Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said on Friday he is “building up to” a likely bid for re-election next year.

Speaking to Kibris Postasi TV, he said with four years so far in the role he had “now gained a great deal of experience”. He was elected in October 2020, beating previous incumbent Mustafa Akinci in the election’s second round, with 52 per cent of the vote.

I am both in good health and mind. Some consultations need to be held. You cannot embark on this road on your own, so I am already building up to it,” he said.

Should Tatar choose to run again, he will likely be supported by ruling coalition party UBP, which he led prior to being elected as Turkish Cypriot leader in 2020 – a position which members of political parties cannot hold.

He also commented on the Cyprus problem, with United Nations Envoy Maria Angela Holguin set to make another visit to the island in the near future. He said the Greek Cypriot side had “flipped the table” in previous rounds of negotiations and that there was “no point in sitting down at the table again after so many attempts” at present.

He added, however, that he would be willing to negotiate if the north would be allowed direct flights to destinations other than Turkey and direct trade with the outside world.

He also defended his regular trips abroad, saying that he travels around the world “raising awareness wherever I go”.

“This is for the survival of the TRNC,” he said, adding that the Cyprus problem is being “followed by people in many parts of the world, especially in this age of technology.”

With this in mind, he said he would soon make a visit to the United Kingdom, while it is also expected that he will attend an Organisation of Turkic States summit in the Azerbaijani town of Shusha on July 5.

Meanwhile, ruling coalition party YDP spokesman Bertan Zaroglu announced that his party will field its own candidate in next year’s Turkish Cypriot leadership election.

“The YDP’s general opinion is that in this election, as in the previous election, each party will nominate its own candidate and support them in the first round […] and in the second round, political parties with similar ideologies will join forces and elect the new President,” he said.

The YDP initially fielded its leader Erhan Arikli in 2020, but endorsed Tatar in the second round.

Serdar Denktash, son of late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, has already confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that he will stand in next year’s election, having come sixth in 2020.

It is also widely expected that at least one of opposition party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman and Turkish Cypriot Nicosia mayor Mehmet Harmanci will stand for election.