A visit to the occupied village of Marathovounos in Cyprus.

In 1974, the Turkish government invaded and occupied the northern part of Cyprus.  Their excuse for attacking was to protect the native Turkish speaking population.  Most of the Greek speaking Christians fled, but many are still “missing.”  They are presumed dead.  Until 1974, Marathovounos was a village populated by Greek speaking Christians.  They were forced to abandon their homes when the invasion started.  

Today the inhabitants of the occupied region are all Turkish speaking muslims, many of them brought from Turkey after the invasion.  All of the current inhabitants of Marathovounos were brought from Turkey.  On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land & Cyprus in the summer of 2014, we visited Marathovounos and held a memorial for all who are buried there.  The cemetery included tombs of priests, the tombs of two EOKA heroes, and other Greek speaking Christians that used to live here.

And while Christians are driven out of their homes today in the Middle East, we must remember that the same was done in Cyprus 40 years ago and it will continue to happen as long as we ignore it.

Video produced by Efstratios Papageorgiou

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