Turkish Cypriot Hardliner Ersin Tatar won a Turkish Cypriot leadership election on Sunday. He says he is ready to resume talks to end Cyprus’ 46-year ethnic division, provided Greek Cypriots understand Turkey’s regional strength.
]Mr Tatar, who favors fully aligning Turkish Cypriot policies with those of Turkey, said any peace accord should take into account the “realities” in and around the war-divided east Mediterranean island.
“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 after he had defeated Mustafa Akinci.
“They should know that if they continue these intransigent attitudes, we won’t give up our rights.”
Tatar also warned the European Union and the United Nations to be “fair” after their previous negotiations had 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. Turkey is the only country to recognise the breakaway region of the north, where Greek civilians were stripped of their homes and belongings. The north is economically and militarily dependent on Ankara.
The Greek Cypriot south is the island’s internationally recognised government.