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Mustafa Akıncı

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Mustafa Akıncı

Mustafa Akıncı
4th President of Northern Cyprus
Assumed office
30 April 2015
Prime Minister Özkan Yorgancıoğlu
Ömer Kalyoncu
Preceded by Derviş Eroğlu
Mayor of North Nicosia
In office
1976–1990
Preceded by Ziver Kemal
Succeeded by Fuat Celalettin
Personal details
Born (1947-12-28) 28 December 1947
Limassol, Cyprus
Political party Communal Democracy Party
Spouse(s) Meral Akıncı
Alma mater Middle East Technical
University
Website Official website

Mustafa Akıncı (Turkish pronunciation: ; born 28 December 1947) is the fourth and current President of Northern Cyprus. He took office in April 2015 for a five-year term. Akıncı became mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality at the age of 28, and served at various times as Member of Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Tourism.[1]

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
    • Peace and Democracy Movement 2.1
    • 2015 presidential bid 2.2
  • Publications 3
  • References 4

Early life

Akıncı was born in Limassol on 28 December 1947. He studied architecture at the Middle East Technical University, where he met his wife, Meral Akıncı. He returned to Cyprus in 1973 and the couple married in 1974. Their first child, Doğa, was born in 1975.[2][3]

Political career

In 1975, Akıncı was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Turkish Cypriots.[4] Following this election, he became the first elected mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality, and served for an uninterrupted term of 14 years from 1976 to 1990. Between 1993 and 2009, he served as an elected member of parliament in Northern Cyprus.[5]

During his 14 years of Mayorship, he collaborated with the then Nicosia Greek Cypriot Mayor on the implementation of the Nicosia Sewerage Project and the Nicosia Master Plan. The Nicosia Master Plan received the ‘World Habitat Award’ in 1989 and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007. Additionally, in 2003 Akıncı and his Greek Cypriot counterpart were awarded the prestigious ‘Europa Nostra Medal of Honour’ in recognition of their consistent and successful efforts for Nicosia and its citizens during particularly difficult times, and for the preservation of the historical and architectural environment of the Walled City.[4]

Akıncı also played a vital role in the establishment of the Union of Turkish Cypriot Municipalities, of which he then became the first president.[4]

Peace and Democracy Movement

In 2003, Akıncı established the Peace and Democracy Movement. The main aims of the party were the promotion of reunification of Cyprus based on the proposed Annan Plan and the consequent EU accession of a reunified Cyprus.[6] As of 2015, Akıncı continued to view European integration very favourably.[7]

2015 presidential bid

On 13 March 2015, Mustafa Akıncı successfully completed his application to run for presidency.[8]

During his campaign, he spoke out regarding the ghost town of Varosha, which is a lively topic regarding the Cyprus problem. Akıncı called for negotiations to solve this problem. Regarding Varosha, Akıncı stated that, "Instead of living side by side a corpse let Varosha become a lively city where people live, contractors from both communities do business together and young people can find jobs".[9]

On 19 April 2015, the presidential elections took place in northern Cyprus and Mustafa Akıncı won 26.9% of the votes, which put him second behind Derviş Eroğlu who got 28.2% of the votes. As a result, Akıncı advanced to the second round of the presidential elections, facing Derviş Eroğlu in the 26 April 2015 run-off.[10] He won this second round of the elections.[11][12]

Elected president with 60.5% of the vote, Akıncı was perceived as representing the 'brother nations' (kardeş vatan) outlook regarding relations with Turkey, as opposed to the 'young nation' (yavru vatan) outlook maintained by Turkey.[13] Akıncı's policy of increasing Northern Cyprus's independence from Turkey met with strong opposition from the Turkish government, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan having a phone-in debate with Akıncı on live TV soon after his election.[14] While Akıncı has proposed greater independence from Turkey, the Turkish government is sceptical due to the large amount of financial and military aid that has been given to Northern Cyprus since the invasion in 1974[15]

The Republic of Cyprus regards his victory as positive as he has expressed the interest of holding discussions regarding the reunification of Cyprus[11][16] and the re-opening of Varosha in Famagusta for tourists.[16]

Publications

In 2010, Akıncı published his first book, Belediye Başkanlığı'nda 14 yıl (‘Fourteen Years in Mayoral Office’). This 479-page book aimed to summarise his experiences during his years as mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality.[17]

References

  1. ^ Presidential polls in north Cyprus Hurriyet Daily News, 1 October 2014
  2. ^ "8 Maddede KKTC Cumhurbaşkanı Mustafa Akıncı" (in Turkish). Onedio. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Kanatlı, Hüseyin (6 April 2013). "Meral Akıncı..." (in Turkish). Havadis. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Mustafa Akıncı Timeline - Mustafa Akıncı Resmi Web Sitesi". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Akinci: practical steps towards a solution". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 2015-04-23. 
  6. ^ "The Europeanisation of Contested Statehood". google.co.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  7. ^ George Kyris. "Is Mustafa Akinci the best hope yet for a solution to the Cyprus problem?". the Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Akıncı adaylık başvurusunu saat 09.00’da yapacak". Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  9. ^ """Ak�nc�: "Let Varosha become a lively town. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  10. ^ "EUROPE - Turkish Cypriot leader ahead after first round of vote". Retrieved 2015-04-23. 
  11. ^ a b "Turkish Cypriots elect new leader for breakaway enclave". Yahoo News. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Leftist Akinci wins north Cyprus election, seeking peace deal". Reuters UK. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "KKTC’de ‘Kardeş Vatan’ Anlayışı Seçildi". Amerika'nin Sesi - Voice of America - Turkish. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Yavru vatan polemiğine Kuzu da katıldı: Sayın Akıncı neyine güveniyor anlamadım". www.haberturk.com. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Erdoğan ve Akıncı arasında 'yavru vatan' polemiği". BBC Türkçe. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Will Turkish-Cypriot community election result turn the tables in the Cyprus problem?". euGreeka. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Belediye Başkanlığı'nda 14 yıl". Goodreads. Retrieved 2015-04-23. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Derviş Eroğlu
President of Northern Cyprus
2015–present
Incumbent
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