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12° Nicosia,
18 July, 2024
 
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Surge in Turkish Cypriot voters expected in upcoming elections

Discover the candidates and the growing influence of Turkish Cypriot voters

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With only a few days left until Sunday, June 9, European citizens will decide who will represent them in the European Parliament. Cyprus will send six representatives to the European Parliament, including three Turkish Cypriots running with different parties. AKEL has Niyazi Kızılyürek, a current MEP, on their ballot; newly formed Volt features Hulusi Κilim; and the Environmentalist Movement - Citizens' Cooperation presents Oz Karahan from the Union of Cypriots.

In an article written by Apostolos Kouroupakis, he states that parties with Turkish Cypriot (T/C) candidates expect a higher turnout of T/C voters in the 2024 elections compared to 2019. However, there is hesitation to predict exact numbers or speculate on the impact of the T/C vote. Each party targets a specific voter profile: AKEL appeals to the left-wing, Volt to the pro-European progressive space, and Oz Karahan to those viewing Europe as a solution. On the Cyprus issue, AKEL and Volt support a bizonal, bicommunal federation, while Karahan advocates for a unitary state.

A total of 103,269 T/C voters are registered to vote at 32 polling stations in Nicosia, Larnaca, and Famagusta districts.

AKEL

Neoklis Sylikiotis from AKEL highlighted the positive atmosphere in these elections, partly due to Niyazi Kızılyürek’s previous election. AKEL's campaign included rallies, leaflets in Turkish, and active participation by Kızılyürek and other candidates. Sylikiotis noted that T/C voters primarily come from the broader center-left and center, particularly the socialist Republican Democratic Party (CTP). Although the decisive impact of the T/C vote is uncertain, Sylikiotis expects a higher turnout in 2024, facilitated by improved voting conditions for T/Cs.

Volt

Volt, a pan-European party, is making its electoral debut with Hulusi Κilim, an entrepreneur from Famagusta, as a candidate. Panos Parras from Volt mentioned that the party has engaged in various activities across Cyprus, leveraging digital and social media. Volt’s bi-communal nature has helped them connect with many people. Their electorate mainly consists of progressive, pro-European individuals aged 30 to 45 who support a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Parras cautiously predicts higher T/C voter participation compared to 2019 but remains reserved due to the lack of specific data.

Oz Karahan (Ecologist Movement)

Oz Karahan, supported by the Ecologist Civic Partnership Movement, conducted his campaign through gatherings with friends and supporters, as most T/C media excluded him, except for the newspaper "Avrupa." Karahan’s supporters advocate for a single Cypriot state and oppose Turkish occupation. He expects around 10,000 T/C voters to participate, more than in 2019, due to growing awareness of the Turkish occupation's dangers and a desire to be part of Europe. Karahan emphasized that if T/Cs could vote at the Goethe Institute in the Dead Zone in Nicosia, participation would be higher. He remains optimistic that both T/Cs and E/Cs will vote for him, recognizing the shared threat of occupation and settlement.

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