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Choulou, or Hulu, is a village in the southeast foothills of the Troodos mountain range, located twenty kilometers northeast of Paphos (Ktima) and two kilometers north of Lemona. The origin of the name is obscure. From the Ottoman period until 1964, the village was inhabited by both communities. Turkish Cypriots did not adopt an alternative name.
Choulou was always a mixed village with a Christian (Greek Cypriot) majority. As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted almost 70% of the population. This ratio slightly increased to 77% in 1891, almost fifteen years after the British arrived in the island. By the end of the first half of the 20th century, the Greek Cypriot proportion of the population increased much more, until it reached almost 86%.
On 3 February 1964, due to rising tension in the village, all the Turkish Cypriot families evacuated Choulou in the evening and sought refuge in Pitargou/Akkargı(331) village. However, on 6 February 1964, Greek Cypriot forces laid siege to Pitargou. After some deliberation amongst themselves, the Pitargou(331) villagers and the displaced Turkish Cypriots from Choulou decided to seek refuge in Axylou(297) village, believing that joining together with the Axylou Fighters would enable them better to defend themselves. Although many of the Choulou Turkish Cypriots remained in Axylou(297) until 1975, overcrowding forced others to seek refuge in other locations, such as Mandria/Yeşilova(322), Stavrokonnou/Aydoğan(338), and Paphos(329).
All the Choulou displaced Turkish Cypriots remained in these locations until 1975, when they fled to the island’s north. According to some villagers, many of them left secretly over the mountains to the north, while others found refuge in the Akrotiri Sovereign British Base Area until they were transferred to north Cyprus via Turkey. Those who stayed behind in the villages were eventually escorted by UNFICYP to the northern part of the divide on 30 August 1975. They were mainly resettled in Lapithos/Lapta(237), Karavas/Alsancak(236), Lysi/Akdoğan(167), Nicosia(074) and Famagusta(140). The number of Choulou Turkish Cypriots who were displaced after 1974 was around 130-140 (119 in 1960 census).
Because Choulou’s Turkish Cypriot houses were destroyed in 1964 and therefore unusable after the island’s division, no displaced Greek Cypriots from the northern part of the divide were settled in the village. As a result, the village is currently occupied only by its original Greek Cypriot inhabitants. Over the last couple of decades, many young people have begun leaving the village and migrating to urban areas in search of a better future. Because of this new movement, the population of the village has declined significantly. According to the 2001 census, there were only 191 persons living in the village (521 in 1976).
Books and Reports:
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