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Maratha is a small Turkish Cypriot village located in the Famagusta district, nine miles northeast of Salamis and one and a half miles west of Sandalaris/Sandallar village. The village is situated in the lower Mesaoria/Mesarya plain. The origin of the village’s name is obscure, but it probably derives from the Greek maratho, meaning “wild fennel.” Turkish Cypriots claim that it derives from “Murat Ağa,” meaning “Murat Agha” (large landowner) However, Goodwin claims that the name Maratha existed long before the Ottomans arrived in Cyprus. In 1958, Turkish Cypriots adopted the Muratağa version of the name. In 1981, Maratha/Muratağa, Sandalaris/Sandallar(190) and Aloa/Atlılar(127) were joined together under one administration named Şehitler, or “martyrs.”
Historical Population:

As can be seen from the chart above, Maratha/Muratağa was always solely inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. During the first decades of the British period, the village’s population increased slightly, from 39 in 1891 to 56 in 1921. However in 1931, the population declined to 43. The number of inhabitants again increased in the 1950s with the arrival of displaced Turkish Cypriots from the nearby village of Peristerona Pigi/Alaniçi(183). The 1960 census puts the total population of the village at 113, an increase from 39 in 1946.


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(269) 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.

Current Inhabitants:

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

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