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Askeia or Assia or Asha is a large village in the Famagusta district
, located sixkilometers northwest of Vatili/Vadili(201)
and two kilometers east of Afanteia/Gaziköy(112)
village.The origin of the name is obscure. According to some Greek Cypriots, the name derived from the Greek word “askia,” meaning “without any shade.” On the other hand, Turkish Cypriots claim that the name is the corrupted version of the Turkish word “paşa,” meaning “military general.” Because the Turkish version of the village’s name, Paşa köy, has also been in use for centuries, it is very hard to tell which claim is correct. However, the Greek Cypriot scholar Menardos insists that, during the Lusignan period, the name of the village was already “Ashia.”
As can be seen from the chart above, Assia had been a mixed village since the Ottoman period, and all censuses show a significant Greek Cypriot majority. In the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) made up almost 62% of the population. This percentage increased during the first decades of the British occupation, rising to 87.7% in 1891. During the first half of the 20th century while the Christian (Greek Cypriot) population increased further, the Muslim population stagnated. In the 1946 census, the Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted only 6% of the population. This percentage had been almost 13% in 1891.
In 1958, due to intercommunal strife, all the Turkish Cypriots of the village fled and took refuge in nearby villages such as Afanteia/Gaziköy(112), and later in Nicosia. While some were relocated back to Assia/Paşaköy after 1974, many remained where they had taken refuge in 1958 or resettled in other locations, particularly in cities. The number of the displaced Turkish Cypriots in 1958 could be estimated to be around 150, since its Turkish Cypriot population was 136 in 1946.
All the Greek Cypriots of Assia were displaced in August 1974. Currently, like the rest of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Assia are scattered throughout the island’s south with a large pocket in Nicosia. The displaced population of Ashia could be estimated to be around 2,750, since its Greek Cypriot population was 2,734 in 1973.
It is also important to note that Assia has the largest number of Greek Cypriot missing persons from the 1974 war. A total of 105 persons are still listed as missing after having last been seen in Assia, the largest number for any single location in Cyprus.
Apart from the original Turkish Cypriots of Assia who returned after 1974, the village was mainly repopulated by displaced Turkish Cypriots from villages such as Evretou/Dereboyu(300)
, Trimithousa Chrysochou/Uzunmeşe(341)
in the Paphos district. There are also some families from Turkey who were settled in the village in 1976, mainly from the Adana and Gaziantep provinces. The 2006 census puts the village’s population at 1,929.
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