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Larnaca is a city on the southeastern coast of Cyprus, located on a bay with the same name. Larnaca is also colloquially known as Skala, meaning "ladder" or "landing stage" in Greek. Larnaca currently has the island's second largest commercial port. During the Ottoman period, Larnaca also hosted many European consulates who were mainly interested in trade affairs with the Middle East. The alternative Turkish name of the city is İskele, deriving from the word Skala. It has been in use for centuries. The island's largest airport, Larnaca International Airport, is located on the outskirts of the city.
Historical Population

From the Ottoman period, the town was inhabited both by Muslims and Christians. Christians always constituted the majority of the population. As can be seen from the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (including foreign residents such as consuls) comprised almost 63% of the population. This percentage increased significantly during the British period, rising to 75% in 1891. The same percentage prevailed during the first half of the 20th century. The British census records began to separate the Greek Cypriot population from the total Christian population only in 1946. As a result, the 1946 census put the Greek Cypriot population at 71%; that number declined to 66% in 1960, when the island gained its independence. It is important to note that in 1960 there were also 1,786 British and 879 other ethnic groups (Armenians, Maronites, Latins, etc.) residing in the town, making it a very cosmopolitan place.


No one was displaced from the town during the 1950s emergency years. However, during the intercommunal strife of 1963-64, many Turkish Cypriots from nearby villages or suburbs fled their homes and sought refuge in the Turkish Cypriot quarter of the town. For instance, Richard Patrick claims that, after fighting broke out in Larnaca in December 1963, about 100 Turkish Cypriots were forced from their homes and became displaced within the Turkish Cypriot quarter. During this fighting, Turkish Cypriots evacuated the villages of Anglisides(350), Alethriko(348), Anafotida(349) and Aplanda(344). Patrick also recorded that in 1971 there were still 150 Turkish Cypriot displaced persons residing in the Turkish Cypriot neighborhood of the city, and that this enclave comprised the quarters of Skala and Tuzla. He explains that both were strongly “fortified by Fighter positions” and both were in turn “surrounded by National Guard posts.”

On 20 July 1974, in response to the Turkish military offensive in the island, fierce fighting began in and around the Turkish quarter of the town. The quarter was attacked from all sides, and Turkish Cypriot Fighters returned fire. After twenty-fours hours and 79 casualties, the Turkish Cypriot Fighters surrendered, and all men of fighting age were taken as prisoners of war. Almost 900 men were held in empty school buildings for 66 days, before the prisoner exchange in which the men were released and sent to the north. While the men were being held hostage, many of their families attempted to escape to the north either by purchasing transit—an often dangerous enterprise—or by taking refuge in the British Sovereign Base Area. Others were escorted to the north by UNFICYP in August 1975. Most of the Turkish Cypriot displaced persons from Larnaca later settled in the Trikomo/Yeni İskele(198) town and vicinity, though many were also resettled in the Famagusta(140), Kyrenia(236) and Karavas/Alsancak(226). The total number of the Turkish Cypriots displaced from Larnaca in 1975 was approximately 4,500 (4,058 in the 1960 Cypriot census).

Current Inhabitants:

Currently the city is inhabited by the original Greek Cypriots of Larnaca and many displaced Greek Cypriots who fled from the north of the divide. Most of the empty Turkish houses were allocated for the use of these Greek Cypriot displaced families. Many refugee housing complexes also were constructed near the city by 1980. The last census of 2001 put Larnaca’s population at 46,666.   

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


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