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Northern Cyprus demands respect from Turkey

The new Turkish Cypriot president, Mustafa Akinci, infuriated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as soon as he was elected by calling for a dignified relationship between Turkish Cypriots and Ankara.
Turkish Cypriot politician Mustafa Akinci delivers a speech to supporters after his election victory in Nicosia, April 26, 2015. Mustafa Akinci, standing as an independent, won 60.3 percent of the votes, according to figures provided by the election commission. His rival was incumbent president Dervis Eroglu, a conservative elected five years ago. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou  - RTX1ADHX
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In the April 26 presidential elections, Turkish Cypriots delivered a strong message in favor of a solution for the long-divided island, handing victory to leftist candidate Mustafa Akinci, who beat outgoing President Dervis Eroglu, a rightist nationalist concordant with Turkey’s traditional policies. The outcome reflects a strong popular will for reunification, but raises the spectre of trouble in relations with Turkey.

In his victory speech, Akinci said the relationship between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should no longer be of that between a “motherland” and a “baby motherland” — as the TRNC is often described in Turkey — but an equal “relationship between brothers.”

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