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Petra is a village in the Solea valley. It is located six kilometers east of the town of Lefka/Lefke and three kilometers south of Elia. Petra means “rock” in Greek. In 1958, Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name Dereli, meaning “place with a stream.” However, in 1975 Turkish Cypriots changed the village’s name again, this time to Taşköy, meaning “village of rock.”

Historical Population:

As may be seen from the chart above, the village was always inhabited by both communities. In 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted almost 62% of the population. This percentage significantly increased to 88% by the end of 19th century. During the British period, while the Greek Cypriot population continued to increase, the Turkish Cypriot population stagnated. The 1960 census put the Greek Cypriot proportion at 93%.


All the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Petra/Taşköy were displaced in January-February 1964. All the villagers fled the village during this period and moved mainly into Lefka/Lefke(060) and the nearby villages of Angolemi/Taşpınar(018), and Elia/Doğancı(029). Currently, like most of the 1958 or 1964 displaced, the Turkish Cypriot villagers of Petra/Taşköy are scattered around north Cyprus, with three families in Kalo Chorio (Lefkas)/Çamlıköy(041).

All the Greek Cypriots from this village were displaced in August 1974, as they fled from the advancing Turkish army. Currently, like the rest of the displaced Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots of Petra/Taşköy are scattered throughout the island’s south, with concentrations in towns. The number of the Petra Greek Cypriots who were displaced in 1974 was around 1,000 (966 in 1960).

Current Inhabitants:

The village is in ruins. Since 1974, some parts of the village has been used as a military camp.  

Books and Reports: