Turkish Cypriots Vote

Turkish Cypriots VoteTurkish Cypriots Vote

Voters in Turkish Cyprus elect a president on Sunday whose main task will be to represent them in reunification talks that are expected to resume on the ethnically divided island next month.

Opinion polls put conservative incumbent Dervis Eroglu in the lead ahead of the six other candidates but he is not expected to win enough votes in the first round, paving the way for a runoff with his nearest rival on April 26, World Bulletin reported.

Only Turkey recognizes the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The international community views the Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia as the legitimate government of the whole island.

Turkish Cypriots have become deeply skeptical about the prospects for reunification and so another conservative candidate, Kudret Ozersay, may also do well, eroding support for Eroglu and inadvertently helping one of the candidates more supportive of the talks, political analysts say.

Ozersay is an academic with years of experience in the stop-go reunification negotiations with the Greek Cypriots. Other leading presidential candidates include leftist Mustafa Akinci and centrist Sibel Siber.