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Avlona is a village located twelve kilometers southeast of Morphou/Güzelyurt. The village is situated immediately north of the Green Line. Avlona means “large yard” in Greek. Turkish Cypriots changed the name to Gayretköy in 1975. Gayretköy literally means “village of eagerness.”
As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted the sole inhabitants of the village. However, the village had a tiny Turkish Cypriot minority between 1891 and 1931. By 1946, all the Turkish Cypriots with the exception of one family had left the village and moved to Akaki(013). In 1960, there were no Turkish Cypriots living in the village. Throughout the British period, the Greek Cypriot population of the village increased significantly, from 149 in 1891 to 524 in 1960.
In August 1974, all the Greek Cypriots of the village fled from the advancing Turkish army. Currently, like many of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Avlona are scattered throughout the island’s south, with large pockets in towns. The number of the Avlona Greek Cypriots who were displaced in 1974 was approximately 690 (684 in the 1973 census).
After the 1974 war, a very small number of displaced Turkish Cypriot settled in Avlona. However, the village was primarily used for the settlement of Turkish nationals in 1975. Majority of the males who settled in the village were demobilized Turkish soldiers who participated in the 1974 Turkish military offensive (many of them married to the local Turkish Cypriot girls). They came from very different locations in Anatolia, but primarily from Akcaabat, Kars, Muş, Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Çorum, and Bitlis. According to the 2006 Turkish Cypriot census, the population of the village was 367.
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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- 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.
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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.
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- 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