Serdar Denktash has announced he will be running as candidate in the elections in October for a new Turkish Cypriot leader.
Denktash, former head of the Democratic Party (DP) in the north, will run as an independent.
Though he had initially announced he would not be running, having in mind his late father, Rauf Denktash’s weighty legacy as Turkish Cypriot leader, Denktash said he changed his mind after seeing some actors on the political scene who did not have a goal, who do not seem to be able to win over society, and who, “in order to protect the status quo give no hope to the people”.
These actors, he said, continue to act based on party interests.
He also said that he had initially decided not to run, thinking that there were candidates who had the ability to discuss various Cyprus solution models, including the federal one and he did not want his own candidacy, which would mean “candidates with broad visions” having to share votes between them, to indirectly support those who insist on the federal solution, which has been leading to a dead end for years.
Denktash said while the Greek Cypriot side was the one blocking a solution, he could not promise a bizonal, bicommunal federation, which is the solution model the two sides have agreed to negotiate for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
He said he would not restrict Turkish Cypriots’ will to a federal model and pledged to reach the position the community deserved in the international arena without giving false hopes, and to protect their interests on the island and the region.
Denktash said the effort should be in cooperation with Turkey and without relying on a negotiation process that will only be driven by the UN or the EU’s prodding, to reach a solution model that would protect Turkish Cypriots’ political equality.
The elections in the north have been scheduled for October 11.
Current Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, ‘prime minister’ and head of ruling National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, ‘deputy prime minister’ and former head of the People’s Party Kudret Ozersay, head of main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman and leader of Rebirth Party Erhan Arikli are also candidates.