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Psilatos, or Psyllatos, is a Turkish Cypriot village situated in the north Mesaoria/Mesarya plain, and is located five kilometers west of Lefkoniko/Geçitkale. The meaning of the name is obscure. According to Mas Latrie, the village may have come from the proper name “Psilo,” the presumed medieval owner of the fiefdom where the village is located. It may also have been, as Goodwin suggests, that the name was adopted by this local lord from a Greek word, such as “flea” (psillos) or “tall man” (psilos). In the past, Turkish Cypriots called the village İpsillad, and according to Turkish Cypriot accounts the name derives from the Greek word for flea because of a persistent problem with fleas in the area. In 1958 Turkish Cypriots changed the name to Sütlüce, meaning “milky.”
As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted the sole inhabitants of the village. Throughout the British period the village was still solely inhabited by Turkish Cypriots, apart from a handful of Greek Cypriots who appear in the records for short periods of time. During the first half of the 20th century, the village’s population steadly increased, from 361 in 1901 to 457 in 1931, after which growth stagnated. The village’s population was 455 in 1960.
From its original population no one was displaced; however, the village served as a transitory reception centre for displaced Turkish Cypriots in 1964. In 1971, political geographer Richard Patrick recorded twelve displaced persons living in the village. From 1964 to 1974, Psyllatos/Sütlüce was administratively part of the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Chatos/Serdarlı(144). Patrick estimated the village’s 1971 population at 480.
Currently the village is primarily inhabited by its original villagers. After 1974, those displaced persons who had taken refuge in Psyllatos/Sütlüce returned to their villages, and gradually the youth began to migrate to find jobs in the cities and abroad. As a result, the village’s population experienced a considerable decline, from 480 in 1971 to 336 in 1996. The 2006 Turkish Cypriot population puts the village’s population at 349.
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.
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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.
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- 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.
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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.
- 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.
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- Yorgancıoğlu, Oğuz: Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Yer Adları ve Veriliş Yöntemleri Üzerine Bir Araştırma Kıbrıs Araştırmaları Dergisi, Cilt : 2, Sayı : 3, Yıl : 96