Agia Marina

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Geographical coordinates: 35°13′0″N, 33°8′0″E

Ayia Marina, or Agia Marina of Skyllouras, is the only Maronite village located in the Nicosia district, twenty-four kilometers west of the capital city of Nicosia and four kilometers southeast of Dyo Podamoi/İkidere. Until 1964, the village was mixed, inhabited by both Maronites and Turkish Cypriots. Many sources report that there were also numerous mixed marriages in this village. The name means “Saint Marina.” In 1974, Turkish Cypriots changed the name to Gürpınar, meaning “strong” or “powerful spring.”


Historical Population:

During the British period, the village was mixed, inhabited by Maronites and Turkish Cypriots. However, as may be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Maronites) constituted the sole inhabitants of the village. The second British census of 1891, however, shows Muslims again living in the village, and the Maronites’ share of the population has dropped to 70%. By the 1960 census, however, the Maronite proportion had risen to 85%.


The first conflict-related displacement took place in January 1964 when all the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Agia Marina were displaced and moved to the Nicosia enclave, never returning. The second-conflict related displacement, on the other hand, took place in August 1974 when all the Maronites fled the village from the advancing Turkish army. Many resettled in Kotsiatis(052) village in the southern Nicosia district, while many more are scattered in different villages and towns of the southern part of the divide. The number of displaced Maronites from this village can be estimated to be approximately 420 persons, since their population was 414 in 1973.

Current Inhabitants:

Currently the village is used as a Turkish military camp.

Books and Reports: