Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides does not expect big changes in Cyprus peace talks following Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election on Sunday, without ruling out small steps as long as nationalists take a back seat.
Erdogan came through in his biggest electoral challenge in more than a decade, with voters giving him sweeping, executive powers for another five years.
Christodoulides, who spoke with state broadcaster RIK News, expressed the hope that Turkey would take steps to pave the way for new negotiation talks on the Cyprus problem.
But the foreign minister cautioned about Erdogan’s nationalist allies who helped propel him to a wide-ranging victory, clinching both the presidency and a majority coalition in parliament.
Christodoulides said he hoped nationalists will take a back seat on the Cyprus problem
The Turkish president took 52.5 percent of the vote in the presidential race, with more than 99 percent of the votes counted. His AK Party took 42.5 percent in the parliamentary polls, and was boosted by its nationalist allies, which outstripped expectations and took 11.1 percent.
Christodoulides said he hoped that nationalists would take a back seat on the Cyprus problem, while he added that he did not expect to see big changes in Greco-Turkish relations.
The 64-year-old Turkish president managed to defeat a galvanised opposition, giving supporters and observers abroad at least some impression that a major upset could take place.
Erdogan’s win also ushers in a new executive presidency that barely won support in a referendum last year, following an unsuccessful coup in 2016. The country remains in a state of emergency with leaders around the world expressing concern over the future of democracy in Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci called Erdogan to congratulate him on his victory as soon as results were clear, according to Turkish Cypriot press.