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The village of Nisou is located in the Nicosia district, twenty kilometers south of the capital city of Nicosia and four kilometers west of Dali. The name etymologically derives from the word “nisi,” meaning “island”. According to Goodwin, the village acquired this name because it was historically situated between two channels of the Gialias river, one of which was flowing until recently. The village was mixed until 1964. The Turkish Cypriot name of the village is Dizdarköy, and it has been in use since the Ottoman period. Dizdar means “guard” in Turkish, and the village appears to have acquired this name because of the Turkish Cypriot claim that the guards of the Ottoman governor of Cyprus resided in the village during the Ottoman period.
Throughout the British period and until 1964, the village was mixed. It is likely that the village was mixed from a much earlier date. Although the Ottoman census of 1831 records Christians (Greek Cypriots) as constituting the sole population of the village, this may have been an error in the records, since only five decades later, in the 1891 British census, Turkish Cypriots made up almost 50% of the population. Moreover, the 1831 Ottoman census also records the village’s Turkish name. Throughout the twentieth century, while the Greek Cypriot population increased steadily, the Turkish Cypriot population fluctuated and eventually declined. In 1960, the Turkish Cypriot share of the population had fallen to 23%.
The first conflict-related displacement took place during the intercommunal disturbances in 1964. In January 1964, all the Turkish Cypriots of the village fled and sought refuge in other villages solely controlled by Turkish Cypriots, such as Louroujina/Akıncıları(063) and Goshi/Üç Şehitler(354) villages. Although the houses of the Nisou/Dizdarköy Turkish Cypriots were destroyed after they left the village, Richard Patrick writes that in 1968 the government began repairing many of these homes to encourage the displaced persons’ return. However, Patrick noted that in 1971 the Turkish Cypriots had still not returned, and according to the1973 census only 11 persons had returned. After 1974, all the Turkish Cypriots of Nisou were evacuated and resettled in the northern part of the divide. Currently, most of the Turkish Cypriots of Nisou/Dizdarköy are scattered around north Cyprus with a concentration in Argaki/Akçay(020).
Today the village is mainly inhabited by its original Greek Cypriot villagers and some displaced Greek Cypriots from the north. Apart from some of the Turkish Cypriot houses which were allocated to displaced Greek Cypriots after the1974 war, considerable refugee housing has been built in areas north and south of the village. The 2001 census put the village’s population at 1,323.
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