Morphou

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Morphou
Μόρφου (Greek)
Güzelyurt/Omorfo  (Turkish)
Guzelyurt church 01.jpg
Morphou is located in Cyprus
Morphou
Morphou
Morphou in Cyprus.
Coordinates: 35°11′53″N 32°59′38″E / 35.19806°N 32.99389°E / 35.19806; 32.99389Coordinates: 35°11′53″N 32°59′38″E / 35.19806°N 32.99389°E / 35.19806; 32.99389
Country De jure  Cyprus
De facto  Northern Cyprus
District De jure Nicosia District
De facto Güzelyurt District
Government
 • Mayor Mahmut Ozcinar
Population (2011 Census)
 • Total 31,254
Time zone EET
Website www.guzelyurtbelediyesi.com

Morphou (Greek: Μόρφου; Turkish: Omorfo or Güzelyurt) is a town in the north-western part of Cyprus. Internationally considered as occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it is under the control of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey.

Morphou was founded by Spartans who brought with them the worship of Aphrodite. In the Middle Ages, the city was referred to as Morphou but also Theomorphou.[1] The Morphou area grew more than half of Cyprus citrus fruits. In 16th and 17th centuries, during Ottoman period, Morphou was famous for its export of linen.[2]

It contains one of the many churches in the country dedicated to St. Mamas, popularly believed to have lived as a hermit in a cave near Morphou. According to local legend, he was a hermit living in very poor circumstances and when the authorities tried to tax him, he evaded them. Soldiers were sent out and captured him but on the way back to town, he saw a lion attacking a lamb, escaped the soldiers, saved the lamb, jumped on the lion's back and in that way came to town. His bravery earned him exemption from tax, hence his traditional attribute.[3][4]

Before 1974, Morphou was an almost entirely Greek Cypriot community. According to the 1960 population census it was inhabited by 6480 Greeks Cypriots, 123 Turkish Cypriots and 32 Maronites.[5] Between 1907 and 1948, Morphou was one of the prominent stations of the Cyprus Government Railway.

As a result of the Turkish invasion in 1974, the whole of its Greek Cypriot population was forced to leave their homes and properties and flee to the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus.[6] The land left by the Greek Cypriots was given to Turkish Cypriot refugees from the south (mainly refugees from Paphos) and soldiers from Turkey. Given the bad economy and infrastructure of the town; the new trend is the majority of Turkish Cypriots moving to other places in the north part of Cyprus(mainly Nicosia and Kyrenia).

North-South crossing[edit]

Morphou is home to one of the islands crossing points, which was opened to civilian use in 2003. It is located at Zodeia to the southeast of the town.

The crossing is used by vehicles, and passport/Id checks are done at both sides when crossing. The road goes through the U.N buffer zone, before entering the opposite side of the border, which was set up to prevent any further attacks between the two communities.

Modern era[edit]

With a population of 12,000 people, the town is famous for its apples, vegetables, grapefruit and melons for which a large proportion of the citrus fruits are exported and the remainder are turned into fruit juice and canned for local consumption and export. Morphou is also famous for its annual Orange Festival, which is a major event lasting two weeks.

The church is an icon museum now.

Education[edit]

In 2005, a Turkish state university, Middle East Technical University, has opened its Northern Cyprus Campus to Morphou after invitation of Turkish and TRNC Governments in 2000.

Climate[edit]

Morphou has a borderline Mediterranean climate/semi-arid climate as the rest of the island where summers are hot and dry, and winters are cool and wet. [7]

Climate data for Morphou
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16
(61)
16
(61)
17
(63)
21
(70)
26
(79)
28
(82)
31
(88)
32
(90)
30
(86)
26
(79)
22
(72)
18
(64)
23.6
(74.6)
Average low °C (°F) 7
(45)
7
(45)
8
(46)
11
(52)
15
(59)
19
(66)
21
(70)
22
(72)
19
(66)
15
(59)
12
(54)
9
(48)
13.8
(56.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 73.6
(2.898)
60.9
(2.398)
60.9
(2.398)
17.7
(0.697)
10.2
(0.402)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
5.1
(0.201)
27.9
(1.098)
38.1
(1.5)
109.2
(4.299)
403.6
(15.891)
Avg. rainy days 6 5 4 2 1 0 0 0 1 2 3 8 32
 % humidity 72 70 69 73 70 70 69 69 70 69 72 73 70.5
Source: Weatherbase [8]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Morphou". kypros.org. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  2. ^ "Morphou". cypnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  3. ^ "Saint Mamas". nostos.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  4. ^ "St. Mamas Monastery". Northern Cyprus.cc. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  5. ^ "1960 Census". peace.org. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  6. ^ "Morphou". kypros.org. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  7. ^ Climate Summary for Morphou
  8. ^ http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=110541&refer=&units=us&cityname=Morphou-Cyprus

External links[edit]