a) Struggle against the hard soil
b) Struggle against weather conditions
c) Struggle for the preservation of their identity
d) Struggle against the conqueror, work and oppression
The community of Polystipos, like all other communities in the area, has survived through hard times and difficult conditions, because of their strength, had work, inventiveness, patience and adjustability regarding the resolution of several problems.
(a) With their hard work, persistence and patience, they tamed the wild mountains and covered them with green vineyards and almond cultivations. They achieved this by creating several floors on the mountains, known as “domes”, made of local stone. They turned the wild and inhospitable mountainous landscape into an attractive paradise. The deep and wild valleys were turned into green gardens with love that cultivated the fields with trees such as walnuts, apple trees, pear trees, peach trees, apricot tress and vegetables of all sorts for the summer.
These virtues characterize the people of Polystipos and help them overpass many difficulties so as to remain at their wonderful slopes. People here have tamed nature and their willfulness has made them winners.
It is not only the struggle against hard soil and other morphological difficulties that had to be tamed. There was also the struggle against hard weather conditions in winter and the usual hail storms in May, towards the middle and the end of spring.
b) Agricultural cultivations were adjusted according to weather conditions, the soil according to water reassurance from several springs. The houses were built in such a way that they were correctly oriented so as to deal with cold, frost, snow and rain during winter. What is more, summer and winter dressing were adjusted accordingly. Hence, a local type of a house was formed to deal with local winter weather conditions; this was a struggle of its own.
c) The fact that Cyprus has been through a lot over the last eight centuries, namely many conquerors, has motivated its inhabitants to keep and fight to keep their Greek-Orthodox identity that was established at the beginning of the 4th century a.C. All the inhabitants of Polystipos and the surrounding areas have developed strong love, help and family bonds. Family was always close and inextricably connected. They were proud to be Greek and Orthodox. Even though they were dominated by Turks for 800 years, they preserved their identity. This success was owed to the priests of Polystipos and the surrounding area and the Greek-Orthodox Church and its representatives in general. The Church always managed to educate, teach and spiritually cultivate its flock, and especially the “rich” and those who were to rule the community. Thus, the community was always governed by honest, virtuous and just people. The protectors of the village, Saint Nicolas and Apostle Andreas always served as inspirations, protectors and helpers for the inhabitants of Polystipos for many centuries. Virgin Mary was also always present and protected the people pf Polystipos, as they never abandon her and keep her in their hearts.
The success of the inhabitants of the community to keep their Greek orthodox identity is owned to their continuous and strong struggle against intruders that could harm their deep faith in religion, their Greek orthodox roots and their ancient and powerful tradition, their filled with nobility and superiority Homeric customs and traditions.
(d) The struggle against all forms of tyranny and oppression took on many forms and had started from the very first moment the Louzinians and then the Venetians, the Ottomans and finally the British. When the Greeks were fighting for their liberty in 1821, the Cypriots participated in the struggle and Polystipos contributed a lot to this struggle.
According to reliable sources, at least 4 men born in Polystipos during the 18th century, were members of the Friendly Society (Filiki Eteria) and were initiated around 1816. Two of them were Hadjiyiorkis Kourtellas and Hadjichristofis Matsikkis that were decisive members of the Society and offered in many ways during the struggle of ’21.
According to information these 4 young men from Polystipos fought as volunteers in Greece during the revolution and no one returned to Cyprus.
According to some people, Ioannikios recruited men from Polystipos to fight during the Revolution of Kalogiros (1830-1832); according to some 22 young men for the battles in Trikomo and according to some others 24 or 28. The Holy Monastery of Apostle Andreas in Polystipos helped the revolution in many ways.
During the First World War, Cyprus was called to defend freedom and Polystipos participated. Many young men joined the mule driver body and fought at the Macedonian frontier, in Thrace and in other places.
Amongst them Antonios Michael Kourris
Aristodemos Michael Nicola Sippi
Ioannis Father Christoforou (later Father Ioannis Ch. Lofitis)
Ioannis Hadjiyiorki Chorometris
Xenophon Hadjistylli Moudourou
It is possible that we are forgetting some people and we ask for the forgiveness of their families.
During the events of 1931, the abrupt and sudden events and the intense protest of all Greek Cypriots against the colonial regime, the events at the government house that followed, with victims from both sides, two men from Polystipos, Stephanos A. Protopapas and Christofis N. Protopapas played important roles.
When, during Second World War, Cyprus was called to defend freedom once more, a group of young men from Polystipos joined the force fighting in the Middle East, Egypt, Libya, Italy, Greece and many more European countries. Amongst them the following:
Arestis Kyriacou Pettemerides
Socratis Ioachim Kourtellides
Nicolas Christophorou Hadjiyiorki
Christos Xenophonotos Hadjistylli Moudourou
Georgios Ioannou Chorometri
Tilemachos Antoniou Michael
Andreas Hadjipanayiotis Loizos
Christodoulos Michael Hadjiloizou
Evripides Kyriacou Yiapanas
Nicolas Christophorou Hadjiyiorki, who was married and had 4 children died during a battle in Egypt. He is buried in Ismaelia in Egypt.
During the Liberation Struggle 1955-59, Polystipos participated as well. Stephanos Protopapas, a strong personality in the community, organised the community of Polystipos and its surrounding area.
Many men and women were initiated in the struggle as well as many young people. The contribution of Polystipos in E.O.K.A. struggle varied. Many men, such as l. Father Ioannis Lofitis were arrested and were held hostages in detention rooms. Many of them remained hostages from 6 to 30 months, while 6 fighters who were wanted became partisans.
The heroic sacrifice of Christos Tsiartas and Andreas Panayiotou was the epitome of Polystipos contribution for the Liberation Struggle of 1955-59. Christos Tsiartas died while fighting on the 17th March 1956 near Agridia and Andreas Panayiotou on the 19th November 1956 after torture in Platres detention rooms.
Polystipos was also present with a group of national guards at the suppression of the Turkish mutiny against the legal state in December 1963.
What is more, Polystipos was present during the tragic events of the Turkish invasion that followed the coup organised by Junta in July and August 1974. Many young people fought in the trenches and unfortunately four of them are still missing. These are:
Andreas Argyrou married with children (3 children)
Panayiots Pavlou marries with children (4 children)
Loizos Socratous Kourtellides
Renos Christoforou Hadjiloizou.
Their parents, wives, children and all other relatives as well as the rest of the community are still waiting to find out what happened to their loved ones; if they are alive or not so as to honor them for sacrificing what was most precious for them in the name of the freedom of their country.
The words of the poet were followed by the people of Polystipos:
“Freedom requires virtue and boldness”