Maronites demand their own region in new federal Cyprus

The four Maronite villages in Cyprus must be unified and administrated by the new federal state as a region, the Maronite community representative in the South’s Parliamentary Assembly, Antonis Hadjiroussos has demanded.

He added that the Maronite group, in a possible solution to be, would prefer to remain under the authority of the “Greek Cypriot founding state” due to the similarity of their religion and language.

Hadjiroussos stated that they have already conveyed their demands to the two leaders and the negotiators and also to the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide. He also added that they had informed him that all the relevant parties will discuss their demands in the next stages of the Cyprus negotiations. He further pointed out that besides the Maronites, the Armenians and Latins are expecting their status to be clarified and determined after the solution.

Currently, the estimated Maronite population is about 6,000, of whom 150 live in the North. 75% of Maronites live in Nicosia, 15% in Limassol, and 5% in Larnaca. Until the Turkish military intervention in 1974, the town of Kormakitis (Korucam) was known as a centre of Maronite culture, but according to United Nations estimates only 165 Maronites remained in Northern Cyprus in 2001. That number swells to around 600 at the weekend, when Maronites from the south return to worship at St Georges Church (above) in Korucam.

Kibris Gazetesi

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