Newly elected Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akinci has declared sorrow belongs to both the north and south side of the island and it is "time to heal the wounds of one another".
Addressing a cheering crowd in the Inonu Boulevard in Lefkosa late on Sunday after he won the run-off presidential election as an independent candidate, Akinci said: "My generation lived the pain, shared the pain with the south.
"Maybe we felt the pain more in 1950s and 1963. But they (Greek Cypriots) felt the pain in 1974 as well."
"The past generations shared the pain, now let the future generations share the blessings of the island," he said.
With nearly all ballots counted, Akinci took 60.38 percent of the vote followed by incumbent President Dervis Eroglu with 39.62 percent.
Speaking in front of his supporters, Akinci said he would follow a "result-based" policy for the future of the divided island and seek the benefits of having negotiations with Turkish Cypriots, although he would also "empathize with the Greek Cypriots".
He added: "A strong and viable Turkish Cypriot existence will be in the favor of the Republic of Turkey."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has congratulated the newly-elected president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mustafa Akinci.
Erdogan called Akinci ahead of his departure for Kuwait from Ankara, Turkish presidential sources said Monday. Before the phone call, however, the Turkish president criticized at a press conference Akinci’s remark after his election victory about the Turkish Cypriot government's ties with Ankara.
The new Turkish Cypriot president had said his government wanted "brotherly" ties with Turkey, rather than the traditional "foster land-motherland" relationship, as it was commonly referred to by Turkish leaders and in national media.
Referring to Akinci's remarks after his election victory, Erdogan said: "Mr. President (Akinci) should listen to himself."
He said that the Turkish government would instead maintain the current relationship dynamics, and continue to be protective of the Turkish Cypriot administration.
He said that Turkey had made investments worth over a billion U.S. dollars in the Turkish Cypriot region, and reminded that Turkish soldiers died securing the land, highlighting the historical aspect of ties between Ankara and Lefkosa.
Akinci responded to Erdogan's criticism on live television. "Mr. Erdogan called me during live broadcast. When I was finishing my speech, he wanted to congratulate me. It was a nice conversation, contrary to what some people expected," he said.
"Erdogan told me a mother would never want to give up her motherhood. I told him the kids want to grow up as well," he said.
"This kid (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) needs to stand on its own feet. We were laughing when we chatted (on the phone)," he added.
Akinci also told Erdogan that if invited he would gladly make his first visit abroad to Turkey.
Who is Mustafa Akinci?
Mustafa Akinci was born on Dec. 28, 1947 in Limassol. After graduating from the Middle East Technical University's Ankara Architecture Faculty in 1973, he moved to Lefkosa.
Akinci was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Turkish Cypriots in 1975. He was the first elected mayor of Lefkosa Turkish Municipality in 1976, at the age of 28. He served as mayor for 14 consecutive years until 1990.
In 1983, Akinci led the way in establishing the Union of Turkish Cypriot Municipalities and became its first president. In 1987, he was elected as leader of the Communal Liberation Party, TKP, serving until 2001.
During his term as TKP leader, he was also a member of the Turkish Cypriot parliament between 1993 and 2009. In 1999, he was appointed as deputy prime minister and minister of tourism.
Turkish Foreign Ministry welcomes polls
Turkish Foreign Ministry also issued a statement late Monday to welcome the outcome of the presidential elections, which resulted in "democratic maturity."
"We wish success to Mr. Mustafa Akinci, who took over a noble duty," the statement said. "We also congratulate Mr. Eroglu, (ex-TRNC president) who exhibited a decisive and constructive attitude during the negotiations."
The ministry also said it hopes during Akinci's term, there would be a "fair and comprehensive" solution to the “Cyprus issue.”
"Turkey, as the motherland and the guarantor country, will continue to fulfill its responsibilities towards international agreements as always; standing with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the president of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," the statement added.
Davutoglu calls Akinci
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also phoned to congratulate Akinci Monday.
According to prime ministry sources, Davutoglu said Turkey would continue its "constructive contribution" towards Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus government and its people as the guarantor country.
The European Union recognizes the Greek Cypriot administration in the island, but Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus diplomatically.
Negotiations between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013. The previous round of talks had collapsed because of the eurozone debt crisis and the Greek Cypriot side's turn to occupy the EU presidency in 2012.
However, the Greek Cypriot administration suspended talks over the divided island on Oct. 7, 2014 after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the coast of Cyprus.
The dispute over the island dates back to 1960 when the Treaty of Guarantee was signed between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots along with the British government over the island.
The treaty banned the island of Cyprus from participating in any political or economic union with any other state, as well as making other parties guarantee its independence, territorial integrity and security.
However, in 1963, only three years after it was signed, Turkish Cypriots were ousted by force from all organs of the new republic by their Greek-Cypriot partners, violating the founding agreements and the constitution.
Greek Cypriots thereafter claimed to represent the Republic of Cyprus, which was considered illegal and not recognized by Turkey.
Between 1964 and 1974, the international community made several peacemaking efforts but all ended in failure.
In 1974, an attempt by Greece to annex the island through a coup was made but resisted by a Turkish peace mission in accordance with the 1960 treaty.
Consequently, Turkish Cypriots set up their own republic in 1983 while continuing the search for reconciliation.
The European Union recognizes the Greek-Cypriot administration in the island, but Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus diplomatically.
Negotiations between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013.
The previous round of talks collapsed amid the Eurozone debt crisis and the Greek Cypriot side's turn to occupy the EU presidency in 2012.
However, the Greek Cypriot administration suspended talks over the divided island on Oct. 7, 2014, after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the coast of Cyprus.
Akinci also talked about the empty town of Kapali Maras, also known as Varosha in Greek, saying he wants the place to be "owned by people".
"I want direct trade to be effective at Famagusta harbor. Direct flights to Ercan Airport as well. We will talk these stuff with our respondents," he said.
The region is situated on the northern part of the divided island and entry is forbidden, with the exception of the Turkish Army personnel, to Greek settlement.
The leaders of the Turkish and Greek sides had announced a joint declaration on unifying the island under a federation of two states in February.
A similar deal in 2004 failed after Greek Cypriots refused it, though the Turkish side voted in favor of the plan.