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Agios Vasileios is a village located in the Nicosia district, twenty kilometers northwest of the capital city of Nicosia and two kilometers southeast of Skylloura/Yılmazköy. Agios Vasileios means Saint Vassilis or Saint Basil. Until 1964, the village was mixed, inhabited by Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Prior to 1975, Turkish Cypriots did not adopt an alternative name for the village and call the village Ayvasıl.. It was renamed Türkeli in 1975, meaning “country of Turks.”
Agios Vasileios had always been a mixed village. As may be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted a slight majority of the population (56%). In 1891, their percentage increased to 75%. Throughout the British period, while the Greek Cypriot population increased steadily, the Turkish Cypriot population tended to stagnate. By 1960, the Greek Cypriot proportion of the population had risen to 80%.
The first conflict-related displacement took place in 1963. In December 1963, after several of the village’s Turkish Cypriots were killed by Greek Cypriot radical elements, the remaining Agios Vasileios Turkish Cypriots fled to more secure Turkish Cypriot villages such as Fota/Dağyolu(221), Geunyeli(038) and Ortakeuy(080). The number of those who were displaced was around 120 (at least 21 were killed), going by the figures of the 1960 census. Even though the Cyprus government repaired eight of the houses in 1969, none of the Turkish Cypriots from this village returned. Currently, the Turkish Cypriots of Agios Vasileios are scattered around north Cyprus, with a large pocket in the city of Nicosia. They have not been able to return to their houses due to the occupation of the village by the Turkish army since 1974.
The second conflict-related displacement occurred in 1974 when all the Greek Cypriots of the village fled from the advancing Turkish army and sought refuge in the south. Currently, the Greek Cypriots of Agios Vasileios are scattered around south Cyprus, with a large pocket in the city of Nicosia.
Today the village is used as a Turkish military camp.
Books and Reports:
Colonial Office (1893), “Cyprus: Report on the census of Cyprus, taken 6th April 1891,” Mediterranean, No. 39. London: Colonial Office.
Department of Statitstics and Research, 1997. Estimates of Turkish Cypriots and Settlers from Turkey, Ministry of Finance [Republic of Cyprus], Nicosia.
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- Hatay, Mete, (2005). “Beyond Numbers: An Inquiery into the Political Integration of the Turkish ‘Settlers’ in Northern Cyprus,” PRIO/Cyprus Centre Report 4/2005, Nicosia/Oslo, PRIO.
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- KKTC Başbakanlık Devlet Planlama Örgütü Müsteşarlığı, “15 Aralık 1996 Genel Nüfus Sayımı Sonuçları (Özet), 26, November 1997,” Nicosia.
- Mavrogordato, Alexander (1901), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1901, taken on the 1st April, 1901,” Nicosia: Government Printing Office.
- Mavrogordato, Alexander (1912), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1911, taken on the 2nd April, 1911,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
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Perry, Frederic W., 1884. Report on the Census of Cyprus 1881, Eyre and Spottiswoode, London.
- Republic of Cyprus, 1961. “Census of Population and Agriculture, 1960: Volume I: Population by Location, Race, and Sex,” Nicosia
- TRNC 2006 census preliminary results can be found at: www.devplan.org
TRNC Prime Ministry State Planning Organisation Statistics and Research Department, Census of Population: Social and Economic Characteristics of Population, December 15, 1996, TRNC Prime Ministry, Nicosia, 1999.
- Standing Cypriot Commission for the Standardization of Geographical Names (2007), “Οδηγος Τυποποιησης Ονοματων (Guide to Standardized Names),” Nicosia: Ministry of Education and Culture.
- Ministry of Finance (1973), “Micro-Census (April 1973) Population by Village and Ethnic Group, Volume I.” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research.
- Özad, Murat Hüsnü (2002), “Baf ve Mücadele Yılları,” Lefkoşa (Nicosia): Akdeniz Haber Ajansı Yayınları.
- Patrick, Richard (1976), “Political Geography and the Cyprus Conflict: 1963-1971,” Department of Geography, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo.
- Percival, D.A. (1949), “Census of population and agriculture 1946 report,” Nicosia: Cyprus Government Printing Office.
- Republic of Cyprus (1962), “Census of population and agriculture, 1960,” Nicosia: Government Printing Office.
- Republic of Cyprus (1984), “Census of population 1982,” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research, Ministry of Finance.
- Republic of Cyprus (2003), “Census of population 2001,” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research, Ministry of Finance.
- St John-Jones, L. W., 1983. “The Population of Cyprus: Demographic Trends and Socio-Economic Influences” (with a foreword by W. H. Morris-Jones), Maurice Temple, Smith Limited, London.
- T.C. Başbakanlık Devlet Arşivleri Genel Müdürlüğü (2000), “Osmanlı İdaresinde Kıbrıs (Nüfus-Arazi Dağılımı ve Türk Vakıfları),” Ankara: Osmanlı Arşivi Daire Başkanlığı Yayın No: 43.
- Yorgancıoğlu, Oğuz: Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Yer Adları ve Veriliş Yöntemleri Üzerine Bir Araştırma Kıbrıs Araştırmaları Dergisi, Cilt : 2, Sayı : 3, Yıl : 96