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Palaikythro is a village located in the middle of the Mesaoria/Mesarya Plain, six kilometers south of Kythrea/Değirmenlik. Palaikythro means “old Kythrea” in Greek. In 1959, Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name Balıkesir, probably taken from a town of the same name in western Anatolia. At the same time, the Turkish alternative name resembles the Greek one in sound and pronunciation. Until 1964, the village was mixed, inhabited by Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
As can be seen from the chart above, the village was always mixed. In the Ottoman census of 1831, Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted a slight majority of the population at 59%. However, in 1891 their percentage decreased significantly to 32%. Throughout the British period, while the Greek Cypriot population increased steadily, the Turkish Cypriot population fluctuated. Four years before the departure of the Turkish Cypriots from the village in 1964, the Greek Cypriot share of the village’s population was at 77.4%.
The first conflict-related displacement occurred in January 1964, when all the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Palaikythro fled the village and moved to more secure Turkish Cypriot-controlled villages such as Mora/Meriç(081), Epicho/Cihangir(030), Knodara/Gönendere(152), Chatos/Serdarlı(135), Kalyvakia/Kalavaç(043) and Petra tou Digeni/Yeniceköy(088). The number of those who were displaced was approximately 270 (251 in the 1960 census). They stayed in those locations until 1974, when they were relocated back to their village. The second conflict-related displacement took place in August 1974 when all the Greek Cypriots of the village were displaced. It is important to note that seventeen Greek Cypriots (including women and children) who were trapped in the village during their evacuation were killed by Turkish Cypriot irregulars. Currently, like the rest of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Palaikythro are scattered throughout the island’s south, with large pockets in towns. The number of the Palaikythro Greek Cypriots who were displaced in 1974 was approximately 990 (976 in the 1973 census).
Currently the village is mainly occupied by its original Turkish Cypriot inhabitants and Turkish Cypriots who moved here after 1974 from nearby villages such as Epicho/Cihangir(030)
. There are also many displaced Turkish Cypriots from thirteen different locations in the south. Most derive from Aredyou(019)
(Nicosia district); Istinjo (Kios)/Tabanlı(308)
, Agios Georgios/Kavaklı(284)
, and Asprogia/Aktepe(296)
in the Paphos district; while some famlies from villages in the Limassol and Larnaca districts also settled there. In addition, there are a few families from Turkey who settled in the village after 1974. The last census of 2001 puts the total population of the village at 1,074.
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.
- Fehmi, Hasan (2003), “Güney’de Kalan Değerlerimiz,” Lefkoşa (Nicosia): Özyay Matbaacılık.
- Fellahoğlu, Esat (2010), “Ulusal Direnişte Baf Köyleri,” İstanbul: Bayrak Matbaacılık.
- Giray, Halil: KKTC Yerleşim Birimleri, Yürürlükteki ve Eski İsimler Listesi KKTC İskân Bakanlığı : KKTC Coğrafi İsimler Kataloğu : (Cilt – I and II), Lefkoşa.
- Goodwin, Jack C. (1984), “An Historical Toponymy of Cyprus (Forth edition),” Nicosia (copy number 6).
- Hart-Davis, C. H (1922), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1921, taken on the 24th April, 1921,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
- Hart-Davis, C. H (1932), “Report of the Census of 1931,” Nicosia: Cyprus Government Printing Office.
- Hatay, Mete, (2005). “Beyond Numbers: An Inquiery into the Political Integration of the Turkish ‘Settlers’ in Northern Cyprus,” PRIO/Cyprus Centre Report 4/2005, Nicosia/Oslo, PRIO.
- Hill, Sir George, (1952). A History of Cyprus, Vol. IV., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- 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.
- Mavrogordato, Alexander (1912), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1911, taken on the 2nd April, 1911,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
- Menardos, Simos (2001), Τοπωνημικαι και Λαογραφικαι Μελεται (Topographical and Folkloric Studies), Nicosia: Centre for Scientific Studies
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.
- Ministry of Finance (1973), “Micro-Census (April 1973) Population by Village and Ethnic Group, Volume I.” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research.
- Özad, Murat Hüsnü (2002), “Baf ve Mücadele Yılları,” Lefkoşa (Nicosia): Akdeniz Haber Ajansı Yayınları.
- 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