Agia Marina (Skylloura)

Agia Marina
Agia Marina is located in Cyprus
Agia Marina
Agia Marina
Coordinates: 35°13′N 33°08′E / 35.217°N 33.133°E / 35.217; 33.133Coordinates: 35°13′N 33°08′E / 35.217°N 33.133°E / 35.217; 33.133
Country (de jure) Cyprus
 • DistrictNicosia District
Country (de facto) Northern Cyprus[1]
 • DistrictLefkoşa District
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Agia Marina (Greek: Αγία Μαρίνα (Σκυλλούρας); Turkish: Gürpınar) is a village in Cyprus, situated 24 km west of Nicosia. It takes its name from Marina the Monk, the Christian saint of Byzantine Syria.[2] De facto, Agia Marina is under the control of Northern Cyprus.

History

By 1963, Agia Marina had a mixed population[3] that reportedly comprised 400 Maronites and 65 Turkish Cypriots.[4] In January 1964, during the Cyprus crisis of 1963–64, the Turkish Cypriots of Agia Marina fled to the turkish enclave of Nicosia.[5] During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, all Maronites moved to the south of the island and the name of the village was changed to Gürpınar, meaning “strong, powerful spring” in Turkish.[5] From 1974 onwards, Agia Marina has been used as a Turkish military camp,[5] while its original inhabitants were not allowed to enter the village, despite the 2003 relaxations on inter-communal movement.[2]

On a nearby hill, a statue of Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, has been erected.[6] In 2016, the re-construction of the Gürpınar mosque, damaged in the 1953 earthquake, began.[5]

By March 2017, as the Turkish Cypriot Yeniduzen newspaper reported, the Turkish Army began moving out of the village, ostensibly with the purpose of allowing former residents to move in, though no specific timetable for resettlement was given.[4] The chairman of the "Gurpinar (Ayia Marina) solidarity society" Mehmet Hoca stated that "the decision was taken three and a half years ago by the Turkish Cypriot authorities" in order to enable the villagers to "live together."[5]

Festivities

A Mushroom Fest is organised regularly in the village.[7]

References

  1. ^ In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus unilaterally declared independence from the Republic of Cyprus. The de facto state is not recognised by any UN state except Turkey.
  2. ^ a b "Ayia Marina". Maronite Community of Cyprus. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Kıbrıslı Maronit ve Türk köyü olan Gürpınar'da camii'nin temeli atıldı" ("Foundation of mosque in Maronite and Turkish village Gürpınar in Cyprus"), Detay, 20 December 2016 (in Turkish)
  4. ^ a b "Turkish military begin to clear out of Ayia Marina" by Tahsin Eroglu, Cyprus Mail, 24 March 2017
  5. ^ a b c d e "Agia Marina". Internal displacement in Cyprus. PRIO Cyprus Centre. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Atatürk büstü ve Türk Bayrağı’nın"("Atatürk bust and Turkish flag"), Kıbrıs Star, 5 February 2010 (in Turkish)
  7. ^ "Karma Köy Gürpınar’da Mantar Festivali ("Mushroom Festival in Karma Village Gürpınar"), Bayrak, 22 January 2017 (in Turkish)

External links

  • Greek Cypriot website of Agia Marina (in Greek)


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