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UPDATED: 08:21, April 18, 2005
Talat wins presidential elections in Turkish Cyprus
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Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat has won the presidential elections in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, official results showed Sunday.

Pro-unity Talat won about 56 percent of the vote, against 23 percent for his nearest rival, Dervis Eroglu, who has opposed a UN plan for reunification of divided Cyprus.

Nine candidates ran in the elections, and total turnout rate wasabout 70 percent.

Talat will succeed Rauf Denktash, the outgoing president who wasa staunch opponent to the UN reunification plan.

Turkish Cyprus, only recognized by Ankara, endorsed the reunification plan in a referendum in April 2004. However, the UN blueprint was rejected overwhelmingly by Greek Cyprus, which enabled the south Cyprus to enter the European Union alone while left the northern Turkey-controlled part outside.

The island was divided into the south Greek Cyprus and north Turkish Cyprus in 1974 when Turkey sent troops to take control of the northern third part, following a failed Greek Cyprus coup seeking union with Greece.

Source: Xinhua

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