By Ismail Veli………
I have often written about the history of Lurucina. My website of ”Families of Lurucina” is extensive and covers every aspect of our roots and history uncovered thus far.
This article is simply about snippets of information that most of us rarely talk, or even know about.
So let’s take a short journey into Lurucina’s past.
This document dated July-September 1894 is about the spread of cholera in Cyprus. Lurucina was one of the affected villages and to help control or eradicate the dreaded disease, which carried a risk of death, the authorities allocated £4.00 to the village school in order to help young children fight this dreaded disease.
Looking at the census records of the period 1879-1905 there were many children who died in infancy. The mortality rate was at a frightening level. Whether £4.00 (even though it was worth a lot more in those days) was sufficient is doubtful. Smallpox was often a fateful disease that had at least a 30% death rate to those affected. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that this dreaded ancient disease was finally brought under control by a global effort led by the World Health Organisation. The last known case was in Somalia in 1977.
The following reports are from the Foni Tis Kipros (Voice of Cyprus) dated 3rd March 1909 about a donation of ”Ottoman inhabitants of Lurucina contributing £4.00 to the Ottoman school of Lurucina and Skala” (Iskele/Larnaca)
The same newspaper ”Foni Tis Kipros” writes about a similar story. The year is 29 January 1916.
Arif Psafia, Ahmet Osman, S Veli and Sueiman Arif giving thanks to all who donated to the building of a girl’s school in Lurucina. In particular the Commissioner of Nicosia who gave £30 and Evkav who donated £20. In addition the village Muhtar Yusuf Ali was thanked for his efforts on this matter.
It’s important to note that illiteracy in Lurucina (and Cyprus in general) was very high at the time. Clearly the move to open a girl’s school would eventually help to reduce illiteracy in the following 3 decades.
This news is reporting the departure of 25 families from Lurucina for Asia Minor (Turkey) on a Turkish/boat ship. This departure was as a result of the treaty of Lausanne, after which Mustafa Kemal called on Turks to go and live in Turkey if they wanted.
If we assume that each family averaged at least four persons the consequences of this group of migrants meant that about 100 Turkish Cypriots left the village. A very large amount in a village of only 1079 in the 1921 census.
This is a sad story reported by the newspaper Neos Kypriakos Phylax (New Cyprus Guard) on 6 June 1935 about an infant who fell from the balcony of his house. He was taken to the Nicosia hospital but In-spite of efforts to save him he died.
The Efimerida Ethnos (Nation Newspaper) reports on the 29 June 1950 that Lurucina was given a loan for £1.800 in order to carry out improvements to its water supplies. The loan was at 4% interest to be paid over a ten year period.
A report in the The Illustrated London News news that a large demonstration of 500 Turkish Cypriots in Lurucina were chanting anti Greek slogans. It seems the British security forces had to be called in to disperse the demonstration.
As the date of this demo indicates it was during the period that EOKA was fighting for Enosis (union with Greece) against the British, it’s clear that the largely Turkish inhabitants of the village were incensed with the terror campaign waged at the time. Though speculative, the murder of a Turkish Cypriot (TC) policeman on the 11th January 1956, named Abdullah Ali Riza, by EOKA in Paphos (the First TC casualty of the campaign) may have incensed the TC’s in general. The demonstration is clearly in the village centre where the shops and cafes were.