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Mehmet Ali Talat

Mehmet Ali Talat

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Mehmet Ali Talat is the former President of the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

. He was the leader of the left wing Republican Turkish Party
Republican Turkish Party
The Republican Turkish Party is a social democratic political party in the Republic of Cyprus. The party was founded in 1970 by Ahmet Mithat Berberoğlu, a lawyer, in opposition to the leadership of Fazıl Küçük and Rauf Denktaş.In the 1980s, the CTP's political position shifted to the left, to a...

 (Cumhuriyetçi Türk Partisi). He became prime minister in 2004, and subsequently won the Presidential election held on 17 April 2005. Talat was inaugurated on 25 April 2005, succeeding retiring President Rauf Denktaş
Rauf Denktas
Rauf Raif Denktaş is the founder and the first president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , a de facto state which is only recognized by Turkey...

.

Biography


Talat was born in Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

 on 6 July 1952 . Completing his secondary education in Cyprus, Talat graduated from Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department of the Middle East Technical University
Middle East Technical University
Middle East Technical University is a public technical university located in Ankara, Turkey...

 (METU) in Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey.

Involved in various political activities since he was a university student, Talat continued after he returned to Cyprus, and played an important role in the establishment of Turkish Cypriot trade unions and the Turkish Cypriot Students' Youth Federation (KOGEF), becoming the first chairman of its executive board.

He also participated in the youth movement of the Republican Turkish Party, and served in various committees and organs of the RTP for many years. He served as the party secretary
Party secretary
In politics, a party secretary is a senior official within a political party with responsibility for the organizational and daily political work. In most parties, the party secretary is second in rank to the party leader ....

 for Education.

Political career in the TRNC


Talat was the Minister of Education and Culture in the first coalition government formed by the RTP-Democrat Party (DP)
Democratic Party (Northern Cyprus)
The Democratic Party is a center-right conservative political party in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. President of the party is Serdar Denktaş, son of the ex-president Rauf Denktaş....

 Alliance after the general elections of December 1993. He undertook the same post in the second DP-RTP coalition government, and became the Minister of State
Minister of State
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

 and Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister
A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

 in the third DP-RTP coalition government
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

.

Talat was elected as the leader of the RTP on 14 January 1996, succeeding Özker Özgür. After being elected to the TRNC parliament on 14 December 2003, Talat formed another RTP-DP coalition government on 13 January 2004, at the behest of the then-TRNC President Rauf Denktaş
Rauf Denktas
Rauf Raif Denktaş is the founder and the first president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , a de facto state which is only recognized by Turkey...

, when the incumbent Prime minister Derviş Eroğlu was unable to do so.

Winning a victory in the 20 February 2005 general elections, Talat formed the second RTP-DP coalition, serving as Prime Minister until his election as the second TRNC President on 17 April 2005, when he asked RTP Deputy Leader Ferdi Sabit Soyer
Ferdi Sabit Soyer
Ferdi Sabit Soyer is a former Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Leader of Republican Turkish Party ....

 to form a new government.

During the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan
Annan Plan for Cyprus
The Annan Plan was a United Nations proposal to resolve the Cyprus dispute, reuniting the breakaway Northern Cyprus with the Republic of Cyprus. The proposal was to restructure Cyprus as the "United Cyprus Republic", which would be a federation of two states. It was revised a number of times before...

 to extinguish the Republic of Cyprus through the formation of loose confederation along ethnic division in advance of its entry to the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, Talat promoted a 'Yes' vote among Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 and the plan received overwhelming endorsement north of the Green Line. However, Tassos Papadopoulos
Tassos Papadopoulos
Tassos Nikolaou Papadopoulos was a Cypriot politician. He served as the fifth President of the Republic of Cyprus from February 28, 2003 to February 28, 2008.His parents were Nicolas and Aggeliki from Assia. He was the first of three children...

, the then President of the Republic of Cyprus, opposed the plan and the Greek Cypriot community rejected it by a large majority opting for an as yet undefined constitution along the EU norms principles such as universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

. As a consequence, the plan was dropped, but the EU declared it would seek to implement trade concessions and other measures designed to alleviate the isolation of Northern Cyprus as a reward for the Turkish Cypriot referendum result. Talat remained publicly committed to reunification. However the pro-solutionist side and Mehmet Al Talat lost momentum, because of the ongoing embargo and isolation, despite promises from the European Union of easing them, which did not occur, and as a result the Turkish Cypriot electorate became frustrated. This led ultimately to the pro-independence side winning the general elections in 2009 and its candidate, former Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu
Dervis Eroglu
Dr. Derviş Eroğlu is the President of the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. He was Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from 1985 to 1994 and from 1996 to 2004, and leader of the National Unity Party. His party won the general elections in 2009 and Eroğlu...

 winning the presidential elections in 2010. Although his side and he himself disagrees with and opposes re-unification with the Republic of Cyprus, and favours the unity of and close relations between northern Cyprus and Turkey and supports the independence of the former, he nevertheless is negotiating with the Greek Cypriot side towards a settlement for reunification, to establish a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation in Cyprus, based on the political equality of the two communities, single sovereignty, single citizenship and international identity.

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