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Agios Ioannis, or Ayyani (Turkish alternative until 1952), is a village located on the southwest foothills of the Troodos mountain range, thirty kilometers northeast of Paphos (Ktima) and four kilometers north of Salamiou. Agios Ioannis means “Saint John” in Greek. Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name of Aydın in 1952. It literally means “enlightened,” and is also the name of a town in western Turkey. Following the destruction of the neighboring village of Malounda in the 1953 earthquake, all of that village’s approximately 115 Turkish Cypriot inhabitants were resettled in Agios Ioannis. Later, the area that had been Malounda was also included within the boundaries of Agios Ioannis village.

Historical Population:

Although the Ottoman census of 1831 shows no Christians living in the village, Agios Ioannis always had one or two Greek Cypriot families until 1958. During the British period, the population of the village increased significantly. Following the arrival of the Malounda Turkish Cypriots after the 1953 Paphos earthquake, the population rose to 818 in the 1960 census from 591 recorded in 1946.


No one was displaced from this village during the emergency years of the 1950s, nor during the intercommunal strife of 1963-64. However, the village was one of the strongholds of the Turkish Cypriot Resistance Organization and served as a reception center for displaced Turkish Cypriots from nearby villages such as Geroskipou(306) and Galataria/Yoğurtcular(305). Most of these displaced persons stayed in Agios Ioannis until 1975. In 1971 Richard Patrick recorded the total population of the village as 1,150.

On 14 August 1974, after Fighters in Agios Ioannis refused to surrender their guns, the village was attacked by the Greek Cypriot armed forces. Turkish Cypriot Fighters defended the village for almost three days but eventually fled and sought refuge in the mountains. Greek Cypriot forces subsequently entered the village and this time the Turkish Cypriot Fighters surrendered their guns. Following this event, most of the inhabitants of Agios Ioannis secretly fled over the mountains to the Turkish-controlled part of the island or to the Akrotiri British Sovereign Base Area.

By the time the Vienna agreement was signed, almost 700 people from Agios Ioannis had made their way to the northern part of the divide. Eventually the remaining approximately 200 original inhabitants of Agios Ioannis were escorted by UNFICYP on 18 August 1975 to the northern part of the divide. Almost all of the Turkish Cypriots from Agios Ioannis were resettled in the village of Zodeia/Bostancı(047), although some were also given houses in other villages, such as Karavas/Alsancak(226), Gerollakos/Alayköy(037) and in the towns of Nicosia(074), Kyrenia(236), Famagusta(140) and Morphou(072). The number of the Agios Ioannis/Aydın Turkish Cypriots who were displaced after 1974 was around 1,100 (1,065 in 1973).

Current Inhabitants:

After the departure of the Turkish Cypriots, Agios Ioannis/Aydın village was used for the settlement of displaced Greek Cypriots from the northern part of the divide. However, after the initial settlement, many of the displaced Greek Cypriots preferred to leave the village and settle elsewhere or use the houses in the village as weekend homes. The 2001 census recorded only 33 people still permanently living there.  

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


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