Cyprus, Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus presidential candidate calls for permanent partition of island

Cyprus, Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus  presidential candidate calls for permanent partition of island
Cyprus, Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus presidential candidate calls for permanent partition of island

Ersin Tatar, a leading presidential candidate of Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, has called for permanent partition of the island, complicating efforts to reunify the island that has been divided for almost half a century.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island. Ankara justified the invasion saying that it was protecting ethnically Turkish community minorities after a coup that sought to unite the island with Greece.

Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers the following year, sporadic inter-communal violence continued in the island, forcing the majority of Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island.

Talks for a peace deal to unite the island have failed repeatedly.

Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, yet the Union’s laws do not apply in the north, which Turkey alone recognises as an independent state.

If Tatar will be able to win over the incumbent northern Cyprus president Mustafa Akinci in the election, he is likely to open a begin a new round of UN-sponsored peace talks with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

Akinci would prefer a reunification of Cyprus in a federal state.

Matteo Natalucci

Matteo Natalucci is a geopolitics expert working as an Editor in London covering all aspects of international affairs and technology. Matteo previously worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, IHS Markit, and Global Data. Get in touch with the author: matteo.natalucci@internationalinsider.org
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