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Agios Thomas (Aytuma for Turkish Cypriots) is a village situated in the Limassol district, four kilometers northwest of Avdimou and two kilometers south of Anogyra. Ayios Thomas means “Saint Thomas” in Greek. Until 1958, the Turkish Cypriot alternative name of the village was Aytuma. However, in 1958, they adopted another alternative name, Mersinli, literally meaning “place with Mersin trees” in Turkish.
As can be seen in the above chart, Agios Thomas/Mersinli had been a Turkish Cypriot village from the Ottoman period. Throughout the British period, the population of the village increased significantly, rising from 99 persons in 1891 to 214 in 1960.
No one was displaced from this village during the 1950s emergency years, nor during the inter-communal fighting of 1963-64. However, in 1964, the village served as a reception center for displaced Turkish Cypriot families who fled the nearby villages of Prastio/Çeliktaş(279) and Gerovasa/Yerovası(264). Richard Patrick recorded 24 displaced Turkish Cypriots still living in the village in 1971. The first conflict-related displacement from Agios Thomas/Mersinli took place in late July 1974, when the village’s Turkish Cypriot population fled to the Akrotiri British Base Area. They stayed there until January 1975, when the entire village was transferred via Turkey to the northern part of the island and resettled mainly in Kontea/Türkmenköy(156) village of the Famagusta district. The total number of displaced Turkish Cypriots from Agios Thomas/Mersinli can be estimated to be 240-250 (214 in the 1960 census).
Currently the village is mainly inhabited by a small number of displaced Greek Cypriots from the island’s north (mainly from Karpasia peninsula). The last Cypriot census of 2001 put the total population at only 29.
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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- 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.
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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.
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- 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.
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- Yorgancıoğlu, Oğuz: Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Yer Adları ve Veriliş Yöntemleri Üzerine Bir Araştırma Kıbrıs Araştırmaları Dergisi, Cilt : 2, Sayı : 3, Yıl : 96