Ersin Tatar, a hardline Turkish Cypriot politician who favors closer ties with Turkey, has won on Sunday the race to lead a country that is only recognized by Ankara.
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, who invaded Cyprus in 1974 and established soon after the illegal so-called Turkish Cypriot Republic.
Only Turkey recognizes the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north that is economically and militarily dependent on Ankara.
The island’s internationally recognized government has its seat in the Greek Cypriot south and is part of the 27-nation European Union.