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Trapeza village is situated on the northern slopes of the Five Finger mountains just below the Five Finger peak that gives its name to the Kyrenia range. It is located almost twenty kilometers west of Kyrenia town and three kilometers west of Klepini/Arapköy village. This small village was through most of its history exclusively inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. Some of the local Turkish Cypriots claim that the name Trapeza is a corrupted version of Trabzon, which is a city on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. However, a better explanation would seem to be that the name comes from the Greek trapeza
, which means table, just like the landscape where the village was built. Turkish Cypriots invented an alternative name, Teknecik in 1959. However, in the late 1970s, the village was renamed “Beşparmak,” meaning Five Finger. This no doubt derives from the village’s location just beneath the Five Finger peak.
According to the 1891 census, only four houses were inhabited and the total population was only 22, two of whom were Christians and 20 who were Muslims. Since both of the Christians were females, we can speculate that these two persons were married to Turkish Cypriots of the village. Interestingly in 1911 the Christian population of the village increased to 15 persons, constituting almost 20% of the total population. However, Christians vanish from Trapeza’s census records in 1921, as this census shows that the village was again exclusively inhabited by Muslims. Although the number of residents increased to 107 by 1946, there was a sharp decline in 1960, when the recorded population dropped to 79 (all Turkish Cypriots).
Due to intercommunal strife, in January 1964 all Trapeza Turkish Cypriots (around 90) fled from he village and took refuge in Kazafani/Ozanköy(229) village. However, in early March 1964 the National Guard attacked the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Kazafani(229) village. When a ceasefire was arranged, almost 40% of the Turkish Cypriots left the village, as well as all the displaced persons of Trapeza. Many of them were moved to the camps in Agirda/Ağırdağ(211) and Boghaz(215). However, beginning in 1972-3 some of the Turkish Cypriots of Trapeza returned to their village. Although some villagers continued to return after 1974, more chose to settle in Klepini village in abandoned Greek Cypriot houses, as their own homes had been destroyed during the previous decade.
Currently the village is mainly inhabited by some of its original villagers. However, during the last ten years, many Turkish Cypriots from Nicosia and some Turkish Cypriot returnees from United Kingdom have also bought property and built summer houses in the vicinity of 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