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Yeroskipos, or Geroskipou, is a coastal town and the second largest municipality in the Paphos district. It is located four kilometers east of Paphos (Ktima) and on the highway to Limassol. It is claimed by Greek Cypriots that the name derives from “ieros” (holy) and “kipos” (garden), and that the village was named after the Gardens of Aphrodite. Ancient pilgrims
from Nea Paphos supposedly passed through Geroskipou on their way to the temple of Aphrodite at Kouklia
. Turkish Cypriots did not attempt to adopt an alternative name and always called the village Yeroşibu (Yeroshibou).
Geroskipou was a mixed village until 1964. As may be seen from the chart above, in the Ottoman census of 1831, Christians (Greek Cypriots) constituted 72% of the population and hence a significant majority. The second British census of 1891 shows that, at the end of the 19th century, the percentage of the Greek Cypriots of the village slightly increased to 79%. The decline in the Turkish Cypriot population in the village continued until the end of the British period. The 1960 census put the Greek Cypriot share of the population at 90%.
No one was displaced during the emergency years of the 1950s. The first displacement occurred after the outbreak of intercommunal violence in late 1963. According to Richard Patrick, following the Ktima(Paphos) battle of 4 February, Turkish Cypriots of Geroskipou left the village and sought refuge in the villages of Koloni(311) and Mandria(322). Most stayed in these two villages until 1974. However, some of the villagers moved to other locations where they had relatives.
After the 1974 division, some of the Turkish Cypriots, then staying in other villages, fled through the mountains to the island’s north, by then under Turkish control. Those who remained were evacuated to the north under UNFICYP escort in late summer 1975. They were mainly resettled in the towns of Famagusta(140), Kyrenia(236) and Nicosia(074) and the villages of Karavas/Alsancak(226) and Agios Georgios/Karaoğlanoğlu(210). The number of Geroskipou Turkish Cypriots who were displaced after 1974 was around 200-220 (170 in the 1960 census).
During the war of 1974, Geroskipou hosted a POW camp where Turkish Cypriot Fighters were held until they were exchanged with Greek Cypriot POWs from the north on 21-25 September 1974).
Geroskipou has become the second largest municipality in the Paphos district, mainly inhabited by its original Greek Cypriot villagers and displaced Greek Cypriots from the northern part of the island. According to the 2001 census, there are 5,509 persons residing in Geroskipou. In recent years, many foreign workers from Eastern Europe, most working in the construction and tourism sectors, have also taken up residence there.
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.
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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