First Turkish Cypriot MEP envisions himself as division healer

First Turkish Cypriot MEP envisions himself as division healer

Niyazi Kizilyurek says nothing like it has happened in ethnically divided Cyprus in 140 years: He is the first Turkish Cypriot elected to the European Parliament, and he was selected by a primarily Greek Cypriot electorate.

The fact that it's to a body representing the citizens of the European Union's 28 member states, he says, affords him the opportunity to reproduce the bloc's greatest achievement in his homeland — forging unity out of the ashes of war.

Unlike other elections where Turkish Cypriots living in the breakaway northern part of the island aren't eligible to vote, the European parliament election is one single big vote for the country's six seats.

Only about 5,600 of those living in the north voted, however, meaning that the larger proportion of the 25,000 votes Kizilyurek received came from Greek Cypriots.


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