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Panagra is a small village situated twenty-three kilometers west of the town of Kyrenia and seventeen kilometers northeast of the town of Morfou. Before 1974, it was exclusively inhabited by Greek Cypriots. The meaning of the name is obscure, but according to some of the village’s former inhabitants, it means “upper field,” a corrupted version of “pano agri” in Greek. In 1975, Turkish Cypriots changed the name of the village into Geçitköy, meaning the “village of the pass.” The Turkish name refers to the village’s position at the entrance to the ravine of Paleomylou, which extends to the northern coast of the island.
As can be seen from the chart above, Christians almost always constituted the sole inhabitants of this settlement. At the turn of the century there were only one or two Muslims living in the village (possibly foresters or policemen stationed there). The population had a steady increase during the British period, growing from 44 in 1891 to 86 in 1960.
All of Panagra’s inhabitants were displaced in 1974 when between July and August they fled from the advancing Turkish army to the southern part of the island. Currently, like the rest of the Greek Cypriot refugees, the Greek Cypriots of Panagra are scattered throughout the island’s south. The displaced population of this small village can be estimated to be around 100 since its population was 96 in 1960.
In 1978, the village was used for the settlement of displaced Turkish Cypriots from the southern part of the divide and Turkish farmers from Turkey. The majority of the Turkish Cypriots are from the Paphos and Limassol districts. Those who have their birthplace in Turkey are mainly from the Çarşamba region of the Black Sea coast and Eleşkirt (Ağrı) of eastern Turkey. The 2006 Turkish Cypriot census puts the village’s population at 213.
Books and Reports:
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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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Perry, Frederic W., 1884. Report on the Census of Cyprus 1881, Eyre and Spottiswoode, London.
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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.
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- Republic of Cyprus (1984), “Census of population 1982,” Nicosia: Department of Statistics and Research, Ministry of Finance.
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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