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Tokhni is a village situated in the Larnaca district, eight kilometers southwest of Kofinou/Geçitkale and two kilometers northwest of Psematismenos. Throughout most of its history this village was inhabited by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The origin of the name is obscure. In 1958 Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name of Taşkent, meaning “city made of rocks.”
As can be seen in the above chart, the village had a mixed population from the Ottoman period. During the British period, the population was almost always evenly divided between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, with Turkish Cypriots in a slight majority. During this period, the total population of the village increased significantly, rising from 461 in 1891 to 843 in 1960.
No one was displaced during the intercommunal tension of the late 1950s, nor during the intercommunal fighting of 1963-4. However, the village’s Turkish Cypriot quarter was sealed off by Turkish Cypriot Fighters in December 1963 and became part of the Kofinou/Geçitkale enclave, controlled by those Fighters. In April 1964 there were clashes between the two communities but no one was displaced. The village during this period was also an important reception area for displaced Turkish Cypriot families. Richard Patrick recorded 55 Turkish Cypriot displaced persons still living in the village in 1971. Those who sought refuge in Tochni came mainly from nearby mixed and Turkish Cypriot villages such as Pyrga/Çamlıbel(372), Kalavasos(355) and Maroni(364).
On July 20 Greek Cypriot military forces took control of the village. On 14 August, all the Turkish Cypriot males of fighting age from the village were put on buses to be taken to a POW camp. However, some of the Greek Cypriot soldiers diverged from the official route and took their passengers to an unknown area, killing all of them. Eighty-nine people died and only one survived. After this incident, all the Turkish Cypriots remaining in the village, mainly women and children, fled to the Turkish-controlled north of the divide. A few remaining Turkish Cypriots who had been unable to flee were evacuated by UNFICYP in November 1974 and taken to the north. Most of the Turkish Cypriots of Tochni were resettled in Vounos/Taşkent(254) village in the Kyrenia district, renaming it Taşkent after the Turkish alternative name of Tokhni.
Currently the village is mainly inhabited by its original Greek Cypriot villagers. There are also a few displaced Greek Cypriots living in the former Turkish Cypriot neighborhood of the village. The last Cypriot census of 2001 put the total population at 322.
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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- Giray, Halil: KKTC Yerleşim Birimleri, Yürürlükteki ve Eski İsimler Listesi KKTC İskân Bakanlığı : KKTC Coğrafi İsimler Kataloğu : (Cilt – I and II), Lefkoşa.
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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.
- 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.
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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.
- 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