Floral delights of Dikmen Village
By Chris Elliott
When you are driving this time of the year and especially in the past few days when temperatures were soaring to 101 degrees, as you are passing through farmland etc and villages you have the impression of everything being so dry and arid but if you chance to stop you may be in for a few surprises.
Very often when I am travelling back along the main Famagusta to Lefkosa road I will turn off and cut across country past the Near East University and once beyond that the landscape is open and undulating rock ridges. En-route you will pass by what may be a big holding tank or perhaps pumping station being constructed with masses of black pipes waiting to be laid as part of the new water distribution pipeline from Turkey. Soon as you are driving uphill into Dikmen you are aware in the distance of a large area on the left containing farm buildings and pens with livestock on the slopes below the town and this area can be accessed from the centre of the town and it really is huge.
Dikmen or Dikomo, as it was once called, was the birthplace of Dimitris Christofias, the former President of the Republic of Cyprus. I have been unable to learn much more about the history at this time other than a reference in Wikipedia to the sad days of the troubles in Cyprus as follows.
“Kyriakos Matsis (23 January 1926-1958) was a Greek Cypriot guerrilla member of EOKA. He was Yiannakis Matsis’ brother who was Member of the European Parliament for Cyprus from June 14, 2004 until June 2009
On November 19, 1958, the British discovered a hideout in Dikomo, in Kyriakos Diakos’ house, where Matsis and his company, Andreas Sofiopoulos and Kostas Christodoulou, hid. The British surrounded the house, and Matsis burned all his letters before telling his two friends to surrender. When the British called for his surrender, he didn’t reply immediately, later shouting “If I come out, I will come out shooting!”. Matsis was killed in the ensuing gun battle.”
Today Dikmen seems to be a sleepy town with many nice modern bungalows and houses with well cared for gardens full of plants although in quiet streets and lanes there are also some very old buildings as well to view. When I stopped this past week to get my life saving drink from the local market, I decided to explore a little and take photos of a few park areas which create such a gentle setting as you will see in the pictures I have taken and the villagers must now have a very peaceful life.
One day I will return to Dikmen and will try to bring you more images and the history of this interesting village.