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Akanthou or Akathou is a village near the north coast of the Karpasia/Karpaz peninsula, located six miles southwest of Phlamoudi and eight miles north of Lefkoniko/Geçitkale village. The name Akanthou possibly derives from the Greek word anghati, meaning “thorny.” According to Jack Goodwin, Akanthus is also the name of a bush which grows only in the Levant. In 1975, Turkish Cypriots renamed the village Tatlısu, after a village from which some of its current inhabitants derive. Tatlısu was the alternative Turkish name of the village of Mari/Tatlısu(363) in the Larnaca district of south Cyprus, meaning “sweet water.”
Historical Population:

As can be seen from the chart above, Akanthou was always predominantly inhabited by Greek Cypriots. In the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians constituted almost 96% of the population. Thirteen years after the British occupation, the same percentage prevailed (96.6% in 1891). During the first half of the 20th century, while the Greek Cypriot population increased steadily, the small Muslim population declined further, dropping drastically from 63 persons in 1891 to only 8 in 1946. By 1960 there were no Turkish Cypriots left in the village.


All the Greek Cypriots of Akanthou were displaced in August 1974. They fled from the advancing Turkish army to the southern parts of the island. Currently, like the rest of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Akanthou are scattered throughout the island’s south with large pockets in the cities. The displaced population of Akanthou can be estimated to be around 1,300, since its Greek Cypriot population was 1,294 in 1973.

Current Inhabitants:

After 1974 and the flight of its Greek Cypriot villagers, Akanthou/Tatlısu was initially repopulated by displaced Turkish Cypriots from Mari/Tatlısu(363) village in the Larnaca district. However, due to the village’s relative distance from the cities, most of these displaced Turkish Cypriots asked to be resettled nearer to a city. When, in 1976, the Greek Cypriots of Belapais(214) were transferred to the south side of the Green Line, most of the Mari/Tatlısu(363) villagers relocated to Belapais(214). Eventually, about 100 Turkish Cypriots of an original 700 from Mari/Tatlısu(363) ended up settling in Akanthou village. After the departure of the Mari/Tatlısu(363) villagers in 1976, Akanthou was again repopulated, but this time by landless peasants from Turkey. They mainly arrived from places such as the Konya, Adana, Araklı, Osmaniye, Çaykara, Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep districts and provinces of Turkey. In addition, over the last ten years, many Europeans and some Turkish Cypriots from elsewhere in the island have also bought property, built houses, and settled in the vicinity of the village. The 2006 Turkish Cypriot census put the village’s population at 1,160. This number can easily go up to 2000 during the holiday seasons  

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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