rainn.png
Sunday November 29th, 2020 9:07PM

Hardliner wins Turkish Cypriot leadership election

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A hardliner who won a Turkish Cypriot leadership election said Sunday he's ready to resume dormant talks aimed at ending Cyprus' 46-year ethnic division, as long as rival Greek Cypriots come to grips with Turkey's regional might.

Ersin Tatar, who favors fully aligning Turkish Cypriot policies with those of regional patron Turkey, said any peace accord should take into account the “realities" in and around the war-divided east Mediterranean island. Tatar spoke after defeating leftist incumbent Mustafa Akinci in a runoff.

“It won’t be difficult to reach a settlement at the negotiating table if our friends the Greeks and Greek Cypriots properly analyze the strategic, economic and social balances in our region,” Tatar told supporters during a victory speech in the Turkish Cypriot half of the Cypriot capital Nicosia.

“They should know that if they continue these intransigent attitudes, we won’t give up our rights.”

Tatar also urged the European Union and the United Nations to be “fair” and change tack on how to assist negotiations because their previous approach has failed.

“You will no longer ignore the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people," Tatar said.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north that is economically and militarily dependent on Ankara. The island’s internationally recognized government has its seat in the Greek Cypriot south and is part of the 27-nation European Union.

Tatar, a 60-year-old scion of Turkish Cypriot political leaders, beat Akinci in the closely contested runoff that was beset by accusations of “unprecedented" meddling by Turkey in a bid to round up votes for the challenger.

Turkish Cypriot broadcaster BRT says with 100% of the votes counted, Tatar secured 51.74% of the vote compared to 48.26% for Akinci.

Akinci, 72, a champion of Turkish Cypriots who oppose Turkey's complete domination of their affairs and a backer of a federal deal with Greek Cypriots, conceded defeat to Tatar in a speech to supporters at his campaign headquarters, congratulating his opponent on his victory.

“We went through an election contest that wasn’t normal ... These results mark the end of my 45-year political career," Akinci said. "I wish good luck to our people.”

Tatar criticized those he said “accused the motherland of turning the election into a political tool" and expressed pride that “Turkey always stands by our side."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to his official Twitter account to congratulate Tatar for his election victory.

“Turkey will continue to make all necessary efforts to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people,” Erdogan said.

Nearly five decades of U.N. facilitated attempts at achieving reunification based on a federal framework have failed.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to soon call a meeting to bring together the two sides and Cyprus’ “guarantors” — Greece, Turkey and Britain — to scope out chances of resuming talks.

A negotiations reboot could help ease soaring tensions in waters off Greece and Cyprus over sea boundaries and energy exploration rights after Turkey redeployed a research vessel near the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

Turkey insists it has every legal right to search for hydrocarbons in waters where Greece and Cyprus claim exclusive economic rights. The Greek and Cypriot governments accuse Turkey of violating international law. The dispute raised fears of a military conflict between Greece and Turkey, which are NATO members but are strong regional rivals.

Tatar told The Associated Press in an interview last month that tensions would fade if Greek Cypriots agreed to divide up Cyprus' territorial waters and drilling rights with Turkish Cypriots before formal peace talks resume.

He also shares the Turkish government view that a federation may not be the most viable option and alternatives such as a two-state deal should be pursued.

Earlier this month, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Ankara wouldn't engage in peace talks if Greek Cypriots don’t preemptively agree to equally share decision-making powers with the minority Turkish Cypriots on all levels of an envisioned federal government. He said the alternative would be to start talks on a two-state deal.

Analyst Tumay Tugyan said she expects peace talks to become markedly more complex with Tatar now at the helm.

But she said the Turkish Cypriot side had committed itself to a federal model in previous rounds of talks and that it would be difficult to shift that basis to something else.

Tugyan said what will noticeably change is the Turkish Cypriots' relationship with Turkey whose “interference" in their affairs “would get harsher than ever.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hardliner wins Turkish Cypriot leadership election
A hardliner who won a Turkish Cypriot leadership election says he’s ready to resume talks aimed at ending Cyprus’ 46-year ethnic division, as long as rival Greek Cypriots come to grips with Turkey’s regional might
3:52PM ( 10 minutes ago )
The Latest: Giants WR Board has neck injury after big hit
Giants wide receiver C
3:47PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Tampa Bay's Godwin, Green Bay's Adams return from injuries
Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin and Green Bay’s Davante Adams are back in the lineup after missing time because of hamstring injuries
3:35PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Over 50,000 march in Belarus against authoritarian leader
Tens of thousands of people marched down the streets of Belarus’ capital on Sunday, demanding the ouster of the country’s authoritarian leader who won his sixth term in office in an election widely seen as rigged
2:39PM ( 1 hour ago )
Morocco reopens some mosques, even as infections grow
Moroccans across the country have performed their first weekly prayers in more than seven months as authorities eased some restrictions aimed at containing the virus pandemic
2:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Mexico states vote amid antivirus measures
As the U.S. counts down toward its presidential election, voters south of the border in two Mexican states are putting on masks and slathering on hand gel to cast ballots in local elections
1:59PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Report: Damage from August wind storm in Midwest at $7.5B
A new report says damage estimates from a rare wind storm that slammed Iowa and some other parts of the Midwest in August are growing
1:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
UK minister: Door 'still ajar' for post-Brexit talks with EU
British Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove says the door is “still ajar” for post-Brexit talks to continue with the European Union if European officials change their position on key points
11:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Protests in Prague over virus restrictions
Czech police have used tear gas and a water cannon to disperse hundreds of violent protesters who attacked them after a rally in Prague against government restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus infections
10:48AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
Turkish Cypriots pick leader as stakes soar in Mediterranean
Turkish Cypriots are voting in a leadership runoff to chose between an incumbent who pledges a course less bound by Turkey’s dictates and a challenger who favors even closer ties to Ankara
3:56AM ( 12 hours ago )
Azerbaijan, Armenia trade accusations on Caucasus conflict
Azerbaijani authorities are accusing Armenia of expanding the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh by shelling a different region in Azerbaijan, a claim rejected by Armenian officials
11:19AM ( 2 days ago )
Turkey denies deliberately holding Greek plane in the air
Turkey is denying accusations by Greece that Ankara refused an overflight permit to a plane carrying Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, forcing the aircraft to remain in the air for 20 minutes
7:33AM ( 3 days ago )
AP World News - International incidents
The Latest: Giants WR Board has neck injury after big hit
Giants wide receiver C
3:47PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Tampa Bay's Godwin, Green Bay's Adams return from injuries
Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin and Green Bay’s Davante Adams are back in the lineup after missing time because of hamstring injuries
3:35PM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Mayfield's bad day appears to end early
Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield’s day appears to be over
3:31PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Liam Neeson's 'Honest Thief' notches No. 1 at box office
Liam Neeson’s thriller “Honest Thief” stole the top spot at the box office in yet another quiet weekend of moviegoing
3:31PM ( 31 minutes ago )
The Latest: Texans use big plays to take lead on Titans
The Houston Texans have grabbed the lead over the undefeated Titans with a handful of key plays in the third quarter
3:19PM ( 43 minutes ago )