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Selemani is a deserted and destroyed Turkish Cypriot village situated in the Tylliria/Dillirga region of Cyprus, three kilometers from Pachyammos and four kilometers southeast of Limnitis/Yeşilırmak. Currently it is situated within the UN Buffer Zone. The meaning of Selemani is obscure, although Goodwin suggests that there was a fief called “San Zuani” situated in the place where the current village was built. In the Greek Cypriot colloquial Selemani might also mean “small saddle.” Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name of Süleymaniye in 1958. It is a name of a great mosque in Turkey, named after Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. The other alternative name that has been used is Agios Ioannis of Tylliria, meaning “Saint John of Tylliria” in Greek.
Historical Population:

From 1891 to 1960, the village was almost solely inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. Since the three or four Greek Cypriots who were recorded living in the village were female, we can safely assume that they were married to Turkish Cypriots. Although the population fluctuated in the first decades of the twentieth century, ultimately there was a steady increase from 53 in 1891 to 142 in 1960.


All the Turkish inhabitants of Süleyman/Süleymaniye were displaced in 1964. The village was evacuated by UNFICYP in August 1964 when the area was under attack by General Grivas and his Greek Cypriot National Guard during the Tylliria Battle. Most of the Turkish Cypriots of Selemani/Süleymaniye sought refuge in the Turkish Cypriot enclaves of Kokkina/Erenköy(050) and Limnitis/Yeşilırmak(061). They remained there until 1976 when they were once again moved to the Turkish-controlled part of the island, to the villages of Potamos tou Kambou/Yedidalga(090), Xeros, Karavostasi/Gemilonağı(045) and Yialousa(205) in the Karpasia/Karpaz peninsula. Some chose to settle in Limnitis/Yeşilırmak(061), only four kilometers away from their actual village, and where some also had relatives.

Current Inhabitants:

The village has remained abandoned since 1964; all of its houses and buildings are in ruins.


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