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Elections in Occupied Cyprus: The solution to the Cyprus problem is removed with the victory of Tatar


By Eleni-Vasiliki Bampaliouta.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan managed to impose his man on the Turkish Cypriot leadership, and send Mustafa Akinci home. The “elections” in the occupied territories, despite not being recognized as a legal process, as they concern an illegal entity that appears as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, are recognized as a vote to elect the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, who is also the negotiator in the settlement process. of the Cyprus issue, in the context of the UN.

Therefore, one cannot recognize the fact that the new leader of the Turkish Cypriots is a man who has made it clear that he does not intend to talk on the basis of the agreed form which is the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, fully identical with Tayyip Erdogan and Melvut Tsavousoglu.

Ersin Tatar, the former chief accountant of the Turkish Cypriot tyrant Asil Nadir, was elected leader of the Turkish Cypriot community with 51.69% against 48.31% of Mustafa Akinci. The difference was just 4,500 votes, which was enough to put an end to Ankara’s confrontation with the Turkish Cypriot leadership under Akinci.

In the week between the first and second rounds of elections, Ankara’s intervention intensified to mobilize voters who had not gone to the polls.

The pressure fell mainly on “civil servants” and their families, with the reminder that their salaries come from Turkey every month. In this orgy of blackmail, the inhabitants of Ankara used every means but also to create fear. Akinci presented himself as the man of the Greek Cypriots, who is ready to accept the dissolution of the “pseudo-state” so that the Turkish Cypriots become a minority. At the same time, Ersin Tatar had at his disposal the mechanism of the National Unity Party, which is the largest party in the occupied territories and maintains strong access and pressure levers at all levels of the pseudo-state public life.

The result of the vote showed that the Turkish Cypriot community is deeply divided, with Tatar supporters believing that a solution other than the bi-zonal bi-communal federation in the Cyprus issue should be sought and Akinci supporters insisting on holding talks only on the basis of , which is also recorded in the UN resolutions.

 The emergence of Tatar is expected to cause problems as the new Turkish Cypriot leader does not have Akinci’s political ouster and is essentially the voice of Tayyip Erdogan in the occupied territories. Given Ankara’s position on a change of base in the talks on resolving the Cyprus issue, it would be risky to assess that the UN Secretary General’s initiative could lead to talks from the point where they were suspended in the summer of 2017 in Crans Montana.

The Turkish side considers that process dead and proposes the search for a two-state solution, or a loose confederation. Such a development would exclude the Turkish Cypriots from the EU and would essentially be another step towards the annexation of the occupied territories to Turkey. If the talks do not resume where they left off, it means that all the convergences that have been reached in recent years and have come close to a solution will be thrown in the trash and negotiations will start from scratch, despite the fact that it is almost 50 years since invasion.

The presence of Tatar in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriots will help Erdogan to project more intensely the narrative of the defense of the rights of the Turkish Cypriot community. In fact, the Turkish Cypriots will be used as an alibi to achieve Turkey’s goals in the eastern Mediterranean. It is expected that the challenges with the drilling in the EEZ of Cyprus will continue, because allegedly the Turkish ships will act with the permission of the pseudo-state. At the same time, another new move for the settlement of Famagusta is considered possible, something that according to all estimates will be the tombstone in the process of resolving the Cyprus problem.

Nicosia hopes that the US elections with a possible victory of Joe Biden may change things by exerting influence on Turkey to end the challenges. The role of the EU, which Nicosia looks forward to, will also be important.

About the author:

Eleni-Vasiliki Bampaliouta – Experienced journalist  and writer, specialist in politics and diplomacy, extended list of interviews to top politicians from Europe, Africa and Middle East. Permanently working in Politic.gr, London Greek Radio and Epikaira. Press manager of the International Association for Greek Philosophy.

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