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Arsos is a village located in the Larnaca district of the Republic of Cyprus, and in the Nicosia district of the north (since 1974). It is situated in the south Mesaoria/Mesarya plain, three kilometers northeast of Tremetousha/Edremit. Goodwin suggests that the name of the village might derive from “alsos,” meaning “small forest” in Greek. Turkish Cypriots call the village Arçoz (Archos). However, they also adopted the alternative name Yiğitler in 1975. Yiğitler means “brave young men.” Until 1974, the village was mixed, inhabited by Greek and Turkish Cypriots.


Historical Population:

Arsos had always been a mixed village. As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, the population of the village was evenly shared by both communities. However, in 1891 the Turkish Cypriot proportion increased significantly from 50% to 63%. Throughout the British period, apart from the1960 census, the Turkish Cypriot share of the village’s population was slightly greater than that of the Greek Cypriots. However, in 1960, the Greek Cypriot proportion of the population was recorded to be more (almost 52%).


During 1963-64 events no one was displaced from the village. However the village’s Turkish Cypriot sector became part of the Mora/Meriç(071) military enclave. This neighborhood served as a reception center for displaced Turkish Cypriots. Richard Patrick recorded 14 displaced Turkish Cypriots still living in the village in 1971. The first conflict-related displacement took place in 1974 when all the Greek Cypriots of Arsos fled the village from the advancing Turkish army. Currently, like many displaced Greek Cypriots, they are scattered around south Cyprus with large pockets in towns.

Current Inhabitants:

Today Arsos/Yiğitler is mainly inhabited by its original Turkish Cypriot villagers. The last census of 2006 puts the total population of the village at 310.


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