Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Arediou: abandoned neighbourhood, destroyed

I've just published photographs on a new site blog, Arediou: cultural heritage and community. Arediou/Aredyu's Turkish Cypriot neighbourhood was evacuated in 1958, later repopulated, then permanently evacuated between the 1st and the 31st of January 1964 (Patrick, 1976: 77 - fig. 3.10; 98n65). After the Turkish Cypriots fled, unknown Greek Cypriots - either nationalist locals or Akritas paramilitaries - completely erased their mosque and many of their homes, and destroyed many of the others.

This episode came out during part of one of the conversations I had during my site visit:
'Hello. Sorry, perhaps you will know. Is there a mosque near here?'
'There wasn't [ever] a mosque here... Are you a Turk[ish Cypriot]?'
'No, I'm not. I'm English.'
'Ah. The mosque was there', the local Greek Cypriot said, indicating an area of wasteland used as a football pitch and car park.

'What happened?'
'It fell down. Here was the mosque' she said, pointing to the wasteland again.
'Here', waving her hand at the rest of the wasteland, with some standing mudbrick homes the far side of it, some stone-and-mudbrick buildings in various states of decay the near side of it and the plans of former buildings visible only in crop marks in its centre, she explained that 'there were all the Turks [the Turkish Cypriots' houses]... but they fell down.'
'How did they fall down? They didn't just, simply, fall. Does that mean, did you mean that they were destroyed?'
'Yes, they were destroyed.'
Patrick, R A. 1976: Political geography and the Cyprus Conflict, 1963-1971. Waterloo: University of Waterloo Department of Geography.

(Also posted on samarkeolog.)

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