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Eroglu in profile

26 April 2015

Born in Famagusta in 1938, Derviş Eroğlu is Turkish Cypriot physician and politician who became president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 2010.

He completed his secondary education in Famagusta, Cyprus, after which he attended Istanbul University in the faculty of medicine. After graduating in 1963 he worked as a doctor in Famagusta and later trained as a urologist at Ankara General Hospital in Turkey.

In 1976 Eroğlu entered politics with his election as a member of the TRNC parliament, representing the National Unity Party (Ulusal Birlik Partisi; UBP). That same year he was appointed the TRNC minister of education, culture, youth, and sport (1976–77). From 1977 until 1983 he served as the UBP leader for Famagusta, and in December 1983 he was elected chairman of the party. The previous month the de facto Turkish Cypriot state in the northern one-third of Cyprus had made a unilateral declaration of independence (recognised only by Turkey), leaving the southern two-thirds of the island ruled by the Greek Cypriot majority.

Eroğlu held the office of prime minister three times (1985–93, 1996–2004, 2009–10) before being elected president in April 2010. His electoral victory—although by only a slim majority of 50.38 percent—was sufficient to avoid a second round of elections. When Eroğlu elected president, İrsen Küçük of the UBP replaced him as prime minister.

Eroğlu had campaigned on a platform that included sovereignty of the Greek and Turkish states in Cyprus rather than the unification that his predecessor, Mehmet Ali Talat, had aimed for. In spite of his reputation as a hard-liner, Eroğlu stated in both his campaign and his acceptance speech that he favoured continuing talks between the two Cypriot states, which resumed after a pause due to the elections and the change of government in the TRNC.

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