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Gialia or Yialia is a village in the Paphos district, located twelve kilometers northeast of Polis, five kilometers northeast of Argaka, and three kilometers from Chrysochou bay. Goodwin claims that the original name of the village was Eyialia, meaning “near the coast” in ancient Greek. In 1958, the Turkish Cypriots of the village adopted the alternative name Yayla, meaning “high plateau.” They probably chose this name because of its similarity to the Greek original.
Historical Population:

As may be seen from the chart above, Gialia was a predominantly Turkish Cypriot village from the Ottoman period. Greek Cypriots do not appear in the census records until 1891. Although the Greek Cypriot population steadily increased for some time, their was a considerable decrease in the middle of the 20th century, dropping from 88 in 1931 to 10 in 1946. The remainder of the Greek Cypriots left the village in 1958.


Apart from one Greek Cypriot family, no one was displaced from this village during the emergency years of the late 1950s, nor during the intercommunal violence of 1963-64. However, the village became an important stronghold of Turkish Cypriot Fighters and received displaced Turkish Cypriots from nearby villages such as Kato Gialia and Polis. Richard Patrick recorded 31 displaced Turkish Cypriots still residing in Gialia/Yayla village in 1971. He also put the total population at 750.

During the 1974 war, Gialia was one of the five Paphos villages that did not surrender to Greek Cypriot forces. It continued to function as a Turkish Cypriot enclave until 19 August 1975, and the departure of the Gialia Turkish Cypriots took place in three phases. In January 1975, almost 50 Gialia villagers fled secretly over the mountains to the island’s north, by then under Turkish control. In the second phase, 87 persons, mostly elderly or injured, were transferred to the north under Red Cross or UNFICYP escort on various dates. In the final phase, the remaining 509 villagers were evacuated en masse under UNFICYP escort on 19 August 1975 and subsequently transferred to the northern part of the divide. They were mainly resettled in Syrianochori/Yayla(098) in the Morphou/Güzelyurt area. Some of them were also resettled in the towns of Famagusta(140) and Morphou(072). The number of the original Gialia Turkish Cypriots who were displaced from the village after 1974 was around 650 (610 in 1960 census).

Current Inhabitants:

After the departure of the Gialia/Yayla Turkish Cypriots, the village was used for the settlement of some displaced Greek Cypriots from the island’s north. A few Turkish Cypriot homes have also been renovated by Greek Cypriots as summer residences. The 2001 census put the total population of the village at 142.  

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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