Politics

Turkish Cypriot premier steps down

Ersan Saner says government no longer sustainable, calls for early elections

Seyma Uzundere   | 13.10.2021
Turkish Cypriot premier steps down

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 

The prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Wednesday submitted his resignation to President Ersin Tatar.

Speaking to reporters following his meeting with Tatar, Ersan Saner said: “As I observed that the government is no longer sustainable, I just submitted my resignation.”

“Early elections should be held as soon as possible," he added.

Saner is the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP). The tripartite coalition of UBP, the Democratic Party and the Rebirth Party was approved by President Tatar last December.

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

The TRNC was founded in 1983. It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year when Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN's Annan plan to end the decades-long dispute.​​​​​​​

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