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Agios Theodoros or Aytotoro (for Turkish Cypriots) is a village located in the Karpasia/Karpaz peninsula
, situated on the main road between Trikomo
/Yeni İskele and Rizokarpaso
/Dipkarpaz. Agios Theodoros means “Saint Theodore” in Greek. There are many villages with the same name in various locations in Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots adopted an alternative Turkish name, Otluk or “pasture,” in 1958, but in 1975 they renamed the village again, choosing the name Çayırova, meaning “pastureland.”
As may be seen from the chart above, Agios Theodoros was always a mixed village, and census records always show a Greek majority. In the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians constituted approximately 52% of the population. However, this percentage increased considerably to 79% in the first decades of the British period. During the first half of the 20th century, while the Christian (Greek Cypriot) population continued to increase steadily, the Muslim population declined. In the 1946 census, Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted only 8% of the population, a drop from 21% in 1891. The Turkish Cypriot population continued to decline until independence. The 1960 census put the Turkish Cypriot population at only 2%.
In 1958, due to intercommunal strife, all the Turkish Cypriots from this village fled and took refuge in nearby villages. After the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, only 23 of the approximately 80 Turkish Cypriots of Agios Theodoros chose to return to the village. The rest stayed where they had sought refuge in 1958 or resettled in other locations, mainly in the cities. As soon as news of the first Nicosia fighting reached the village in December 1963, all the Turkish Cypriots who came back after 1960 fled the village and sought refuge in Galateia/Mehmetcik(144) and Livadia/Sazlıköy(166) villages. They stayed in those locations until 1974.
Most of the Greek Cypriots of Agios Theodoros were displaced in August 1974, although 30 remained in the village until October 1975. By December 1976, all but five of the villagers had left for the southern part of the divide. There were no Greek Cypriots remaining in Agios Theodoros/Çayırova by December 1981.
Apart from a small number of the village’s original Turkish Cypriot population who chose to return after 1974, the village now is home to many displaced Turkish Cypriots from Lefkara(362)
villages and the city of Larnaca. In addition, a small number of families from the nearby Turkish Cypriot village of Ayios Evstathios/Zeybekköy(119)
and some families from Turkey also settled in the village in 1976-77. The 2006 census puts the village’s population at 430.
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