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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.
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).
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:
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