Mehmet Ali Talat

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Mehmet Ali Talat
2nd President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
In office
24 April 2005 – 23 April 2010
Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer
Derviş Eroğlu
Preceded by Rauf Denktaş
Succeeded by Derviş Eroğlu
Prime Minister of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
In office
13 January 2004 – 24 April 2005
President Rauf Denktaş
Preceded by Derviş Eroğlu
Succeeded by Ferdi Sabit Soyer
Personal details
Born (1952-07-06) 6 July 1952 (age 62)
Kyrenia, Cyprus
Nationality Turkish Cypriot
Political party Republican Turkish Party
Spouse(s) Oya Talat
Residence North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
Alma mater Middle East Technical University
Eastern Mediterranean University

Mehmet Ali Talat (born 6 July 1952) is the former President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.[1] He was the leader of the left wing Republican Turkish Party (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.[2]


Talat was born in Kyrenia on 6 July 1952 . Completing his secondary education in Cyprus, Talat graduated from Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department of the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey.[3]

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.[4]

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 for Education.[5]

Political career[edit]

Talat was the Minister of Education and Culture in the first coalition government formed by the RTP-Democrat Party (DP) 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 and Deputy Prime Minister in the third DP-RTP coalition government.[5]

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, when the incumbent Prime minister Derviş Eroğlu was unable to do so.[6]

Talat meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, DC. on April 15, 2009.

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 to form a new government.[7]

During the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan to extinguish the Republic of Cyprus through the formation of loose confederation along ethnic division in advance of its entry to the European Union, Talat promoted a 'Yes' vote among Turkish Cypriots and the plan received overwhelming endorsement north of the Green Line. However, Tassos Papadopoulos, 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. 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 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.[5]

After his presidential term[edit]

After the presidency of the TRNC Talat dedicated himself to giving lectures and participating in various academic-political conferences about the Cyprus reunification. Recently, a symposium in which he took place in Limassol on 26 March 2014, members of the terroriet group ELAM raided the meeting place and attacked the participants with clubs, torches and molotov cocktails. A Turkish Cypriot journalist was wounded The Us ambassador to the island was among the audience. The Greek government spokesmanCypriot Hristos Stilyanidis called the aggressors "terrorists" and said they would be criminally investigated.[8][9]


Political offices
Preceded by
Derviş Eroğlu
Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus
Succeeded by
Ferdi Sabit Soyer
Preceded by
Rauf Denktaş
President of Northern Cyprus
Succeeded by
Derviş Eroğlu