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Cyprus criticizes Turkish antennas

NICOSIA, Cyprus, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Cypriot Minister of Defense Costas Papacostas has criticized antennas installed by the Turks along the buffer zone between the two states.

According to Papacostas, the antennas in the villages of Dasaki tis Achnas and Mammari violate the status quo, Cyprus News Agency reported Monday.

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Papacostas told reporters that while the deployment wasn't a military issue, the government was investigating, saying: "We are trying to look thoroughly into the matter, collect all the necessary information and investigate the Turkish allegations that the antennas were installed for telecommunication purposes. There is no need for people to worry, we are handling the situation."

The antennas were installed last week and are believed to be cellphone transmission masts of the Turkish mobile company Turkcell. Turkcell is Turkey's leading mobile phone operator and has its headquarters in Istanbul. Turkcell had more than 35 million subscribers as of June 2009, making it the third largest mobile phone operator in Europe.

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