Maratha, Santalaris and Aloda massacre

Deaths 126
Location Maratha, Santalaris, Aloda in Cyprus
Died Unknown
Date August 14, 1974; 47 years ago (1974-08-14)
Perpetrator EOKA B


Maratha, Santalaris and Aloda massacre (Turkish: Muratağa, Sandallar ve Atlılar katliamı) refers to the massacre of Turkish Cypriots by EOKA B on 14 August 1974 during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the villages of Maratha, Santalaris and Aloda. 89 (or 84) people from Maratha and Santalaris were killed, and a further 37 people were killed in the village of Aloda. In total, 126 people were killed during the massacre. The massacre occurred shortly after the start of the second Turkish invasion, concurring with other massacres.


According to the 1960 census, the inhabitants of the three villages were entirely Turkish Cypriots. The total population of Maratha and Santalaris was 207. By 1973, the total population of the villages had risen to 270, with 124 in Maratha, 100 in Santalaris and 46 in Aloda. However, in July 1974, following the first Turkish invasion of Cyprus, all men of fighting age were taken away as prisoners of war to internment camps in Famagusta and from there transferred to Limassol.


Cemetery where the victims are buried in Maratha. Since the 2010s, the remains of those buried in the Maratha mass grave have been excavated and are being buried individually.

On 20 July 1974, the men of the villages were arrested by EOKA-B and sent to Limassol. Following this, according to testimonials cited by Sevgül Uludağ, EOKA-B men from the neighboring village of Peristeronopigi came, got drunk in the camp they established in the village coffeehouse, fired shots in the air, and subsequently raped many women and young girls. The rape later included the boys and this continued till 14 August 1974. Upon the launch of the second invasion of the Turkish Army, they decided not to leave behind any witnesses and killed the entire population of the villages present at the time.

In Maratha and Santalaris, 84-89 were killed. The imam of Maratha stated that there were 90 people in the village prior to the massacre, and only six people were left. Elderly people and children were also killed during the massacre. Only three people were able to escape from the massacre in Aloda. The inhabitants of the three villages were buried in mass graves with a bulldozer. The villagers of Maratha and Santalaris were buried in the same grave.

Associated Press described the corpses as "so battered and decomposed that they crumbled to pieces when soldiers lifted them from the garbage with shovels". Milliyet reported that parts of the bodies had been chopped off and sharp tools, as well as machine guns had been used in the massacre.

According to Greek Cypriot writer and researcher Tony Angastiniotis, at least one of the attackers used a mainland Greek accent, which suggested that he was a Greek officer.


The United Nations described the massacre as a crime against humanity, by saying "constituting a further crime against humanity committed by the Greek and Greek Cypriot gunmen." The massacre was reported by international media, including The Guardian and The Times.

Rauf Denktaş put off a meeting with Greek Cypriots after the mass grave was uncovered.