SELEMANİ (AGIOS IOANNIS)
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Selemani is a deserted and destroyed Turkish Cypriot village situated in the Tylliria/Dillirga region of Cyprus, three kilometers from Pachyammos and four kilometers southeast of Limnitis/Yeşilırmak. Currently it is situated within the UN Buffer Zone. The meaning of Selemani is obscure, although Goodwin suggests that there was a fief called “San Zuani” situated in the place where the current village was built. In the Greek Cypriot colloquial Selemani might also mean “small saddle.” Turkish Cypriots adopted the alternative name of Süleymaniye in 1958. It is a name of a great mosque in Turkey, named after Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. The other alternative name that has been used is Agios Ioannis of Tylliria, meaning “Saint John of Tylliria” in Greek.
From 1891 to 1960, the village was almost solely inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. Since the three or four Greek Cypriots who were recorded living in the village were female, we can safely assume that they were married to Turkish Cypriots. Although the population fluctuated in the first decades of the twentieth century, ultimately there was a steady increase from 53 in 1891 to 142 in 1960.
All the Turkish inhabitants of Süleyman/Süleymaniye were displaced in 1964. The village was evacuated by UNFICYP in August 1964 when the area was under attack by General Grivas and his Greek Cypriot National Guard during the Tylliria Battle. Most of the Turkish Cypriots of Selemani/Süleymaniye sought refuge in the Turkish Cypriot enclaves of Kokkina/Erenköy(050) and Limnitis/Yeşilırmak(061). They remained there until 1976 when they were once again moved to the Turkish-controlled part of the island, to the villages of Potamos tou Kambou/Yedidalga(090), Xeros, Karavostasi/Gemilonağı(045) and Yialousa(205) in the Karpasia/Karpaz peninsula. Some chose to settle in Limnitis/Yeşilırmak(061), only four kilometers away from their actual village, and where some also had relatives.
The village has remained abandoned since 1964; all of its houses and buildings are in ruins.
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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- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
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- Yorgancıoğlu, Oğuz: Kıbrıs’ta Türkçe Yer Adları ve Veriliş Yöntemleri Üzerine Bir Araştırma Kıbrıs Araştırmaları Dergisi, Cilt : 2, Sayı : 3, Yıl : 96