Mehmet Ali Talat (born July 6, 1952) is the current President of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (or KKTC in Turkish), which controls the northern third of the island of Cyprus, but is unrecognized by any nation except Turkey and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. Because the UN does not recognize the TRNC it treats Mehmet Ali Talat as bona fide negotiator for the Turkish Cypriot community of the Republic of Cyprus. 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.
Talat was born in Kyrenia on July 6, 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.
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.