Duvar English – Reuters

Turkish Cyprus’ President Mustafa Akıncı and Prime Minister Ersin Tatar will go to a run-off in a week’s time after each won about 30 percent support in the presidential poll on Oct. 11, official media said.

Career politician Akıncı, 72, supports reuniting the Mediterranean island which split after 1974.

Tatar, 60, who has also served as finance minister, supports separate sovereign administrations.

There were 11 candidates in total in the vote on Oct. 11 where Turkish Cypriot voters cast ballots in masks and gloves to curb the risk of coronavirus infection. With a population of 326,000, Turkish Cyprus has reported 807 infections and four deaths.

Turkish Cyprus is recognized as an independent state only by Turkey. Other countries consider it part of Cyprus.

Turkish Cyprus Prime Minister Ersin Tatar is seen casting his vote.

The latest United Nations-mediated peace negotiations failed in 2017 and there has been no progress in talks since.

On Oct. 8, Turkish Cyprus reopened part of the beachfront of a resort abandoned for 46 years in a move that could hurt efforts to revive dispute settlement talks.

The president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, called the move “illegal.”

As well as having an impact on inter-island talks, the result of Turkish Cyprus’ election may influence negotiations between Turkey and Greece over their contested maritime claims in the eastern Mediterranean.