Turkish Cypriots urged to vote against division

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Bicommunal activist group UniteCyprusNow has called on Turkish Cypriots to vote in Sunday’s elections for a candidate who supports the UN-backed reunification process.

The peace group said it does not endorse any of the candidates running but urged voter in the Turkish-occupied north to back someone who best represents hope for an end to the island’s division.

“The upcoming elections on 11 October are crucial not only for Turkish Cypriots but also all Cypriots who hope for a safe, peaceful, united future for themselves and upcoming generations,” said a UniteCyprusNow statement on Tuesday.

“This is yet another example of how we are bound together and the choice of one community will have an impact on the other,” it added.

Several candidates are vying to oust incumbent Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who is seen as backing a federal solution for Cyprus while others have hinted at a two-state solution or deviating away from the UN process.

If there is no outright winner on Sunday, the most likely outcome, there will be a run-off between the top two on October 18.

Cyprus peace talks have remained in limbo since negotiations collapsed at a conference in Switzerland in July 2017.

“After the failure in Crans-Montana, this is the first time that we finally have a window of opportunity to finally reach a strategic agreement,” said the statement.

Movement on Cyprus talks is expected once the Turkish Cypriot vote selects a clear winner with the UN ready to engage.

“The only solution is a federal solution as stipulated by years of talks, agreements and UN resolutions but also it is the only solution that can find majority support in both communities.

Deviation from this course would mean investing in the status quo, a condition that is neither sustainable nor beneficial for either side.”

UniteCyprusNow called on its Turkish Cypriot supporters to go to the ballot and vote for a candidate “they are convinced, will work tirelessly for the unification of our country”.

“Thousands of Greek Cypriots who are committed to a solution rely on your common sense and your dedication for playing a role to unite our country…Do not give up on our common future.”