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Aloa (Aloda) is a small Turkish Cypriot hamlet in the Famagusta district, located nine miles northeast of the ancient city of Salamis, now an archaeological site, and one and a half miles west of Sandalaris/Sandallar village. The village is situated in the lower Mesaoria/Mesarya plain. Goodwin suggests that, the village was named after the aloe plant, from which a sticky substance is obtained. Turkish Cypriots changed the name to Atlılar in 1959, meaning “horsemen.” In 1981, Aloa/Atlılar was joined with the neighboring villages of Santalaris/Sandallar(190) and Maratha/Muratağa(171) into a single administrative entity, afterwards known as Şehitler, meaning “Martyrs.”
Historical Population:

As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted the only inhabitants of the village. Even though throughout the British period the village was mainly inhabited by Turkish Cypriots, there were some Greek Cypriot families living in the village for short periods of time (e.g., 1921 or 1931). During the first decades of the British period, the village’s population increased slightly from 64 in 1891 to 70 in 1921. However in 1931, the population declined to 57. Although there was a temporary recovery in the population growth in 1946, as it rose to 78, the number of inhabitants dropped again in 1960 to 42.


None of the village’s original population was displaced during the 1960s disturbances or in the 1974 war. However, in July 1974, all males of fighting age from the village were taken to POW camps in Famagusta, from where they were later transferred to Limassol and interned for several months. In their absence, on 14 August, all the women, children and elderly of the village were killed by Greek Cypriot extremists. Those who were interned in Limassol were exchanged with Greek Cypriot POWs in October 1974 and transferred back to the north.

Current Inhabitants:

Currently the village is mainly inhabited by survivors of the above-mentioned event.  

Books and Reports: