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Skylloura is a village located in the Nicosia district, about halfway between the towns of Morphou/Güzelyurt and Nicosia. Goodwin suggests that the name of the village might derive from “skillos,” meaning “dog” in Greek or from a plant called “avroskilla.” Until 1964, the village was mixed, inhabited by Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name “Yılmazköy” in 1958.
Skylloura had always been a mixed village. As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted a slight majority of the population (55%). In 1891 the latter percentage increased to 65%. Throughout the British period, while the Greek Cypriot population increased steadily, the Turkish Cypriot population fluctuated. However, by 1960 the Greek Cypriot proportion of the population had declined to 63%.
The first conflict-related displacement occurred in 1958. No one was displaced from the village, but due to the intercommunal tension of the EOKA struggle and with the encouragement of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, the majority of the Turkish Cypriots of Akoursos/Akarsu(288) in the Paphos district left their village and moved to Skylloura/Yılmazkoy. After the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, almost all the Akoursos/Akarsu(288) Turkish Cypriots returned to their village. The second conflict-related displacement was in December 1963-64, following the abduction and murder of several Turkish Cypriots from Skylloura/Yılmazkoy and the nearby village of Agios Vasileios/Türkeli(010). In the wake of these events, all the Skylloura/Yılmazkoy Turkish Cypriots fled to more secure Turkish Cypriot villages such as Fota/Dağyolu(221), Ağırdağ(211), Geunyeli(038) and Ortakeuy/Ortaköy(080). The number of those who were displaced was around 300, going by the figures of the 1960 census. None of the Turkish Cypriots from this village returned in 1968, after the barricade of the Turkish Cypriot enclaves was lifted.
The third conflict-related displacement took place in 1974, when all the Greek Cypriots of Skylloura/Yılmazköy fled the village from the advancing Turkish army. Currently, like many displaced Greek Cypriots, they are scattered around south Cyprus with a large pocket in Nicosia town.
Currently, the village is occupied by its original Turkish Cypriot inhabitants, although a large part of the village is now a military camp. The last census of 2006 puts the total population of the village at 785, although probably half of that number represents the families of the army personnel stationed in the village.
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