and Coast Guard Commander Ahmet Kendir.

Additionally, military observers from countries such as Azerbaijan, Djibouti, the Philippines, Kosovo, Qatar, Libya and Pakistan followed the exercise, which lasted approximately 1.5 hours.

Prior to the drill, Aytaç held a press briefing where he said, "TRNC [the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] is prepared to undertake search and rescue operations in all conditions, day and night, whether in territorial or international waters at any time and in unity of heart and purpose with the elements of its homeland, the Turkish Republic."

Turkish Cyprus is recognized only by Türkiye and its territory is considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus.

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