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Prior to 1974, Lapithos was the largest town in the Kyrenia region. It was always a Greek Cypriot dominated small town. While Turkish Cypriots lived in one neighborhood, Greek Cypriots lived in six different neighborhoods. The town always had two names, the Greek Lapithos and Turkish Lapta. The origin of the name is obscure, but Goodwin suggests that it may have been named after a place in Greece. 
Historical Population:

As can be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Muslims (Turkish Cypriots) constituted almost 20% of the population. Approximately ten years after the beginning of the British administration in the island, this number fell to 12%. Until 1931, the town’s Turkish population continued to decline, while the Greek population grew. In 1960, when the island gained independence, Turkish Cypriots constituted only 10.6% of the town’s population.


Due to intercommunal strife, all the Turkish Cypriots (around 400) were displaced from the town on 17 January 1964 and took refuge in the villages of Boghaz(215) and Temblos(248). It seems that only one elderly woman remained in the town until her death prior to the division of the island in 1974. Turkish Cypriots remained in enclaves until the end of 1974, when they were relocated back to Lapithos. The second displacement took place in 1974, when most of the Greek Cypriots from Lapithos fled from the advancing Turkish army. Around 186 Greek Cypriots were enclaved in Lapithos until 1975, when they were sent by the Turkish Cypriot authorities to the other side of the barbed wire. Currently the Greek Cypriots of Lapithos are scattered throughout the island’s south, with large pockets in Nicosia and Larnaca. The number of the Greek Cypriots who were displaced in 1974 was around 3,200 (3,196 in the1973 census).

Current Inhabitants:

Apart from the original Turkish Cypriots of Lapithos who returned in 1974 and 1975, there are displaced Turkish Cypriots from the island’s south, primarily from the Paphos area, including from villages such as Mandria/Yeşilova(322), Kouklia/Sakarya(312), Akoursos /Akarsu(288), Pitargou/Akkargı(331), Axylou/Aksu(297), Amargeti/Amarget(289), Lapithiou/Bozalan(316), Vretsia/Vretça/Dağaşan(342), Foinikas/Finike(304), Anadiou/Görmeli(290), Androlikou/Gündoğdu(292), Choulou/Hulu(298), Pelathousa/Karaağaç(330), Timi/Ovalık(340), Mamountali/Soğucak(321) and some people from the towns of Larnaca(361) and Limassol(269). There are also people from Turkey, mainly from the middle Black Sea region (primarily from Çarşamba) who settled in the village in the second half of the 1970s. During the last ten years, many European citizens have also bought property and settled in the town. In addition, the town hosts many immigrant workers, mainly from Turkey, Bulgaria and Pakistan, who are employed primarily in construction and tourism.


Books and Reports: