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Petra is a village in the Solea valley. It is located six kilometers east of the town of Lefka/Lefke and three kilometers south of Elia. Petra means “rock” in Greek. In 1958, Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name Dereli, meaning “place with a stream.” However, in 1975 Turkish Cypriots changed the village’s name again, this time to Taşköy, meaning “village of rock.”
As may be seen from the chart above, the village was always inhabited by both communities. In 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted almost 62% of the population. This percentage significantly increased to 88% by the end of 19th century. During the British period, while the Greek Cypriot population continued to increase, the Turkish Cypriot population stagnated. The 1960 census put the Greek Cypriot proportion at 93%.
All the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Petra/Taşköy were displaced in January-February 1964. All the villagers fled the village during this period and moved mainly into Lefka/Lefke(060) and the nearby villages of Angolemi/Taşpınar(018), and Elia/Doğancı(029). Currently, like most of the 1958 or 1964 displaced, the Turkish Cypriot villagers of Petra/Taşköy are scattered around north Cyprus, with three families in Kalo Chorio (Lefkas)/Çamlıköy(041).
All the Greek Cypriots from this village were displaced in August 1974, as they fled from the advancing Turkish army. Currently, like the rest of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Petra/Taşköy are scattered throughout the island’s south, with concentrations in towns. The number of the Petra Greek Cypriots who were displaced in 1974 was around 1,000 (966 in 1960).
The village is in ruins. Since 1974, some parts of the village has been used as a 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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- Hart-Davis, C. H (1922), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1921, taken on the 24th April, 1921,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
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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