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Morphou is a small town in the northwest of Cyprus, situated forty kilometers west of the capital city of Nicosia near a bay named after the town itself. Morphou means “beautiful” in Greek. According to Goodwin, the first settlers of this town came from ancient Sparta, where the goddess Aphrodite was called “Morphou.” Turkish Cypriots changed the name to Güzelyurt in 1975. Güzelyurt means “beautiful country.” It is one of the richest agricultural areas of Cyprus, particularly known for its citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. However, after the 1974 war, due to the non-recognition of the political entity in the north, exports to Europe and production in the region dropped significantly. Every year the Morphou area still produces tons of citrus fruits for local consumption or export to Turkey and other third countries.
Although there were always Muslim (Turkish Cypriot) inhabitants in the small town of Morphou, the town was always predominantly inhabited by Greek Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriot population remained steady at around 150 persons. Throughout the British period the population of the village increased significantly, from 2,420 in 1891 to 6,480 in 1960.
Most of the Turkish Cypriots fled Morphou in January 1964, although almost one-third of the town’s Turkish Cypriot inhabitants stayed there throughout the entire conflict. In 1971, Richard Patrick recorded 44 Turkish Cypriots still living there. In August 1974, all the Greek Cypriots of the village fled from the advancing Turkish army. Currently, like the rest of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Morphou are scattered throughout the island’s south, with large pockets in towns. The number of Morphou Greek Cypriots who were displaced in 1974 was around 7,500 (7,465 in 1960).
Currently the town is mainly inhabited by displaced Turkish Cypriots from the towns of Paphos(Ktima)/Gazi Baf(329)
. There are also a number of families from the following villages in Paphos: Akoursos/Akarsu(288)
, Agios Ioannis/Aydın(285)
, Agia Merkur, Melandra/Beşiktepe(325)
, Kidasi (Jiyas)/Ceyhan(310)
, Agios Nikolaos/Esentepe(287)
, Agios Georgios/Kavaklı(284)
. One can easily call Morphou/Güzelyurt a refugee town. In the 1996 census, 5,715 out of 10,845 Turkish Cypriot citizens living in Morphou showed their birthplace as south Cyprus. In addition, there are also some families from Turkey who settled in the village in 1976-77. During the orange-picking seasons, the village hosts many seasonal agricultural workers from Turkey. They are usually lodged in tents or prefabricated accommodations specifically erected for them, usually located in the orange orchards where they work.
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