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Kofinou

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Subject: Transport in Cyprus, List of hospitals in Cyprus, Georgios Grivas, Cypriot intercommunal violence, Agios Theodoros, Larnaca, Skarinou
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Kofinou

Kofinou
Κοφίνου (Greek) Gecitkale (Turkish)
Kofinou
Kofinou
Location in Cyprus

Coordinates: 34°49′33″N 33°23′30″E / 34.82583°N 33.39167°E / 34.82583; 33.39167Coordinates: 34°49′33″N 33°23′30″E / 34.82583°N 33.39167°E / 34.82583; 33.39167

Country  Cyprus
District Larnaca District
Population (2001)[1]
 • Total 1,311
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Kofinou (Greek: Κοφίνου, Turkish: Geçitkale) is a village located in the Larnaca District of Cyprus. A small village where the roads from Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol trisected, prior to the by-pass built in the 1990s.

History

Pre-1974, the village was inhabited by Turkish Cypriots only, the few original Cypriot Greek inhabitants having abandoned the village in the late 1950s. The population of the village also increased substantially after 1964, as some 60 Turkish Cypriot families from Lefkara abandoned their Greek Cypriot dominated village in the aftermath of December 1963 events.

The village became infamous on the 15th of November, 1967, when some thousands of National Guards troops overran the TMT (a Turkish-Cypriot armed group) fighters located at the village, including the neighbouring mixed village of Agios Theodoros. Turkish-Cypriot TMT members stationed at the area were controlling the area and blocking the main road from Nicosia to Limassol, making it impossible for Greek-Cypriots civilians to pass through the area without UN escort. On the 15th of November, 1967, General Grivas and his large battalion of mainly mainland Greece originating conscripts caused enough concerns for the lightly armed Turkish Cypriots to return fire when they intruded too closely to the Turkish Cypriot owned land.. The fighting escalated and some 24 TMT fighters, including unarmed civilians lost their lives in the over-night events; Turkey's ultimatum the following day resulted in the withdrawal of the National Guard from the two villages.

This event in particular saw the return of Grivas and his battalion back to Greece. In addition, this event also culminated in the removal of all road blocks upon which Turkish Cypriot buses entering Nicosia were being stopped and by which means the passengers were subjected to a humiliating body search.

After the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the original Turkish Cypriot population of Kophinou were allocated the village of Lefkoniko - the new Geçitkale - in the north by the Cypriot Turkish administration, to this day where many of them reside, whereas the original Turkish Cypriot population of Lefkara are now residing in Agios Theodoros in the north of the island.

References

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