Ριζοκάρπασο (Greek) Dipkarpaz (Turkish)
|Country||De jure Cyprus
De facto Northern Cyprus
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
Rizokarpaso (Greek: Ριζοκάρπασο, Turkish: Dipkarpaz) is a town on the Karpass Peninsula in the northeastern part of Cyprus. While nominally part of the Famagusta District of the Republic of Cyprus, it has been under the de facto administration of the so called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since the 1974 partition of the island.
Rizokarpaso is the biggest town on the peninsula. Soil near the town consists of terra fusca which is very fertile. Local crops include carob, cotton, tobacco, and grain. A tobacco-factory operates in the town.
Before 1974, the town was predominantly inhabited by Greek-Cypriots. During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the peninsula was cut off by Turkish troops, and this prevented the town's Greek-Cypriot inhabitants from fleeing to the unoccupied South. As a result, with 250 Greek-Cypriot inhabitants, Rizokarpaso is the home of the biggest Greek-speaking population in the North. The Greek-Cypriot population is now mainly elderly and shrinking in size, they are still supplied by the UN, and Greek-Cypriot products are consequently available in some shops.
The town has two churches: St. Synesios and the church of the Holy Trinity. They are examples of the typical Cypriot mixed style, combining features of the late Gothic introduced by the Lusignans with the late Byzantine style of the Orthodox tradition. When the island's Orthodox bishops were banished by the Lusignans in 1222, the Bishop of Famagusta was sent to Rizokarpaso and continued his work in St. Synesios, the main Orthodox church in the region. These are two of the few Christian churches to operate in the northern part of Cyprus, and has had services stopped by the Turkish Cypriot police.