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Turkish Cypriots Voting for New President

Turkish Cypriots have voted Sunday to elect their first new president in more than 20 years.

The 81-year-old incumbent Rauf Denktash, who declared the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus an independent state in 1983, is not running for re-election.

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat led a field of nine candidates in pre-election opinion polls. He backs a United Nations plan for resolving the division of the island.

When he cast his ballot Sunday, Mr. Talat called it a vote for peace.

Cyprus has been divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded in response to a coup in Nicosia backed by Greece.

Turkish Cypriots voted last year in favor of the U.N. reunification plan, but Greek Cypriots rejected it.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.