Ersin Tatar, a hardline Turkish Cypriot politician who favors closer ties with Turkey, on Sunday won the election to lead a country that is only recognized by Ankara among all the nations of the world.
Turkish Cypriot broadcaster BRT says with 84% of the votes counted, Ersin Tatar secured 52.12% of the vote compared to 47.88% for the incumbent Mustafa Akinci.
Tatar, 60, advocates fully aligning Turkish Cypriot policies with those of Turkey, the region’s patron, which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and soon after established the illegal so-called Turkish Cypriot Republic.
Only the nation of Turkey recognizes the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north, which is economically and militarily dependent on Ankara.
The island’s true, internationally recognized government has its seat in the Greek Cypriot south and is part of the 27-nation European Union.