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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.”
Historical Population:

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).

Current Inhabitants:

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.   

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