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Agios Vasileios is a village located in the Nicosia district, twenty kilometers northwest of the capital city of Nicosia and two kilometers southeast of Skylloura/Yılmazköy. Agios Vasileios means Saint Vassilis or Saint Basil. Until 1964, the village was mixed, inhabited by Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Prior to 1975, Turkish Cypriots did not adopt an alternative name for the village and call the village Ayvasıl.. It was renamed Türkeli in 1975, meaning “country of Turks.”
Historical Population:

Agios Vasileios had always been a mixed village. As may be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted a slight majority of the population (56%). In 1891, their percentage increased to 75%. Throughout the British period, while the Greek Cypriot population increased steadily, the Turkish Cypriot population tended to stagnate. By 1960, the Greek Cypriot proportion of the population had risen to 80%.


The first conflict-related displacement took place in 1963. In December 1963, after several of the village’s Turkish Cypriots were killed by Greek Cypriot radical elements, the remaining Agios Vasileios Turkish Cypriots fled to more secure Turkish Cypriot villages such as Fota/Dağyolu(221), Geunyeli(038) and Ortakeuy(080). The number of those who were displaced was around 120 (at least 21 were killed), going by the figures of the 1960 census. Even though the Cyprus government repaired eight of the houses in 1969, none of the Turkish Cypriots from this village returned. Currently, the Turkish Cypriots of Agios Vasileios are scattered around north Cyprus, with a large pocket in the city of Nicosia. They have not been able to return to their houses due to the occupation of the village by the Turkish army since 1974.

The second conflict-related displacement occurred in 1974 when all the Greek Cypriots of the village fled from the advancing Turkish army and sought refuge in the south. Currently, the Greek Cypriots of Agios Vasileios are scattered around south Cyprus, with a large pocket in the city of Nicosia.

Current Inhabitants:

Today the village is used as a Turkish military camp.  

Books and Reports: