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Turkey-backed president's election to reshape negotiations in North Cyprus

Northern Cypriots elected right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar in runoff presidential elections Sunday, likely drawing a new path for peace talks and energy-revenue sharing negotiations amid rising regional tensions.
Supporters of right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar celebrate his win in the presidential election in the northern part of Nicosia, the capital of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on October 18, 2020. - Right-wing nationalist Ersin Tatar, backed by Ankara, scored a surprise victory in a run-off presidential election in breakaway northern Cyprus, ousting pro-reunification incumbent Mustafa Akinci. (Photo by Birol BEBEK / AFP) (Photo by BIROL BEBEK/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — Turkey-backed hard-liner Ersin Tatar won a presidential election runoff in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Sunday in a vote widely seen as a referendum on the breakaway state’s policies for years to come.

Tatar, who served as prime minister with the right-wing National Unity Party and fostered close relations with Ankara, beat incumbent President Mustafa Akinci with about 52% of the vote. In his victory speech, Tatar thanked voters as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, before saying North Cypriots wanted their own state.

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