Northern Cyprus Elections Embroiled in Turkish-Greek Conflict
The contentious presidential elections held on Sunday in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus produced no winner, and the tiny republic, recognized by Ankara alone, will next week head to a runoff vote between the moderate incumbent Mustafa Akinci and right-wing nationalist Prime Minister Ersin Tatar. The Mediterranean island, divided between Turkey and Greece after a partial 1974 Turkish military takeover, made headlines in recent days when barely concealed tensions between the two sides threatened to boil over into open conflict. Tatar, backed by Ankara’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced the reopening and resettling of a ghost town in northern Cyprus, which was deserted by fleeing Greek Cypriots residents in 1974, with local Turkish Cypriots. The move drew condemnation from the UN Security Council, which hopes to restart negotiations over finally unifying the splintered Island. Greece and Turkey have also been feuding in recent months over offshore energy deposits and maritime rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.