Cypriot Parliament President: Akinci’s Election a Positive Development

Mustafa Akinci

The President of the Cypriot House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou has welcomed earlier today the election of Mustafa Akinci as the new leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community. As he said, the election of the new leader of the Turkish-occupied Cypriot territories is a positive development that will also send a clear message to Turkey for a policy change regarding the long-standing Cyprus problem.

According to an announcement issued by the House of Representatives, Akinci creates hope for a different approach of the Turkish-Cypriot community to the island’s problem. However, as Omirou explained, the main and decisive factor in the Cyprus problem is Turkey.

“Now it is time for the international and European community to press Turkey in order to change its stance and abandon intransigence, to accept a solution that will put an end to the occupation and lead to a united and democratic state, based on the principles of international and European law,” Omirou said.

Akinci won a run-off “election” on Sunday with just over 60.5% of the vote, against Dervis Eroglu who only got 39.5%. United Nation-backed peace talks are expected to resume in May, with the United Nations Secretary General Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide arriving on the island next week to prepare the ground.

Akinci was born in the southern coastal town of Limassol in 1947 and studied architecture. In 1976, at the age of 29, he was elected “Mayor” of the northern Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia. This is the third time he has run for the leadership of the Turkish-Cypriot community.