Cyprus Mail

Reports say plans to repopulate northern village abandoned

Ayia Marina village

Turkish Cypriot authorities have said that residents of a village in the north that had to be abandoned after it was included in a military zone won’t be going back before a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Monday.

Yeni Duzen reported in March that the Turkish military had begun clearing the once-mixed village of Ayia Marina (Gurpinar) which would have allowed its former Maronite and Turkish Cypriot residents to move in, although no specific deadline was given.

Reports said that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci had promised Maronite former residents that they would be returning.

It had been rumoured at the time that settlement would begin in two to three months, but that was dismissed as speculation since a lot of houses needed repairs and the necessary infrastructure was absent, Yeni Duzen said.

In 1963, 400 Maronites and 65 Turkish Cypriots lived together in the village, which is located between Morphou and Nicosia.

Around 1,000 Maronites and 300 Turkish Cypriots are recognised as being from Ayia Marina.

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