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Kofinou is a large village situated in the Larnaca district, two kilometers northeast of Agios Theodoros village. It is located on the old Nicosia-Limassol highway. It used to be two twin villages called Kato Kofinou and Pano Kofinou. Kofinou means “cane/wicker basket” in Greek. Until 1958, the Turkish Cypriot alternative name of the village was Köfünye. However, in 1958, they adopted another alternative name, Geçitkale, literally meaning “fortress of the passageway” in Turkish
As can be seen in the above chart, although there was a small Greek Cypriot community living in the village, Kofinou was predominantly inhabited by Turkish Cypriots from the Ottoman period. Throughout the British period, the population of the village increased significantly, rising from 477 persons in 1891 to 728 in 1960. The majority of the village’s Greek Cypriot population left in the 1950s, so that by 1960 only eighteen Greek Cypriots remained in the village.
In 1963 and 1964 the village served as an important reception center for displaced Turkish Cypriots who had evacuated their villages. Richard Patrick recorded 330 displaced Turkish Cypriots still living in the village in 1971, the majority of whom had fled from Lefkara(362) village. There were also some displaced Turkish Cypriots from other villages such as Pyrga/Çamlıbel(372), Anafotida(349), Anglisides(350) and Agia Anna(345). The village also served as the military headquarters of the sub-region of the Larnaca enclave. In September 1974, most of the Turkish Cypriots from the village fled to the Turkish-controlled north of the island. Many also sought refuge in the Dhekelia British Sovereign Base Area until they were resettled in the north. The remaining Turkish Cypriots were evacuated by UNFICYP in August 1975. Most of the Turkish Cypriots of Kofinou were resettled in Lefkoniko(162) village in the Famagusta district, renaming it Geçitkale after the Turkish alternative name of Kofinou. The total number of the Turkish Cypriot displaced persons (excluding other persons who sought refuge there in 1964) from this village is estimated to be around 750-760 (710 in 1960).
Currently the village is inhabited by displaced Greek Cypriot families from the north. The 2001 census puts the village’s population at 1,311.
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.
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- Hart-Davis, C. H (1922), “Report and general abstracts of the census of 1921, taken on the 24th April, 1921,” London: Waterlow & Sons.
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- 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.
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- 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.
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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