Galatia, Cyprus


Galateia ( gr, Γαλάτεια, tr, Mehmetçik, "Little Soldier")Description of Mehmetçik
/ref> is a village in the
Famagusta District Famagusta District ( gr, Επαρχία Αμμοχώστου, Eparhia Ammohostu; tr, Mağusa kazası) is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is the island's most important port, Famagusta. Government in exile, A district administ ...
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

, located on the
Karpass peninsula The Karpas Peninsula ( el, Καρπασία; tr, Karpaz), also known as the Karpass, Karpaz or Karpasia, is a long, finger-like peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most ...
. It is under the ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with '' de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' control of
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isla ...
. A traditional Turkish village sitting high on a hillside overlooking the valley below,Description of Mehmetçik
/ref> Galateia is most famous for its summer grape festival,Culture and Grape Festivals in Mehmetcik, North Cyprus
/ref>Galateia Grape Festival
/ref> for which people travel from all over Cyprus and the world to attend. Renowned for the grapes harvested from its vineyards, they are one of the most exported products to other areas of Cyprus. It is also well-known for producing wine, a Cypriot
pomace brandy Pomace spirit (or pomace brandy) is a Distilled beverage, liquor distilled from pomace that is left over from winemaking, after the grapes are pressed (wine), pressed. It is called marc in both English and French, but "grappa" in Italian and "bagaç ...
Zivania Zivania or zivana ( el, ζιβανία, ζιβάνα Turkish language, Turkish: Zibaniya) is a Cypriot cuisine, Cypriot pomace brandy produced from the distillation of a mixture of grape pomace and local dry wines made from Xynisteri and Mavro grap ...

, and a traditional grape sweet called Sucuk.


Galateia was a Turkish-Cypriot enclave pre-1974 with no Greek-Cypriot inhabitants, unlike the vast majority of the surrounding villages in the Karpas peninsula. It is also believed to have been a hotbed of Turkish-Cypriot militancy (through membership of paramilitary groups like Volkan and TMT) during the turbulent times of the struggle for independence (1955–1959) and post-independence (1963–74) period.

Grape festival

Initially intended to simply provide villagers with shopping opportunities, Galateia's grape festival evolved to become a celebration of all things related to grapes. The festival originally included more cultural activities as well, but over the years this element has gradually declined. In 2007, efforts began to reintroduce cultural elements as a separate festival to be held just before the grape festival. Festival activities include cooking with grapes, making grape sweets, and
winemaking Winemaking or vinification is the production of wine, starting with the selection of the fruit, its Ethanol fermentation, fermentation into alcohol, and the bottling of the finished liquid. The history of wine-making stretches over millennia. The s ...
, as well as various symposiums. Galateia's grape festival helps to both bring the economic and cultural importance of the grapes and vineyards of her district to the fore and to promote local
viticulture Viticulture (from the Latin word for ''vine'') or winegrowing (wine growing) is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a branch of the science of horticulture. While the native territory of ''Vitis vinifera'', the common grape vine, rang ...


Culture, sports, and tourism

The Turkish Cypriot Mehmetçik Sports Club was founded in Galateia in 1943, and is now in the Cyprus Turkish Football Association (CTFA) K-PET 2nd League.Northern Cyprus
Association of Football Clubs

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Galateia is twinned with: *
Osmangazi Osmangazi is one of the central metropolitan Districts of Turkey, districts of the city of Bursa in Bursa Province, as well as the fourth largest overall municipality in Turkey. The municipality has a population of approximately 778,843 as of 2012 ...
, Bursa Turkey * Bağcılar, İstanbul Turkey

See also

*Harvest festival


{{Famagusta District Communities in Famagusta District Populated places in İskele District Municipalities of Northern Cyprus Cittaslow