Separatism Persists In North Cyprus Election

April 18, 2010, midnight

Northern Cypriot Prime Minister Dervis EROGLU defeated incumbent President Mehmet Ali TALAT in a first-round Presidential election on Sunday, raising questions about Cyprus' reunification and future relationship to Europe. TALAT campaigned on reuniting the island in an attempt to reduce its international isolation, while EROGLU advocated separate Greek and Turkish Cypriot states. EROGLU beat TALAT with 50.4 percent of votes, avoiding the need for a runoff. Some media have called the result a referendum on TALAT's recent negotiations with Greek Cypriots and other, international actors. Turkey is the only UN-recognized state that recognizes Northern Cyprus, which broke away from Cyprus with Turkish military backing in 1974. That action was in response to an earlier military coup by Greek Cypriots.

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