First wedding of enclaved couple in Turkish occupied Rizokarpaso village in 27 years

The church bells of Ayios Synesios in the Turkish occupied village of Rizorkarpaso will sound to mark the happy occasion of a wedding next Saturday, for the first time since 1991.

In statements to CNA President of the Karpasia Coordinating Committee Nicos Falas said that Rizorkapaso village “is coming alive” once more.

Replying to questions he explains that about 15 families who come from the area have recently returned, have fixed up their houses and have taken up work.

He gives the example of three restaurants, operating now in the area which are owned by Greek Cypriots, he says restrictions imposed by the Turkish occupying regime on fishermen have relaxed and that the cultivation of crops is also permitted provided certain conditions are met.

The groom is Christos Achilleos who is part of the largest family in the area and one of thirteen siblings. Together with his other half Chistina Halkiti from the Greek island of Rhodes, they will be receiving congratulations and sharing their happy occasion with friends and family at “Yiannakis” restaurant in Ayios Therissos.

Falas tells CNA that in 1991 was the last year a Greek Cypriots got married in the village, with just two wedding ceremonies.

Ayios Synesios, he says, is the only Greek Orthodox church in the Turkish occupied areas which never ceased its services. Father Zacharias the only priest living in the area will perform the wedding ceremony, at 1800 hours (1500 GMT)

Today, a total of 410 people from the Karpas villages and the Maronite villages live in the entire Karpas area.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

At the end of the second phase of the Turkish invasion late in August 1974, about 20,000 Greek and Maronite Cypriots inhabiting in villages and townships primarily in the Karpas Peninsula of northeast Cyprus and in villages west of the city of Kyrenia remained behind the ceasefire line. Today, only a total of 437 (April 2013) persons remain behind the green line, of whom 328 are Greek Cypriot and 109 Maronite Cypriots. These persons are known as the enclaved.

Despite the Third Vienna Agreement, Turkey and its Turkish Cypriot subordinate regime in occupied Cyprus have violated all its terms. Since 1974, the enclaved have endured conditions of hardship and oppression because of their ethnicity, language and religion.

Source: Cyprus News Agency