Agios Sozomenos – Portrait of a Cypriot Village

Agios Sozomenos (Greek: Αγιος Σωζόμενος Turkish: Arpalık) is largely deserted village in the Nicosia District of Cyprus, located close to the Green Line south of Geri, 3 Kms North of Potamia/Dereli and 6 Kms west of Pyroi/Gaziler.

Before 1974, the village was a mixed village. In 2001 there were only four registered inhabitants living here. According to Goodwin, Agios Sozomenos was named after an early Cypriot saint. Until 1964, the village was mixed, inhabited by Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In 1958, Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name Arpalık, meaning “place of barley.”

In the video we see the 16th-century Gothic church of Agios Mamas.

The village was always a mixed village. In the Ottoman census of 1831, the Muslim (Turkish Cypriots) population was slightly more than the Greek Cypriots (50.7%). In 1891 the Turkish Cypriot proportion increased to 69%. Throughout the British period, while the Turkish Cypriot population of the village showed a steady increase, the number of Greek Cypriots gradually decreased.

The film A Detail in Cyprus was made in 1987 by Panicos Chrysanthou about the village