Asha, Cyprus

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Assia; Ashia
Asha is located in Cyprus
Location in Cyprus
Coordinates: 35°9′33″N 33°36′36″E / 35.15917°N 33.61000°E / 35.15917; 33.61000Coordinates: 35°9′33″N 33°36′36″E / 35.15917°N 33.61000°E / 35.15917; 33.61000
Country (de jure) Cyprus
 • DistrictFamagusta District
Country (de facto) Northern Cyprus[1]
 • DistrictGazimağusa District
 • MayorHabil Tülücü
 • Total3,561
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
WebsiteTurkish Cypriot municipality

Asha (Greek: Άσσια [locally [ˈaʃːa]]; Turkish: Paşaköy), also transliterated Assia, is a village in the Famagusta District of Cyprus, located 6 km northwest of Vatili. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.

Asha is located in the center of the Mesaoria valley. The village was recorded as early as the early 13th century in papal documents.[3] Before 1974, the population of Asha was approximately 2,700. The village consisted of two parishes, St. John's and St. George's. The village had five churches: St. George, St. John Prodromos, St. Theodore, St. Spyridon and Virgin Mary. St. Spyridon was born in Asha[4] and the church was built by Michael Kassialos, a folk artist from Asha.[5] Asha was also well known for the craftsmanship of the embroidery made there. The main source of income in the area was farming and many agricultural products of Asha were sold to Nicosia's markets. Asha was also famous for its cucumbers.[6]


Some believe that the name of the village comes from "Askia" which in Greek means "without any shade" and refers to the fact that there were very few trees in the area in and around Asha and therefore a lack of shade.[7] Over the centuries the pronunciation of the name changed from "Askia" to "Ashia". S. Menandros, in his book "Toponomy of Cyprus" (Athens, 1907), writes: "An old village called Ashia is mentioned many times in texts from the period of the French kingdom of Cyprus and is believed to have constituted the baliazzo d'Αscha according to Venetian census. In the "Assises" the name is spelled Aschia, Αchia, Asquie and According to Maheras Askia and Ahea. All evidence suggests that despite the differences in spelling, all the double consonants in the name, i.e. sh, sk, sq or ch, were most probably pronounced similarly to the heavy Italian sc."

There is also the popular belief that the name comes from the Greek word "aski" (plural "askia") which is a type of vessel for carrying liquids, mainly water and wine, made of animal skin. During some legendary feasts, which included drinking competitions, the people of Asha claimed that the name of the village came from the fact that they could consume so many "askia" of wine.


Asha is one of the largest villages in the central part of the Mesaoria valley, in the district of Famagusta. It is located on the old Nicosia-Famagusta road, about 14 miles east from Nicosia and 24 miles west from Famagusta. West, and almost adjacent to Asha, is Afania. East is Vatili. To the north is Angkastina, Marathovounos, Mousoulita and Stroggylos. To the south, a little further than the villages mentioned above, where Tremetousia, Arsos, Athienou and two small Turkish Cypriot villages, Agia and Melousia.

To the north of the village extends the valley of Mesaoria. The land was fertile and was the major source of wheat for the island. In older times, the valley also produced cotton, sesami, grapes and a variety of vegetables. The land is so fertile mainly because of the river Yialias, which both supplied the necessary irrigation but also deposited rich soil over the adjacent farmland. Water from Yialias was diverted to the surrounding areas through an old system of irrigation channels.

The area to the south, known as Trachonas, is less fertile and depends largely on rain but also some wells. Most of this area was used to either grow barley or as grazing land for sheep. There were, however, a few areas where vegetables were grown.


Ethnikos Assia (Greek: Εθνικός 'Ασσιας) is a Cyprus football team currently playing in the Cypriot Third Division. The team was established in Assia, Famagusta, but since the Turkish invasion of 1974, Ethnikos became a refugee team. The club is now based in the capital Nicosia and play their home games at the Makario. The club has played three times in the first division, the last time was during the 2001-02 season. A second team established in Asha, "Omonia", ceased to exist following the invasion.


  1. ^ In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus unilaterally declared independence from the Republic of Cyprus. The de facto state is not recognised by any UN state except Turkey.
  2. ^ KKTC 2011 Nüfus ve Konut Sayımı [TRNC 2011 Population and Housing Census] (PDF), TRNC State Planning Organization, 6 August 2013, p. 19, archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-06
  3. ^ Papacostas, Tasos (2012). "Byzantine Nicosia: 650-1191". In Michaelides, D. (ed.). Historic Nicosia. Nicosia: Rimal Publications. p. 87.
  4. ^
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  6. ^ Christou, Eleni. "Άσσια (Διάθεση των προϊόντων της)". (in Greek). Cyprus Food Virtual Museum. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  7. ^