Turkey secretly transports German tanks to Cyprus - report

Turkey covertly transported 42 German Leopard-2A4 tanks to Kythrea, a small town in breakaway northern Cyprus just 10 kilometres from the Cypriot capital Nicosia, Greek website To Vima said.

Turkey deployed the tanks and ammunition belonging to its First Army with two cargo ships that set sail from the northwestern province of Edirne, near its border with Greece, To Vima said in a report this week that was cited by other Greek media on Thursday.  

The transfer took place despite the U.S. Congress and the German government banning the transfer to Cyprus of weapons systems that they have manufactured, according to the news site. 

Tovima said the move meant that a third party, Turkey, would be using European-made armaments in an occupied EU territory.

Tensions between Turkey and Cyprus have intensified in the past few months over exploration for natural gas in the east Mediterranean. Turkey has sent two drillships to seas off Cyprus after the EU member began its own exploration. Nicosia responded by seeking the backing of other EU countries against what it terms illegal Turkish activities.

Turkey says Turkish Cypriots, whose fledgling state is only recognised by Ankara after a Turkish invasion in 1974, should also get a share in the revenues from discoveries of offshore gas.