ADDS TATAR'S NEW REMARKS
By Muhammed Ikbal Aslan and Serife Cetin
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) - Ersin Tatar, the newly elected president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), was sworn into office Friday.
Tatar was welcomed by Parliament Speaker Teberruken Ulucay for his swearing-in ceremony at the General Assembly in the nation’s capital, Lefkosa.
Representing Turkey was Fuat Oktay, the Turkish vice president.
Also present were former Turkish Cypriot presidents Mehmet Ali Talat and Dervis Eroglu, Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Commander Maj. Gen. Sezai Ozturk, Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Zorlu Topaloglu, Tatar's father, Rustem, his wife, Sibel, and other top officials.
Tatar laid wreaths later at the monument to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, and mausoleums of Turkish Cypriot founding fathers Fazil Kucuk and Rauf Denktas
Afterward, he took part in a handing-over ceremony at the presidency where he will take over the reins from Mustafa Akinci.
- Turkish vice president become Tatar's first guest
The first guest of Tatar was Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.
"In retrospect, many sacrifices and devotions have been made. Turkey always stood by us in our most difficult moment," Tatar told the media before a bilateral meeting with Oktay at the TRNC Presidency.
Underlining that he will make his first official visit to Ankara on Oct.26, Tatar said, "We have always strengthened the TRNC with the support of the Republic of Turkey and will continue to strengthen.”
Oktay extended congratulations to Tatar on his election on behalf of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish nation.
-Visit to Turkey
At the invitation of Erdogan, Tatar will pay his first state visit Monday to Turkey, where the two presidents will discuss bilateral ties and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to the Turkish Communications Directorate.
Then-Prime Minister Ersin Tatar won last Sunday's presidential runoff in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with 51.74% of the vote, beating incumbent Mustafa Akinci's 48.26%.
Tatar is Northern Cyprus' fifth president and is set to serve a five-year term.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983.
* Written by Ahmet Gencturk and Seda Sevencan