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Geunyeli/Gönyeli is a town abutting the Turkish municipality of the capital city of Nicosia. Due to the recent construction boom and suburbanization, the two municipalities have almost merged together. The origin of the town’s name is obscure. Usually it is claimed that the name Gönyeli derived from “Konyalı,” meaning “person from Konya.” Konya is a town situated in central Anatolia from which most of the original inhabitants of Gönyeli claim to have originated. Goodwin, however, suggests that the name Geunyeli is the corruption of Niovili, the name of a fief holder or landowner who lived in Cyprus during the medieval period.
Since the Ottoman period, and still today, Geunyeli/Gönyeli has been inhabited predominantly by Turkish Cypriots. During the British period, the population of the settlement increased steadily from 269 in 1891 to 1,377 in 1960.
No one was displaced from this settlement during the intercommunal strife of the 1960s. However, during this period, the village served as an important reception center for many displaced Turkish Cypriots who had fled from nearby villages. Richard Patrick recorded 175 displaced Turkish Cypriot still residing in Geunyeli/Gönyeli in 1971. The displaced Turkish Cypriots mainly came from villages such as Agios Vasileios(010), Skylloura(096), Lakatameia(057) and from the Nicosia suburbs(074). Geunyeli/Gönyeli also is home to the Turkish regiment that was stationed on the island in 1960 in accordance with the treaties of 1959.
Geunyeli/Gönyeli is currently largely populated by its original inhabitants. In addition, there are many Turkish Cypriots who were displaced in 1964 or 1974, the latter group arriving from every part of south Cyprus. Many of the displaced persons who settled in Geunyeli/Gönyeli came from the Morphou/Güzelyurt area, where they were initially resettled in 1974-75 after moving north of the Green Line. Because reunification negotiations have consistently discussed the possibility of territorial readjustment that would put Morphou/Güzelyurt under Greek Cypriot administration, some displaced Turkish Cypriots gradually moved to Geunyeli/Gönyeli and bought property there. The 1996 Turkish census shows that almost 12% of the Turkish Cypriots who lived in Geunyeli/Gönyeli at the time showed their birthplaces as south Cyprus. Over the last twenty years, many other Turkish Cypriots from elsewhere in the north, and especially civil servants working in Nicosia, have also settled in the town as a result of a new construction boom and suburbanization. This resulted in the emergence of a new neighborhood called Yeni Kent (new city) in the southeast section of the old Geunyeli/Gönyeli, now bordering with the suburbs of Nicosia. The town also hosts many foreign students studying in the nearby university and manual workers from Turkey who are employed in the construction and manufacturing industries. The last Turkish Cypriot census of 2006 put the village’s population at 12,186.
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.
- Fehmi, Hasan (2003), “Güney’de Kalan Değerlerimiz,” Lefkoşa (Nicosia): Özyay Matbaacılık.
- Fellahoğlu, Esat (2010), “Ulusal Direnişte Baf Köyleri,” İstanbul: Bayrak Matbaacılık.
- Giray, Halil: KKTC Yerleşim Birimleri, Yürürlükteki ve Eski İsimler Listesi KKTC İskân Bakanlığı : KKTC Coğrafi İsimler Kataloğu : (Cilt – I and II), Lefkoşa.
- Goodwin, Jack C. (1984), “An Historical Toponymy of Cyprus (Forth edition),” Nicosia (copy number 6).
- Hart-Davis, C. H (1922), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1921, taken on the 24th April, 1921,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
- Hart-Davis, C. H (1932), “Report of the Census of 1931,” Nicosia: Cyprus Government Printing Office.
- 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.
- Hill, Sir George, (1952). A History of Cyprus, Vol. IV., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Ioannides, Christos P., 1991. “In Turkey’s Image: The Transformation of Occupied Cyprus into a Turkish Province,” Aristide D. Caratzas, New York.
- 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.
- Menardos, Simos (2001), Τοπωνημικαι και Λαογραφικαι Μελεται (Topographical and Folkloric Studies), Nicosia: Centre for Scientific Studies
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