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The village of Nisou is located in the Nicosia district, twenty kilometers south of the capital city of Nicosia and four kilometers west of Dali. The name etymologically derives from the word “nisi,” meaning “island”. According to Goodwin, the village acquired this name because it was historically situated between two channels of the Gialias river, one of which was flowing until recently. The village was mixed until 1964. The Turkish Cypriot name of the village is Dizdarköy, and it has been in use since the Ottoman period. Dizdar means “guard” in Turkish, and the village appears to have acquired this name because of the Turkish Cypriot claim that the guards of the Ottoman governor of Cyprus resided in the village during the Ottoman period. 
Historical Population:

Throughout the British period and until 1964, the village was mixed. It is likely that the village was mixed from a much earlier date. Although the Ottoman census of 1831 records Christians (Greek Cypriots) as constituting the sole population of the village, this may have been an error in the records, since only five decades later, in the 1891 British census, Turkish Cypriots made up almost 50% of the population. Moreover, the 1831 Ottoman census also records the village’s Turkish name. Throughout the twentieth century, while the Greek Cypriot population increased steadily, the Turkish Cypriot population fluctuated and eventually declined. In 1960, the Turkish Cypriot share of the population had fallen to 23%.


The first conflict-related displacement took place during the intercommunal disturbances in 1964. In January 1964, all the Turkish Cypriots of the village fled and sought refuge in other villages solely controlled by Turkish Cypriots, such as Louroujina/Akıncıları(063) and Goshi/Üç Şehitler(354) villages. Although the houses of the Nisou/Dizdarköy Turkish Cypriots were destroyed after they left the village, Richard Patrick writes that in 1968 the government began repairing many of these homes to encourage the displaced persons’ return. However, Patrick noted that in 1971 the Turkish Cypriots had still not returned, and according to the1973 census only 11 persons had returned. After 1974, all the Turkish Cypriots of Nisou were evacuated and resettled in the northern part of the divide. Currently, most of the Turkish Cypriots of Nisou/Dizdarköy are scattered around north Cyprus with a concentration in Argaki/Akçay(020).

Current Inhabitants:

Today the village is mainly inhabited by its original Greek Cypriot villagers and some displaced Greek Cypriots from the north. Apart from some of the Turkish Cypriot houses which were allocated to displaced Greek Cypriots after the1974 war, considerable refugee housing has been built in areas north and south of the village. The 2001 census put the village’s population at 1,323.


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