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World Divided Cyprus eyes impact of Turkey's man winning northern vote

17:35  19 october  2020
17:35  19 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island which was backed by the Greek government. The island was effectively partitioned, with the northern third run by a Turkish Cypriot government and the southern two-thirds by the

Turkish Cypriots voted out a president who favors reuniting Cyprus under the European Union’s umbrella and elected a supporter of the Ersin Tatar, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed state recognized only by Turkey , won the presidency in a runoff with 52% of the vote , Turkey ’ s Anadolu

Breakaway northern Cyprus has elected the Ankara-backed right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar as its leader in a surprise win at a time of heightened tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Newly-elected Turkish Cypriot president Ersin Tatar celebrates after winning to vote Sunday © Birol BEBEK Newly-elected Turkish Cypriot president Ersin Tatar celebrates after winning to vote Sunday

Tatar, 60, clinched victory late Sunday in a second round of the "presidential" election in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

The Cambridge-educated chartered accountant won 51.7 percent of the vote.

With Turkey an increasingly assertive regional actor, Tatar's win could help shift the balance of power in the region and impact reunification efforts for divided Cyprus.

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Turkish Cypriots are already citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and European Union. With a solution a very big number the turkish settlers brought from Turkey will also get Turkey on Thursday explicitly floated the concept of a two-state solution for divided Cyprus , a proposal sure to alarm the

The Turkish invasion of Cyprus , code-named by Turkey as Operation Atilla, ( Turkish : Atilla Harekâtı) was a Turkish military invasion of the island country of Cyprus .

- Why did Tatar win? -

Tatar won the first-round vote on October 11 with 32 percent, ahead of outgoing leader Mustafa Akinci who won 30 percent.

Akinci's relationship with Ankara had come under strain, especially after he described the prospect of the north's annexation by Turkey as "horrible" in February.

But while Akinci had secured the backing of Tufan Erhurman -- a fellow social democrat who came third in the first round -- that support was not enough.

Political scientist Mete Hatay, from the PRIO Cyprus Centre, said it was Turkish settlers and immigrants with TRNC citizenship --- making up nearly a third of voters -- that tipped the balance.

"Settlers' votes went to Ersin Tatar, especially in rural areas," Hatay said.

Support for Tatar from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also key.

Turkish Cypriots elect their leader, Ankara follows closely

 Turkish Cypriots elect their leader, Ankara follows closely © Supplied by Le Point The self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognized by the only Turkey , began voting on Sunday to elect its leader, a ballot which mainly opposes the outgoing "president" and critic of the Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the candidate of Ankara.

Turkish voters on the divided island of Cyprus have voted for Derviş Eroğlu of the nationalist National Unity Party to become their new leader, replacing Mehmet Ali Talat. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey ' s prime minister, said yesterday that his government would continue backing peace talks in Cyprus .

Only Turkey recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , while there is broad recognition that the ongoing military presence constitutes occupation of In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot community unilaterally declared independence, forming the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , a sovereign

Days before the first round, Tatar had announced -- from Ankara, along with Erdogan -- the partial reopening of the fenced-off seaside ghost town of Varosha for the first time since Turkish forces invaded the north in 1974.

a person holding a colorful umbrella: Right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar, backed by Ankara, scored a surprise victory in a run-off presidential election in breakaway northern Cyprus, ousting pro-reunification incumbent Mustafa Akinci © Birol BEBEK Right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar, backed by Ankara, scored a surprise victory in a run-off presidential election in breakaway northern Cyprus, ousting pro-reunification incumbent Mustafa Akinci

Turkey has also supplied northern Cyprus with a 100-bed hospital for coronavirus cases and fixed an undersea freshwater pipeline.

When Akinci admitted defeat, he referred to Turkish interventions in the election.

Last week, he claimed that pro-Turkish media were carrying out a "disinformation campaign" and that he had received threats urging him to withdraw.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Tatar visited the seaside ghost town of Varosha in the Turkish-occupied north of the divided island of Cyprus on October 8 © Birol BEBEK Tatar visited the seaside ghost town of Varosha in the Turkish-occupied north of the divided island of Cyprus on October 8

- What does it mean for Cyprus' future? -

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Cyprus , officially called the Republic of Cyprus , is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. The third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, it is located south of Turkey


Video: Turkish Cypriots vote for new leader amid east Mediterranean tensions (AFP)

Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third in 1974 in reaction to a Greek-engineered coup aiming to annex the island.

The TRNC, now with a population of about 300,000, is recognised only by Turkey.

The Republic of Cyprus, which is in control of the mainly Greek-speaking south, has been a European Union member since 2004.

The two sides are separated by a UN-patrolled buffer zone.

The last attempt at UN-mediated negotiations collapsed in Switzerland in July 2017.

While Akinci had revived hopes for reunification by advocating the creation of a federal state, Tatar defends a two-state solution.

In his victory speech, Tatar said he would return to the negotiating table "when necessary", but said that Turkish Cypriots would "not compromise" on certain points essential to their "sovereignty".

a person holding a sign: A Greek Cypriot protesters demonstrates at the Deryneia crossing point on the UN patrolled line dividing Cyprus on October 8 © Iakovos Hatzistavrou A Greek Cypriot protesters demonstrates at the Deryneia crossing point on the UN patrolled line dividing Cyprus on October 8

"Our neighbours in the south and world community should respect our fight for freedom," Tatar said.

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0000 Turkish Cypriots are voting this weekend in a crucial election which may see an end to the ethnic and political division of their island. 0115 The implications go beyond Cyprus . Turkey ' s own bid to join wealthy Europe depends on a united Cyprus - with Greek and Turkish Cypriots living

Map of Cyprus, an island divided since 1974 © Paz PIZARRO Map of Cyprus, an island divided since 1974

The UN is expected to convene a meeting between the two sides, Turkey, Greece -- the key ally of Greek Cypriots -- as well as former colonial ruler Britain.

On Monday, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades called on Tatar to back the UN-led peace initiative, after Turkey's Erdogan had said earlier he would work with Tatar "to resolve the Cyprus issue".

The TRNC is already economically and politically dependent on Turkey -- not least because some 30,000 Turkish troops are on Cypriot soil.

Tatar's win is expected to deepen those ties further -- with some fearing the spectre of annexation.

"Anything is possible nowadays in this crazy world," Hatay said, but added he did not see annexation imminently.

"They have to get Turkish Cypriots on board for that, and even those who support Tatar are not ready at this stage," he said.

- What impact for the Eastern Med? -

Northern Cyprus is a centrepiece of Turkey's strategy in the eastern Mediterranean, including a bitter dispute with Greece and Cyprus over oil and gas reserves.

The EU has deplored Turkey's drilling for hydrocarbons in disputed waters and warned Ankara against further "provocations".

In a call with Tatar after his victory, Erdogan said their cooperation would continue -- "starting with activities related to hydrocarbons".

But new leadership could also bring a chance of fresh talks. UN-led discussions on Cyprus will bring Greece and Turkey to the same table -- and that could help talks on wider issues, analysts say.

"This process will not only be about solving Cyprus problem," Hatay said. "It will also be about easing the tensions in the region."

mdz/pjm/fz

Cyprus, Greece, Egypt to Turkey: drop the rancor, join us .
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The leaders of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece on Wednesday renewed an invitation to Turkey to become a partner in reaping the potential benefits of offshore gas deposits, while urging Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions in the eastern Mediterranean. Their one-day regional summit in Cyprus came amid high tension between neighbors and NATO allies Greece and Turkey over maritime borders, after Ankara sent a research vessel, escorted by warships, to disputed waters between the Greek islands, southern Turkey and Cyprus. Turkey has also sent drilling ships where Cyprus says it has exclusive economic rights.

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