LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Ersin Tatar, the newly elected president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), was sworn into office on Friday.

Tatar was welcomed by Teberruken Ulucay, the parliament speaker, for his swearing-in at the General Assembly in the nation’s capital Lefkosa.

Representing Turkey at the ceremony was Fuat Oktay, the Turkish vice president.

Also present were former Turkish Cypriot Presidents Mehmet Ali Talat and Dervis Eroglu, Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Commander Maj. Gen. Sezai Ozturk, Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Zorlu Topaloglu, Tatar’s father Rustem Tatar, his wife Sibel Tatar, and many other top officials.

Later today, President Tatar will lay wreaths at the monument to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, and the mausoleums of Turkish Cypriot founding fathers Fazil Kucuk and Rauf Denktas.

Afterward, Tatar will take part in a handing-over ceremony at the presidency, where he will take over the reins from his predecessor, Mustafa Akinci.

Visit to Turkey

At the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, next Monday Tatar will pay his first state visit to Turkey, where the two presidents will discuss bilateral ties and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to the Turkish Communications Directorate.

Then-Prime Minister Ersin Tatar won last Sunday’s presidential runoff in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with 51.74% of the votes, beating incumbent Mustafa Akinci’s 48.26%.

Tatar is Northern Cyprus’ fifth president, and is set to serve a five-year term.

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.

* Written by Ahmet Gencturk

Copyright 2021 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.