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Axylou is a village located on the southwest foothills of the Troodos Range, fifteen kilometers east of Paphos (Ktima) and immediately southwest of deserted village Eledio. Goodwin suggests that Axylou might mean “without wood” in Greek. Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name of Aksu in 1958. It literally means “white water.” Before 1953 the village was situated almost one kilometer west of its current location. Due to an earthquake that hit the region in 1953, the old village of Axylou was severely damaged. Following the earthquake, the government (British) decided to move the village to its current location, where it built prefabricated houses for the displaced villagers. Interestingly, during this period the government also built some extra houses for the approximately 35 Turkish Cypriots of the neighboring village of Eledio and encouraged them to move to the newly built Axylou rather than rebuilding their lives in their former mixed village.
Although the Ottoman census of 1831 shows no Christians living in the village, the village always had one or two Greek Cypriot families living there. During the British period, the population of the village constantly fluctuated. However, following the arrival of Eledio Turkish Cypriots in 1953 and the Turkish Cypriots who fled the mixed village of Amargeti in 1958, the population of the village increased significantly from 152 in 1946 to 237 in 1960.
No one was displaced from this village during the emergency years of the 1950s, but as explained above it served as a reception center for displaced Turkish Cypriots from Amargeti. Again, no one was displaced during the intercommunal strife of 1963-64. However, the village continued to serve as an important reception center for displaced Turkish Cypriots who fled nearby villages such as Pitargou/Akkargı(331), Kourtaka/Kurtağa(313), Lempa/Çıralı(31) and Choulou/Hulu(298). Many of the displaced persons stayed there until 1975. In 1971, Richard Patrick recorded 97 displaced persons still living in Axylou, excluding the earlier displaced Amargeti Turkish Cypriots (1958). He also noted that the total population of the village in 1971 was 345. After the division of the island in 1974, the village was evacuated in two different phases. Some left secretly over the mountains to the Turkish-controlled north or to the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, from where they were taken to the north via Turkey in January 1975. The remaining 185 persons were eventually escorted by UNFICYP on 30 August 1975 to the northern part of the divide. They were mainly resettled in Komi Kebir/Büyük Konuk(155), Lapithos/Lapta(237), and Karavas/Alsancak(226) in the Kyrenia district, Varosha in Famagusta(140) and the town of Morphou(072). The number of Turkish Cypriots originally from Axylou/Aksu who were displaced after 1974 was around 200-250 (236 in 1960 census).
After the departure of the Turkish Cypriots, Axylou/Aksu village was used for the settlement of displaced Greek Cypriots from the northern part of the divide. However, Goodwin claims that after the initial settlement, many of the displaced Greek Cypriots preferred to leave the village and settle closer to the cities and towns. The 2001 census recorded only 46 people still living in the village.
Books and Reports:
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