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Prodromi was once a small village that has now become a suburb of Polis town. It is situated at the northwest end of the island at the centre of Chrysochou bay, on the edge of the Akamas
peninsula. The name Prodromi derives from Agios Ioannis Prodhromos (Saint John the Forerunner). In 1958 Turkish Cypriots changed the village’s name to Karşıyaka, meaning “opposite bank.”
Prodromi was a mixed village until 1964. As can be seen from the chart above, in the British census of 1891, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted 81% of the population and hence the clear majority. However, the third British census of 1901 shows that at the end of the 19th century the percentage of Turkish Cypriots in the village slightly increased, bringing down the Greek portion to 73%. The 1960 census put the Greek Cypriot share of the population at almost 75%.
No one was displaced during the emergency years of the late 1950s. The first displacement took place during the intercommunal conflict that began in late 1963. On 14 February 1964, Greek Cypriot forces attacked the Turkish quarters of Prodromi village after the Turkish Cypriot Fighters refused to surrender their guns. This led the Turkish Cypriots of Prodromi to seek refuge in Polis(332), where they were besieged in the Turkish Cypriot secondary school. This situation remained basically unchanged until 1968. By the time Richard Patrick visited the area in 1971, the Polis(332) and Prodromi Turkish Cypriots had slightly increased their area and built some refugee housing, but Patrick still describes it as an overcrowded space: “The Turkish sector of Polis(332) has been reduced to a very small congested strip of land astride the Polis-Ktima highway. The quarter measures a few hundred yards square.” He also reported that 70% of the population living in this small enclave consisted of displaced persons from Polis(332) and Prodromi.
The situation continued with little improvement until July 1974, when in reaction to the Turkish military offensive in the north Greek Cypriot forces launched another attack on the Turkish Cypriot quarter when the Turkish Cypriots refused to surrender their guns. The fighting continued for one day. Eventually, most of the Turkish Cypriot Fighters fled the quarter and sought refuge in nearby Pelathousa(330) village. Following the ceasefire agreement in late August, some civilians also fled Polis, seeking refuge first in the nearby village of Gialia(307) and later crossing the mountains to go to the north. The rest of the Prodromi Turkish Cypriots who were enclaved in the village had to wait until 22 August 1975 to be evacuated under escort of UNFICYP and taken to the north of the divide. They were mainly resettled in towns, including Morphou/Güzelyurt(072), Famagusta(140), Kyrenia(236) and Nicosia(074). The number of Prodromi Turkish Cypriots who were displaced after 1974 was around 150 (129 in the 1960 census).
Today, Prodromi is a suburb of Polis and is mainly occupied by its original Greek Cypriot inhabitants and some displaced Greek Cypriots from the island’s north. According to the 2001 census, there were 585 persons residing in the Prodromi suburb of Polis, including Latsi villlage. In recent years, many foreign workers from eastern Europe, most working in the construction and tourism sectors, have also taken up residence here.
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.
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- 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.
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- Mavrogordato, Alexander (1901), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1901, taken on the 1st April, 1901,” Nicosia: Government Printing Office.
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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.
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- 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