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The village of Kormakiti is situated six and a half miles southeast of the cape of Kormakiti and four and a half miles northwest of Myrtou/Çamlıbel. Kormakiti is a Maronite village, the origin of which can be attributed to Maronite settlement on the island following the establishment of the Lusignan kingdom in Cyprus. Dandini cites it as one of the principal Maronite settlements in the late sixteenth century. Today there are but a few elderly villagers who still speak Kormakiti Arabic, a form of Arabic unique to this village. The origin of the name of the village is debated, but the most commonly accepted explanation traces the name to the village of Kour in Lebanon, from which the Kormakiti Maronites originated. After 1974, Turkish Cypriots invented the alternative name Koruçam, meaning “pine forest.” However, both names are still in use.
As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians constituted the sole inhabitants of this settlement. At the turn of the century, there were ten Muslim inhabitants in the village, although no Muslims appear in any census after 1931. The population steadily increased during the British period from 430 in 1891 to 1111 in 1960.
During and after the 1974 war, the majority of Kormakiti’s inhabitants remained in the village, with many continuing to reside in the village for some time. In November 1975 there were 979 Maronites (including those residing in Karpaseia and Asomatos villages) in the north. As of 20th August 1976, 974 Maronites continued to stay in their villages in the north, and of this number 813 were resident in Kormakiti. However, by 1980 their number had dropped to 500, mainly elderly, residents. In 1996 only 234 remained, while in 2005 their number was only 137 (average age of 70). Goodwin claims that the reasons for this steady exodus were mainly the problem of educating their children and the “rural claustrophobia” caused by the restricted movement enforced by the Turkish Cypriot authorities. Until the late 1990s, Maronite inhabitants of the village were not allowed to travel outside their own village without permission from the Turkish Cypriot police. In April 2003, these restrictions were removed.
Today in Kormakiti there are only 120 Maronites living permanently, since the rest of the inhabitants moved to the south. However, many Maronites still visit their village regularly to provide support to the mostly elderly persons still residing there. Since 2003, after the checkpoints opened, many also renovated their houses and even began to build new ones, primarily keeping them as weekend homes, since most persons from Kormakiti now reside in the city of Nicosia(074)
. Apart from the remaining Maronites, currently the village hosts some Turkish families who settled there in 1976. The 2006 census puts the village’s de jure population at 195 (including others), but during the weekends and the holiday months, the village’s population can go up to 1,000 because of visits from Kormakiti Maronites living elsewhere who have homes or relatives in the village.
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