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Peristerona is a large village located thirty-two kilometers west of the capital city of Nicosia and four kilometers southeast of Astromeritis village. The name Peristerona derives from the Greek word for dove or pigeon (peristeri). Until 1964, it was inhabited by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Although it was a mixed village, unlike for other mixed or Turkish villages, Turkish Cypriots did not adopt an alternative Turkish name for the village.
Peristerona had always been a mixed village. As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted the majority of the inhabitants (56%). However, in 1891 their percentage decreased to 46%. Although the Greek Cypriot population of the village fluctuated in the last decades of the British period, it increased steadily, comparatively better than their Turkish Cypriot neighbors. By the 1960 census the Greek Cypriot share of the village had risen to 59%.
The first recorded conflict-related displacement in relation to Peristerona took place in January 1964. It is known that almost all of the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Peristerona fled the village in February 1964, following the killing of two Turkish Cypriot policemen who were stationed in the village. They moved to more secure Turkish Cypriot-controlled settlements such as the towns of Lefka/Lefke(060) and Nicosia(074) and the villages of Kazivera/Gaziveren(049), Angolemi/Taşpınar(018), Ortakeuy/Ortaköy(080), Krini/Pınarbaşı(235), Elia/Doğancı(029), Limnitis/Yeşilırmak(061) and Fota/Dağyolu(221). The number of those who were displaced was approximately 500 (as there were 476 Turkish Cypriot inhabitants in 1960). Some went back to the village in 1968, although Richard Patrick recorded only 23 Turkish Cypriots living in Peristerona in 1971. In 1974, all the Turkish Cypriots who had resettled in Peristerona in 1968 left the village for the north, following the killing of two of their co-villagers by Greek Cypriot irregulars. Currently like many displaced Turkish Cypriots of 1963-64, the Turkish Cypriots of Peristerona are scattered around north Cyprus with a large concentration in Katokopia/Zümrütköy(048) village. There are also many Peristerona Turkish Cypriots settled in the village of Elia/Doğancı and the city of Nicosia.
Currently Peristerona is mainly occupied by its original Greek Cypriot inhabitants and displaced Greek Cypriots from the north. Since 1974, Peristerona has accommodated displaced Greek Cypriots, mainly those from the Morphou area. Most of the empty Turkish houses were allocated for the use of these displaced Greek Cypriot families. The Peristerona Modern Housing Development was constructed between 1975 and 1982, in six different phases. According to Goodwin, by 1982, there were 500 people living in this development. The last census of 2001 puts the total population of the village at 2,173.
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