NICOSIA, Cyprus — Turkish Cypriots began voting Sunday to get a pioneer tasked with beating their profound political chasms with rival Greek Cypriots to pave the way for a deal to finish 46 decades of cultural division in Cyprus and quell worries over offshore energy reserves.
The election comes amid allegations that Turkey is trying to maneuver the 200,000-strong electorate toward right-wing offender Ersin Tatar. Tatar recommends fully aligning Turkish Cypriot polices with the people of Ankara, like chasing a potential two-state bargain as an alternative to the long-held national model for the divided island.
Analysts forecast a race involving leftist incumbent Mustafa Akinci, center-left CTP celebration leader Tufan Erhurman, and Tatar.
The election at Cyprus’ breakaway north is very likely to venture to a runoff in weekly. Most opinion polls set Akinci to the next round, against Tatar or even Thurman.
Decades of discussions have failed to provide a peace agreement.
Allegations that Turkey is hoping to influence the election result now over ever came to a head when Turkey opened to the people ashore in uninhabited Varosha, a Famagusta suburb that for has stayed off-limits since 1974 when its Greek Cypriot inhabitants fled advancing Turkish troops.
Many Turkish Cypriots voiced opposition to the movement they watched as a ploy to improve support for TatarGreek Cypriots expressed anger in the beachfront’s reopening.
The United Nations Security Council on Saturday voiced”deep concern” over the shore reopening and called for its alteration when warning against”any unilateral actions that may increase tensions on the island”
Akinci, a solid supporter of a national accord with Greek Cypriots and also a winner of Turkish Cypriots who opposes Turkey’s absolute dominion over their affairs, denounced the move as a”blot” on democracy and an immediate bid to meddle in the election.
He maintained he had received threats against his loved ones, urging him to withdraw his candidacy.