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Rizokarpaso is a small town situated on the Karpasia/Karpaz peninsula in northeastern Cyprus. It is located half-way between the small town of Yialousa/Yeni Erenköy and Apostolos Andreas monastery. The meaning of the name is obscure, although Jack Goodwin claims that Karpaso or Karpasia, means “root of the cotton” plant in ancient Greek. Turkish Cypriots slightly altered the name to Dipkarpaz, which means “bottom of the Karpasia.”
Historical Population

French historian Mas Latrie claimed that Rizokarpaso had a population of less than 500 in 1850 and was predominantly inhabited by Muslims at the time. However, as may be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians constituted the only inhabitants of the village. At the turn of the century there were only one or two Muslim families staying in the village. Although the population of the village showed a steady increase during the first half of the 20th century, a considerable drop was recorded after 1946. The first census of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 put the village’s population at 3,153, falling from 4,052 only fourteen years earlier.


During the 1974 Turkish military offensive, the peninsula was cut off by Turkish troops, and this prevented the town's Greek Cypriot inhabitants from fleeing to the south. As of October 1975, the number of the Greek Cypriots who were still in the village was 1,996. By October 1976 their number dropped to 1,664, and by May 1980 their number decreased to 1,002. Today, despite the reduction in their numbers, with 250 only Greek Cypriot inhabitants, Rizokarpaso is the home of the largest Greek Cypriot population in the north. The total number of the Rizokarpaso Greek Cypriots who were uprooted from their homes between 1974 and 1985 is estimated to be around 2,500.

Current Inhabitants:

This village was used for the settlement of Turkish nationals from Turkey in 1977. They came from very different locations in Turkey: Ağrı, Muş and Bulanık in eastern Turkey; the Akkuş, Çarşamba, Akkçaabat, Sürmene, Araklı and Trabzon districts and provinces of the Black Sea coast; and the Adana province in southern Turkey. According to the 2006 Turkish Cypriot census the population of the village was 1,935. During the last ten years, some Turkish Cypriots and European citizens have bought property and are now settled in the vicinity of the village. 

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