Rizokarpaso

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Rizokarpaso (Greek: Ριζοκάρπασο, is a town on the Karpasia Peninsula in Ammochostos province, North-eastern Cyprus. It is situated roughly 67 km NE of the city of Famagusta. The town has been under Turkish military occupation since 1974. Rizokarpaso is the biggest town on the peninsula. Soil near the town consists of terra fusca which is very fertile. Local crops include carob, cotton, tobacco and grain. A tobacco-factory operates in the town.

Before 1974, the town was predominantly inhabited by Greek-Cypriots. The 1960 census showed 3,151 Greeks living there against a total of 2 Turks. During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the peninsula was cut off by Turkish troops, and this prevented the town's Greek-Cypriot inhabitants from fleeing to the unoccupied South. As a result, Rizokarpaso is the home of the biggest Greek-speaking enclave in the occupied North. Since 1974, their numbers have been radically reduced to a figure of about 355 (1994). The Greek-Cypriot inhabitants are still supplied by the UN, and Greek-Cypriot products are consequently available in some shops. Today, the town is also the home of a large Kurdish minority, closely monitored by the Turkish-Cypriot police. The town has both a Kafeneion and a Kahvehane and both seem to be used indiscriminately by both ethnic groups.

The town has two churches: St. Synesios and the church of the Holy Trinity. They are examples of the typical Cypriot mixed style, combining features of the late Gothic introduced by the Lusignans with the late Byzantine style of the Orthodox tradition. When the island's Orthodox bishops were banished by the Lusignans in 1222, the Bishop of Famagusta was sent to Rizokarpaso and continued his work in St. Synesios, the main Orthodox church in the region. Smaller chapels include: St Marina, St Athanasia, Prophet Habukuk, Panagia Eleousa and Panagia Afentrika.

Rizokarpaso is partly located in the ancient city of Karpasia on the West coast, founded by king Pygmalion.

External Links

L. Vrahimis site of Occupied villages

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