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Elea, or Elia, is situated on the northern slopes of the western part of the Five Finger mountains, only a mile southeast of Karavas/Alsancak and five miles west of the town of Kyrenia. Elea was always exclusively inhabited by Greek Cypriots. The name means “olive tree” in Greek. However, in 1975 the village’s name was changed by Turkish Cypriots to “Yeşiltepe,” meaning “green hill” in Turkish.
As can be seen from the chart above, the village was always inhabited exclusively by Greek Cypriots. During the first half of the 20th century its population increased substantially from 31 in 1901 to 61 in 1946.
All of the village’s inhabitants were displaced in July 1974, as they fled from the advancing Turkish army. Currently, like the rest of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Elia are scattered throughout the island’s south. The displaced population of Elia can be estimated to be around 95-100, since its Greek Cypriot population was 94 in 1973.
Following the displacement of the Greek Cypriot inhabitants of the village in 1974, Elia was repopulated by displaced Turkish Cypriots from Paphos and some families from different parts of Turkey (the majority from Akçaabat and Çarşamba). Over the last twenty years, many European citizens and wealthy Turkish Cypriots from elsewhere in the island’s north have bought property and built summer houses here. The 2006 census puts the de jure population of the village at 290, but during the holiday seasons this number can go up to well over 500.
Books and Reports:
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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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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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- 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.
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- 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