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Prastio or Prastio-Evdhimou is a village in the Limassol district, situated on the southern foothills of the Troodos mountain range, almost four kilometers north of Avdimou. The origin of the name of the village is obscure. In 1958 Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name Çeliktaş, literally meaning “rock of steel.”
As can be seen in the above chart, Prastio/Çeliktaş was a mixed village with a Greek Cypriot majority from the Ottoman period. The Greek Cypriot portion of the population increased from 52% in1831 to 66% in 1960. The total population of the village also increased significantly throughout the British period, rising from 125 persons in 1891 to 342 in 1960.
No one was displaced during the emergency years of the late 1950s but all the Turkish Cypriots fled the village during the intercommunal strife of 1963-64. They first sought refuge in the village of Malia/Bağlarbaşı(270) on 21 January 1964. However, following the Greek Cypriot attack on Malia on 9 March 1964, they fled on 11 March along with the Malia Turkish Cypriots and other displaced Turkish Cypriots from Kidasi(310), a village in the Paphos district, who had also taken refuge in Malia. The Prastio Turkish Cypriots were then scattered, as they sought refuge in several villages, namely, Avdimou/Düzkaya(260), Agios Thomas/Mersinli(255), Paramali/Çayönü(274) and Platanisteia/Çamlıca(276). They stayed in these locations until 1974. In July 1974, together with the other Turkish Cypriots from the above-named villages they fled to the Sovereign British Areas of Akrotiri and in January-February 1975 were all evacuated to north Cyprus via Turkey. The total number of displaced Turkish Cypriots from Prastio/Çeliktaş can be estimated to be 120-130 (115 in the 1960 census).
Currently the village is mainly inhabited by its original Greek Cypriot inhabitants. The last Cypriot census of 2001 put the total population at 223.
Books and Reports:
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