Ersin Tatar

Ersin Tatar (born 7 September 1960) is a Turkish Cypriot politician, and the current President of Northern Cyprus. He became the Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus following the collapse of the coalition government of Tufan Erhürman in May 2019 and served until his own election as President.[1] He is also the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) and served as Leader of the Opposition.[2]

Ersin Tatar
Ersin Tatar in 2019.png
5th President of Northern Cyprus
Assumed office
23 October 2020
Prime MinisterErsan Saner
Preceded byMustafa Akıncı
Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus
In office
22 May 2019 – 23 October 2020
PresidentMustafa Akıncı
Preceded byTufan Erhürman
Succeeded byErsan Saner
Leader of the National Unity Party
In office
30 October 2018 – 23 October 2020
Preceded byHüseyin Özgürgün
Succeeded byErsan Saner
Leader of the Opposition
In office
30 October 2018 – 22 May 2019
Prime MinisterTufan Erhürman
Member of the Assembly of Republic
In office
19 April 2009 – 23 October 2020
ConstituencyLefkoşa (2009, 2013, 2018)
Personal details
Born (1960-09-07) 7 September 1960 (age 61)
Nicosia, Cyprus
Political partyUBP
Spouse(s)Sibel Tatar
Alma materJesus College, Cambridge

Early lifeEdit

Ersin Tatar was born on 7 September 1960 in Nicosia, the son of politician Rüstem Tatar, and his wife Canev Tatar.[3][4] He was a boarding pupil at Forest School, a private school in east London, England,[3][5] and attended Jesus College, Cambridge where he earned a degree in economics in 1982.[6][7]


From 1982 to 1986, Tatar worked as a chartered accountant for PriceWaterhouse in England. From 1986 to 1991, he worked for Polly Peck, and was the company's assistant treasurer when it collapsed with debts of £1.3 billion.[8]

In the resulting trial that led to CEO Asil Nadir receiving a ten-year jail term, it was alleged that Tatar had "assisted Mr Nadir in the dishonest movement of money from PPI and enjoyed a close working relationship with the Polly Peck boss."[8] When Tatar visited the UK in 2019, for the first time since 1991, there was concern that he might be arrested for his Polly Peck role, but the UK's Serious Fraud Office said that it was "no longer in the public interest".[9]

In 1991, he moved to Ankara where he worked at FMC Nurol Defense Industry Co until 1992. From 1992 to 2001, he was the general coordinator of Show TV, a Turkish television channel owned by Ciner Media Group.[4] In 1996, he founded his own Kanal T television channel in Nicosia.[4]

He was also an active member of the Cypriot diaspora community in Turkey, and was chair of the Istanbul Turkish Cypriot Cultural Association from 1997 to 2001.[10][6]


Ersin Tatar’s presidential campaign banner

Tatar entered politics in 2003, joining the UBP. He was first elected to parliament in 2009, and served as Minister of Finance under Derviş Eroğlu until his party’s defeat in 2013. In 2015, he ran for the UBP leadership and lost. In 2018, he ran again and won.[10]

Tatar voiced support for the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria and said that Cypriot Turks are always on Turkey's side.[11]

Tatar also supports two-state solution.[12][13]

One week before the 2020 presidential election, Tatar visited Turkey. After his arrival he announced that he would be reopening the closed-off Varosha beachfront, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s blessing. The move to open the beachfront, announced by Tatar, drew widespread condemnation both in the north and in the Republic of Cyprus, as well as with the international community.[14] Furthermore, deputy prime minister of that time Kudret Ozersay announced his resignation and has accused of Ersin Tatar of stealing his idea. Ozersay, who was the first to call for the reopening of Varosha under Turkish Cypriot control, said he was against Tatar’s decision because he had turned the issue into a campaign matter ahead of the Turkish Cypriot Presidential elections.[15] Ozersay was also a candidate.[15] This has caused the TRNC government to dissolve just one week before the election. Attempting to save face that the decision to open Varosha was not a campaign ploy from Ankara, Tatar said he made the decision as ‘prime minister’ and not as a candidate in the upcoming elections. [15]

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Sibel Tatar, and they have two children.[10][16]


  1. ^ Evie Andreou (23 May 2019). "Clash in north over direction of Cyprus problem". Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Ersin Tatar is the new leader of TRNC main opposition, the National Unity Party – T-VINE". Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b "KKTC Cumhurbaşkanı Ersin Tatar kimdir, kaç yaşında ve nereli?". Milliyet. 18 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "New Turkish Cypriot Leader Tatar Backed By Erdogan". Barron's. 18 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  5. ^ Mendick, Robert (14 June 2020). "N Cyprus to airlift citizens from London". Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Ersin Tatar kimdir? Ersin Tatar'ın biyografisi".
  7. ^ Staff, T. N. H. "Turkish-Cypriot Official Sees Brexit Helping Cyprus Reunification". The National Herald.
  8. ^ a b "Asil Nadir employee 'tore up transfer evidence'". BBC News. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  9. ^ "TRNC PM Ersin Tatar arrives in London without incident". T-Vine. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "Ersin Tatar is the new leader of TRNC main opposition, the National Unity Party – T-VINE".
  11. ^ "KKTC'den Barış Pınarı Harekatı'na destek".
  12. ^ "Cyprus talks cannot last forever: Turkish Cypriot PM - Turkey News". Hürriyet Daily News.
  13. ^ "North Cyprus News | Tatar Promotes Two-State Solution". North Cyprus News | Online News for North Cyprus. September 6, 2019.
  14. ^ "Maraş'ın kısmen açılması, Kuzey Kıbrıs'ta seçimi nasıl etkiler?" – via
  15. ^ a b c Michael, Peter. "Ozersay quits as 'deputy PM' over Tatar's decision on Varosha (Updated) | Cyprus Mail".
  16. ^ "Sibel Tatar wife Ersin Tatar candidate prime Editorial Stock Photo - Stock Image | Shutterstock". Shutterstock Editorial.
Political offices
Preceded by
Tufan Erhürman
Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus
Succeeded by
Ersan Saner
Preceded by
Mustafa Akıncı
President of Northern Cyprus