According to the Cyprus-based Famagusta Gazette, the RAF Typhoons based at Akrotiri, Cyprus, to provide the air defense of the island following the Syrian crisis, nearly battled with Turkish jets in a close encounter on Sept. 2.
It looks like Turkey scrambled two F-16 fighter jets from Incirlik airbase, to intercept the British Typhoons that had allegedly violated the airspace over the occupied part of Cyprus.
According to the details collected by the Cypriot media outlet, the UK Ministry of Defence and Cyprus Defence Minister confirmed the incident, however it’s not clear whether the British planes scrambled to intercept the Turkish fighters “after radars detected suspicious flights in the area of the occupied city of Famagusta,” or viceversa.
In fact, after explaining that the RAF Typhoons were launched to investigate the suspicious activity, the article goes on reporting that “it is understood the Turkish jets took off from Incirlik air base in Turkey, in order to intercept the British planes,” and that “the British planes had returned to Akrotiri by time the Turkish jets arrived in northern Cyprus airspace.”
The dispute over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus is reflected by active NOTAMs (Notice To Airmen):
NAVIGATIONAL WARNING TO ALL CONCERNED REFERENCE IS MADE TO TURKISH NOTAM A2652/05 AND WISH TO STATE THAT THE SO-CALLED ERCAN AIRPORT (LCEN) IS AN UNAUTHORISED AIRPORT OPERATING IN THE OCCUPIED BY TURKEY NORTHERN PART OF THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS (CYPRUS AIC A06/02 REFERS). CYPRUS GOVERNMENT AS THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY AND THE ONLY RECOGNISED GOVERNMENT HAS NEVER REGISTERED ABBREVIATION CODE LCEN WITH ICAO. THEREFORE THIS CODE AND THIS ILLEGAL AIRPORT SHOULD NOT BE USED. 24 NOV 14:30 2005 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 24 NOV 14:53 2005
We will publish any further details as soon as they become available.
Image credit: Eurofighter