Dervis Eroglu has won the presidential election in northern Cyprus. The leader of the UBP party beat incumbent, Ali Talat, who has been president since 2005.
Polling over 50 per cent, Eroglu will avoid a run-off. He is known to be a staunch nationalist and a supporter of Turkish Cypriot independence, but he’s assuring voters he will continue talks with Greece.
“Today, negotiations carried on with the Greek Cypriot president, and they will continue,” Dervis Eroglu said.
Talat has lead peace talks with his Greek Cypriot counterpart, President Demetris Christofias, since 2008, whilst Eroglu has always backed Turkish Cypriot independence. Ankara is very keen on reaching an agreement, as it will help Turkey’s bid to join the EU.
Both presidents had agreed in principle that Cyprus should reunite, with broad autonomy for the two zones, but a central administration.
Though Eroglu has in the past been opposed to the talks, many are hoping he is now serious about negotiations with the Greek Cypriots.